Lexonik, an award-winning company that specialises in instructing teachers and tutors on how to deliver literacy training, has called on the education secretary to tackle the UK’s growing literacy crisis.
Katy Parkinson, founder and director of Lexonik, has written to Gavin Williamson MP, appealing for teachers to be be supported to nurture children’s reading as part of the curriculum, rather than hit with new and heavy targets.
Katy has almost 30 years’ experience in the education sector, and Lexonik has worked with more than 70,000 students worldwide to increase their reading age by an average of 27 months.
In her letter, she has emphasised the link between literacy poverty and life chances and asked the MP to address this as part of his ongoing plan for education.
Katy said: “Thousands of young people in the UK are living in literacy poverty, and this is unacceptable considering the impact of reading on their lives when they’re adults. For example, in the UK, around 50 percent of prisoners are illiterate, and in the United States, officials use the reading rates of third grade students to determine jail allocation for the next 15 years.
“The worst thing about this crisis is that it is quick and easy to fix, but it is not being addressed. If all teachers are given the right tools to support the young people in their classes to develop their vocabulary, these issues could be resolved within months.
“It is crucial that teachers are involved in this process, rather than being hit with unachievable targets which will increase their stress and negatively impact both educator and learner. It must be integrated into all subjects, accessible to everyone, and, above all, fun.
“I hope that Mr Williamson will make literacy a top priority in his future education plans and make the UK the shining example to all other nations of literacy wealth.”