Teenage boys fail to turn over new leaf in reading stakes

The number of primary school children saying they enjoy reading has reached record levels - but only a third of teenage boys like to pick up a book, research has found


Three-quarters (77.6%) of children aged eight to 11 like having their nose in a book while more than half (55.2%) of pupils aged 11-14 also enjoyed reading.

But the annual study, published by the National Literacy Trust, also shows a continuing gender gap, with boys less likely to enjoy reading than girls.

Jonathan Douglas from the trust said: "When children enjoy reading and have books of their own, they do better at school and later in life, so we must continue to do everything we can to inspire children to fall in love with reading for a lifetime."

Other findings from the survey of 42,406 pupils aged eight to 18 include:

:: Twice as many boys aged eight to 11 said they enjoyed reading compared with boys aged 14 to 16 (72.4% compared with 35.7%)

:: There is a similar but less dramatic fall among girls, with 82.8% of those aged eight to 11 taking pleasure in picking up a book compared with 53.3% in their late teens.

:: The gap between the reading age of pupils who enjoy books compared with classmates who dislike reading increases over time, with 10-year-olds having a reading age 1.3 years ahead of their peers, up to 3.3 years at the age of 14.

The report said: "While enjoyment levels had been rather stable between 2005 and 2012, they have been rising steadily since 2013, and in 2016 we recorded the highest percentage of reading enjoyment levels."

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