Children: Reading

Department for Education written question – answered on 9th March 2021.

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Photo of Tracy Brabin Tracy Brabin Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the importance of reading for pleasure in improving children’s literacy levels.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Reading for pleasure brings a range of benefits. As well as the strong links between reading for pleasure and attainment, there are a number of other positive effects including: improved text comprehension and grammar, positive reading attitudes, pleasure in reading in later life, increased general knowledge and character development.

The National Curriculum states that teachers are expected to encourage pupils to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. Within the National Curriculum, the programmes of study for English have been developed to make clear the importance of reading for pleasure. The National Curriculum also emphasises the importance of listening to, discussing and – as pupils’ fluency increases – reading for themselves a wide range of stories, poems, plays, and information books.

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