It is important that young people get the basics right and develop strong literacy skills.
This is according to Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, who said literacy is "essential for economic success and individual happiness".
"We are storing up problems for the future if children don't gain the skills they need to succeed at school and throughout adult life," he commented.
Mr Douglas was responding to figures published by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, which show that the UK has slipped down worldwide rankings for reading and maths.
"Most worrying of all is that children in the UK from disadvantaged backgrounds are disproportionately likely to struggle with literacy," he commented.
Mr Douglas added that the UK has one of the strongest links between socio-economic background and literacy performance of all the countries involved in the study.
He noted that the National Literacy Trust is committed to breaking this cycle and helping young people to improve their skills.