The Independent reports that British children have plummeted in an international league table of reading skills. Middle-class parents have been blamed for failing to encourage a love of books over computer games. Primary-school children in England fell from third to 15th in the study of 45 countries, recording the third highest drop behind Romania and Morocco over the past five years. Scotland fell 12 places compared to 2001, slumping to 26th. Russia topped the league table, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore while South Africa came bottom.
The Scottish Governemt put a positive spin on the PIRLS report:
Report on reading literacy http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2007/11/28143806
The Scottish Government reports that Scotland’s reading literacy is still significantly above the international average according to The Progress In Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) which is run by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.
However, the country’s ranking has slipped slightly since the previous report and presents an inherited challenge for the new Scottish Government according to Minister for Schools and Skills Maureen Watt. Ms Watt said that she was pleased to see that the study of nine and ten year-olds showed Scotland’s most able pupils ranked amongst the highest achievers in the international study.