Study reveals extent of youth illiteracy in Northeast England

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Middlesborough has been highlighted as the city in which children suffer the most literacy problems.

An analysis from The National Literacy Trust and Experian revealed that Middlesborough has the most significant literacy issues, along with Barking, Hackney South, Liverpool and Sheffield.

Based on the findings, literacy issues are intensely localised, in areas such as the West Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West, but 86 per cent of English constituencies also have a literacy crisis.

According to the report there is not a direct correlation between low-income, employment and social deprivation regions and literacy levels.

Inner cities were pinpointed as areas that have the most significant literacy need.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of The National Literacy Trust, said: ‘“For 20 years, the government has addressed England’s widening literacy gap through national strategies. We now know that a new, targeted approach is needed as our work with Experian reveals the country’s literacy challenge to be intensely local. Strong local leadership and partnerships are vital to tackling this and MPs are ideally-placed to drive effective local solutions.

“We know that local strategies work – we set up a National Literacy Trust Hub in Middlesbrough in 2013, which has already had a vital impact on the number of children reaching a good level of development at age five and has significantly closed the attainment gap with the national average.’

On 06 February MPs were given an information pack containing their constituency’s literacy vulnerability score and an analysis of the local factors behind it.

Every Child Journal