Literacy and life expectancy - EEF response to new report

Today the National Literacy Trust published a report, Literacy Changes Lives. This establishes that people with poor literacy skills are more likely to be unemployed, have low incomes and poor health behaviours, which in turn can be linked to lower life expectancy.

Sir Kevan Collins, the EEF's chief executive, commented in response:

​“For some time the link between good literacy levels, fulfilling careers and rewarding lives has been clear. Prospects for children who don’t achieve good literacy skills by the end of primary school are bleak. However, the gap in life expectancy between the areas with the highest and lowest risk of literacy problems highlighted by this report is shocking and warrants closer investigation. We must redouble our efforts to make sure that no child starts secondary unable to read and write well. The best way to do this is through the better use of evidence: looking at what has – and has not – worked in the past to give the best chance of success in the future. We’re working already with hundreds of schools in the North East doing just that.”

The EEF has a range of literacy resources available - see our Big Picture 'Language and Literacy' theme for details. 

In addition, we are funding (alongside Northern Rock Foundation) a £10 million campaign to improve primary-age literacy in the North East of England.