Northamptonshire youngsters trail national average in reading

Reading levels in Northamptonshire are below the national average
Reading levels in Northamptonshire are below the national average
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Northamptonshire is lagging behind most other areas of England in terms of primary school results, new figures have shown.

The results of this year’s national curriculum tests, known as SATs, were released last month.

They show 72 per cent of county children reached level four in reading, writing and mathematics.

This is some way below the English average of 76 per cent.

More worryingly, only five local education authorities in England saw a lower percentage of pupils making at least two levels of progress between Key Stages 1 and 2 in reading.

Just 84 per cent of pupils in Northamptonshire achieved this, down from 87 per cent in 2012.

The county also fared poorly in mathematics, although there was no decline since last year.

By contrast, in writing, nine in 10 pupils made the expected progress, equating to a two percentage point increase since last year.

The figures coincide with a review showing the number of people visiting libraries in the county has fallen, from 266,795 visits in March 2011, to 204,500 in March 2013.

Christine Thomas, from the Northamptonshire branch of reading charity Beanstalk, said the figures showed the importance of addressing low reading levels.

She said: “I think it’s for everybody to pull together and support these children.

“It’s really important that we move to offer additional support to the children.

“It’s usually the most vulnerable children this affects.”

She added: “It’s not always about the literacy, it’s about the motivation and confidence of the children.”

Campaign is continuing

The figures come as charity Beanstalk relaunches its Get Northants Reading campaign, which has been supported by the Telegraph.

If your organisation would like to support Beanstalk, contact Liz Bennett on 020 77497972.

To become a volunteer reading helper or how your school can benefit from their support,

contact Christine Thomas on 0845 4500338 or 01604 720969, or email