Literacy Matters

We believe every child has the right to the support they need to be functionally literate when they leave primary school.

We want Bristol to be a city that reads to its children and fosters a lifelong love of reading, from an early age.

Corporate volunteer with their Reading Partner

So what are we doing to tackle these issues? Ablaze has an established Reading Partners programme which puts trained volunteers into primary schools to partner a pupil for a year.

Please join us in our work to tackle the issue of functioning illiteracy. An hour a week of your time could have a huge impact on a child’s life and help to improve their reading skills.

Your donation can make a difference

With your donations we could train new Reading Partners and set up new school and business partnerships

Why literacy matters

Literacy is one of the fundamental skills we need to function and thrive in our lives. Ablaze believes that every child has the right to leave school with good enough literacy to make the most of their future potential. Literacy matters, not just for individuals but for our collective community. Our vision of Bristol as an inclusive, prosperous city relies on us supporting all our children to reach the expected standard they need before they leave school.

Lacking vital literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life. As a child they won’t be able to succeed at school, as a young adult they will be locked out of the job market, and as a parent they won’t be able to support their own child’s learning. This intergenerational cycle makes social mobility and a fairer society more difficult.[1]

Why we’re supporting literacy in Bristol

27.9% of Bristol's pupils are disadvantaged; in 2022 only 65% of 11 year olds achieved the expected standards in Reading, Writing and Maths combined; the proportion of Key Stage 1 pupils reaching the expected standard fell about 10% between 2019 and 2022; the disadvantage attainment gap increased by around 5% in that time.

Here are some statistics on literacy from other organisations working in the field. They show the scale of the challenge we all face.

In 2018, 25% of children left primary school unable to read to the required level, being roughly 156,000 children

70% of pupils permanently excluded from school have difficulties with basic literacy

25% of young offenders have reading skills below that of the average seven-year old

If current trends continue, we will have left behind 1.5 million children by 2025

Poor literacy skills cost the UK economy £81 billion every year

Research from Coram Beanstalk

A smiling girl reads a book with a business volunteer.
Two children reading in an outdoor setting

Children who fail to reach the expected standard at aged 11 are three times more likely to experience mental health problems as adults, and twice as likely to be unemployed aged 34.

National Literacy Trust

Contact us to find out more.