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Aspirations for the future

Schoolreaders is a member of the Fair Education Alliance, a membership organisation aiming to tackle inequality in the education system and ensure no child is limited by their socio-economic background.

Like the Alliance, we welcome the Government’s 2022 White Paper commitment to ensure at least 90% of pupils leave primary school able to read to the required standard by 2030.

Currently, 1 in 4 (around 25% depending on the region) children leave school unable to read properly although the pandemic, and resultant school closures, have set some children back enormously, particularly younger children and those from more disadvantaged circumstances.

Whilst studies are showing that many children have made great strides in catching up there is still a long way to go. To rectify this, like the Alliance, we believe in ‘strong foundations in reading and writing’ and are steadfast in our commitment to expand our network of Schoolreaders across England and Wales. We want to ensure that every child – especially those in greatest need – have access to the reading support they need.

Just ten minutes a week with one of our volunteers has been shown to improve children’s reading fluency, comprehension and enjoyment. It also gives them valuable time with an adult who is not a teacher or parent which aids their social skills. The Fair Education Alliance reinforces this need saying children need to ‘engage with a wide range of adults including volunteers and businesses to support their literacy.’

With some children affected by the pandemic and others coping with Special Needs or language development difficulties, there is no one size fits all for children. Under 11s develop their reading skills at different speeds and tailored one-to-one support is ideal for developing their reading experience in their formative years.

Schoolreaders goal is for all children, regardless of background, to leave primary school being able to read well so they can go on to access their secondary education fully and maximise their future life chances.

Schoolreaders currently provides 10,000 children with a one to one reading support session every week. Over 12% of primary schools in England have registered to receive at least one Schoolreaders volunteer. Our goal for the 2022/3 academic year is to increase our reach, particularly amongst the most disadvantaged children, to provide 18,000 children with vital reading support every week. Reading is the gateway to learning; without good reading a child’s life opportunities are limited.


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