Ready to Read

Closing the gap in early language skills so that every child in England can read well

June 2015


Ensuring that all children are reading well by the age of 11 would make a game-changing contribution to creating a fairer and more socially mobile country.

As Ready to Read explains, this can only be achieved if we commit to boosting the early language skills of our poorest children. Firm foundations in early language skills are critical to breaking the cycle of educational inequality – and to improving the wider life chances of the poorest children.

The report sets out how high-quality services and support for families can help overcome the impact of poverty, highlighting the potential for services – including early education, health visiting, libraries and children’s centres – to support young children’s language development. And it explains why this potential is not always fulfilled.

At the beginning of a new parliament, Ready to Read argues for a decisive shift towards early action and investment. It sets out three priorities for government:

  • investing further in the early education workforce
  • strengthening support for parents, especially in public health services and children’s centres
  • making sure that, as a country, we can track the progress we are making to improve young children’s language skills.


PDF icon Ready to Read - England1.44 MB

Related reading

Read On. Get On.: How reading can help children escape poverty

The Power of Reading

Reading England's Future: Mapping how well the poorest children read