5.2 million adults in England are functionally illiterate

12th January 2015

According to the National literacy trust website 5.2 million adults in England are functionally illiterate and this figure doesn’t even take into account the rest of the UK.  This accounts for just about 16% of the adult population who have literacy levels below those expected of an average 11 year old. Functionally illiterate means they can understand short, straightforward sentences on familiar subjects but reading information from unfamiliar sources or on unfamiliar topics are likely to cause issues.

This can have serious knock-on effects for not just for job prospects but for other aspects throughout their lives. And let’s not forget a generation of children growing up without a passion for reading because they are not being read to or helped with their reading at home.

Improving literacy rates throughout the UK for both young people and adults is crucial if we want to live in a fairer and more equal society. Everyone should benefit from the essential and above all, enjoyable skill of reading.

If you know someone who could benefit from a reading tune-up then point them in the direction of PhonicsThruMusic and give them one of the greatest gifts anyone could receive.


adult education, adult learning, adult literacy, age appropriate phonics, learning to read, literacy, reading age, reading and employment, reading levels, reading skills, synthetic phonics, systematic synthetic phonics, teaching reading,

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