Many children are not reading enough because it is not deemed to be 'cool' or they would rather spend time online, according to a study of people in teaching jobs.
More than 40 per cent of teachers who took part in the study by publishing firm Pearson said that by the time pupils reach secondary school they have disengaged with the idea of reading for fund.
Around 400 secondary school English teachers were questioned by researchers as part of the study, with two-thirds saying that their pupils do not think that reading is 'cool'.
The vast majority of respondents (94 per cent) also said that pupils would prefer to spend time on the internet instead of with a book.
Some 97 per cent of teachers said that they thought parents should be doing more at home to foster a positive attitude to reading.
Almost three-quarters (74 per cent) stated that their pupils were not spending enough time reading out of school.
Frank Cottrell Boyce, the renowned children's author whose novel Cosmic was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and Guardian Award, believes that the findings are a major cause for concern.
"It's worrying to think that so many young children are not being inspired to pick up a good book and get lost in a story," he said.
"According to Unesco, the biggest single indicator of whether a child is going to thrive at school and in work is whether or not they read for pleasure."
When asked about what sort of books most interest their pupils, 83 per cent of the English teachers questioned said that boys enjoy fantasy novels, with 65 per cent saying that girls enjoy the genre.
Horror appears to be most popular with boys, however, as 93 per cent said that they were likely to find this type of book engaging.
The Russell Group recently gave it backing to Ofqual's proposed A-level reforms, which include a more rigorous approach to English that is more focused on a critical rather than emotional response to texts.
Posted by Harriet McGowan