Research across the world has shown that an enjoyment of books and reading is closely linked to engagement with and achievement in learning and education. However, even with this base of research and in spite of wonderful book gifting schemes such as Bookstart (Free packs of books for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers), Booktime (Free book at the start of primary education) and Booked-up (free book at the start of secondary education), three in 10 children in the UK do not own a single book, a new report by the National Literacy Trust has found.
So who does own books?
At a crude brush stroke, young people who have book of their own are more likely to be girls, socio-economically better off, from white or mixed-ethnic backgrounds and without a special educational need.
The research also highlighted the link between book ownership and reading habits (young people who own no books are 5 times as likely to say that they never read than those that do possess books), reading enjoyment (young people who have books of their own and twice as likely to say that they enjoy reading very much) and attainment (less then 10% of children who own books read below their expected level, compared to one in five of children who own no books.)
It can be safely assumed then that book ownership is a cause and / or symptom of why many of the groups highlighted amongst those who do not own books, boys, the socio-economically worse off and those from ethnic backgrounds other than white or mixed, are often the same groups identified by schools, authorities and the government as ‘under-performing’.
To Be Continued . . .