The BBC has a worrying report on levels of literacy in the UK

Bedtime stories are proving a struggle for many parents who are not confident readers, says a survey from adult learning agency Learndirect.

More than 10% of the 1,000 parents asked had struggled to understand some words in the stories they had read to their five to 10-year-old children.

One in ten parents if having trouble reading stories aimed at five to ten-year-olds. Not reading a broadsheet newspaper or government forms (both of which would be worrying but not entirely surprising) but reading children’s stories.

The survey comes from Learn Direct who obviously have an agenda here as they sell adult literacy courses. But if you think about the people who you come into contact with in your day to day life then you’ll know that they’re really aren’t exaggerating the problem.

Depressingly they also say

Even more parents – a third – struggled with their children’s maths homework.

The last two paragraphs in the BBC report sum up the report’s findings and, handily, demonstrate the problem

The report said that five million adults lacked functional literacy and more than 17 million had difficulties with numbers.

More than one in six youngsters left school unable to read, write or add up properly, said the report.

It’s not exactly illiterate, but it could have been phrased a lot more elegantly.

One comment

  1. I have enough trouble understanding what the yoof are saying on the bus, so I’m probably not hep enough to understand what they read either :-)

    But seriously, I have great difficulty accepting those figures for illiteracy. The source’s agenda is just too much. But on the other hand, I don’t ever spend any time on awful council estates so maybe when you factor those people in they might make up the numbers <shrug>.

    But I can, unfortunately, believe the innumeracy bit. I blame the metric system and decimal currency. Switching to those nasty foreign inventions meant that most peoples’ only day-to-day exposure to mental arithmetic has become so trivial as to not exercise what little maths knowledge they picked up in school.

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