Coalition launches first robust measure of children’s reading at age 11

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Coalition launches first robust measure of children’s reading at age 11, as commercial data is made available for the first time

Government urged to boost children’s enjoyment of reading as low levels threaten to undermine future prospects

The Read On. Get On. (ROGO) coalition has today launched the ROGO Index – a new robust measure of children’s reading at age 11 in England [1]. The ROGO coalition has created a more holistic view of how well the nation’s children are reading by bringing together government, commercial and third sector data to indicate whether children are good readers.

Due to the complexities and constraints of national reading assessments, commercial reading assessments are able to test a wider range of children’s cognitive reading skills and thus provide a more comprehensive view of how well the nation’s children are reading.

In publishing commercial reading skills data from GL Assessment and Renaissance Learning alongside government reading skills data for the very first time, the ROGO Index shows that children’s cognitive reading skills have remained consistent over the past three years despite changes in Key Stage 2 national curriculum assessments suggesting fluctuations in attainment [2]. The Index also shows that children’s levels of reading enjoyment and frequency are lower than their levels of cognitive reading skills.


The ROGO coalition is calling on the government to redouble efforts to improve children’s levels of reading enjoyment – a call which is further supported by a new research review from the coalition that surfaces the wealth of evidence linking high levels of reading enjoyment with better educational outcomes and improved life chances [3].

In consultation with education experts, academics and teachers, the ROGO coalition has developed a new tripartite model of reading well at age 11. The model asserts that a good reader has strong cognitive reading skills, high levels of reading enjoyment and reads outside school on a daily basis. The ROGO Index measures how well 11-year-olds in England are reading across these three areas using data from the Department for Education, GL Assessment, Renaissance Learning and the National Literacy Trust [4].

The ROGO Index shows that:

  • Children’s reading skills have remained consistent over the past three years according to reading skills data from GL Assessment and Renaissance Learning. National curriculum reading scores declined from 2015-2016 owing to the introduction of the higher standard of the new national curriculum tests
  • Children’s levels of reading enjoyment (75%) and daily reading frequency (50%) are both lower than their levels of cognitive reading skills (85%)
  • Girls outperform boys in all areas of reading

The coalition will publish the ROGO Index every year to hold the nation to account for its children’s reading.

Established in 2014 by a group of 12 charities and educational organisations, the ROGO coalition aims to get all children in England reading well by the age of 11. The National Literacy Trust holds the secretariat for the coalition.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said:

“The relationship between children’s enjoyment of reading, how often they read outside school and their academic attainment is critical. By bringing together government, commercial and third sector data on what it means for a child to be a good reader, we have created a clearer picture of how well the nation’s children are reading for the very first time.

“Despite reading for enjoyment being an important part of the national curriculum, the ROGO Index shows that children’s levels of reading enjoyment are actually lagging behind their reading skills. To give children the best possible opportunities in life, we must close this gap. The ROGO coalition will therefore publish the ROGO Index every year to hold the nation to account for the reading levels of its children. It’s time to put reading for enjoyment at the heart of our children’s lives.”

 

Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive at I CAN, the children’s communication charity, said:

“We know that early language is the single most important factor in influencing literacy levels at age 11[1]. The ROGO Index raises the important point that we must work collectively to close the gap between reading enjoyment and skill. I CAN is a proud member of the ROGO coalition and would encourage practitioners to use the new model to help identify pupils reading issues as early as possible and then intervene with tailored support.”

[1] Save the Children (2016) The Lost Boys: How boys are falling behind in their early years

 
The ROGO coalition has published a top tips resource for teachers and schools to help boost children’s enjoyment of reading and how often they read outside school, as well as a top tips guide for parents to help encourage even the most reluctant child to develop a love of reading: www.readongeton.org.uk

 

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