Parents fail to see link between reading for pleasure and improved literacy

Parents in the Canterbury district have taken part in a survey to assess their views on reading. The 550 parents who took part in the survey all have children at schools that have only just started using the KM Charity Team’s flagship reading scheme, Buster’s Book Club. The aim is to gauge their views in advance of the new reading scheme getting started at their school.

Simon Dolby said: “Gaining feedback though surveys and focus groups is becoming an increasingly important way for our charity will understand the views and needs of our client groups. This first snapshot view of parents about to get involved with Buster’s Book Club gives us a fascinating perspective on a parents view of reading and we will be keen to see if views change in follow-up surveys.”

Only 65 per cent of parents regarded their child reading for pleasure as important to their child’s development while 76 per cent agreed that it was vital their child’s literacy skills needed to be improved, showing that not all parents understand the link between recreational reading and improved literacy skills.

Only 27 per cent of parents surveys believed their child’s reading could be described as strong for their age at this moment in time. Parents appear to have great confidence that Buster’s Book Club as able to make a real difference with 90 per cent agreeing that the initiative will improve both their child’s literacy and communication skills.

The survey was conducted by the KM Charity Team as part of the KM Year of Reading campaign it is running in collaboration with the KM Group.

Schools wanting to find out more about Buster’s Book Club can download an information brochure for the initiative at

The full results of the survey are detailed below:

On a ranking of one to 10 how important is it to you that your child reads for pleasure in their free time?
• 65% said 10/10
• 10% said 9/10
• 15% said 8/10
How important is it to you that your child’s literacy skills improve?
• 76% said 10/10
• 10% said 9/10
• 8% said 8/10
Does your child enjoy reading for pleasure?
• 90% said yes
• 10% said no
Average reading time?
• 25 minutes
How would you describe your child’s competency in reading?
• 27% Strong Reader
• 30% Confident Reader
• 27% Capable Reader
• 10% Lacks Confidence
• 5% Struggling
Buster’s Book Club will help improve my Child’s Literacy skills?
• 90% agree
• 10% disagree
The offer of incentives will encourage my child to read more?
• 90% agree
• 10% disagree
Peer pressure will encourage my child to read more?
• 73% agree
• 27% disagree
This scheme will improve my child’s communication skills?
• 90% agree
• 10% disagree

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