Calls to improve reading skills in Reading school

More needs to be done to improve the reading skills of pupils in Reading, according to a local head teacher.

It comes after figures released by the Department for Education showed one in five 11-year-olds in the town were unable to read at the expected level.

At a 22% fail rate, Reading's score was worse than anywhere else in Berkshire.

John Cosgrove, head teacher of Christ the King Primary School, says parents need to do more to encourage their children to pick up a book.

He said: "Parental involvement is absolutely key.

"Children going in to school who have been read to as infants; children who share stories with their parents; children who go in to school with a wide vocabulary and an understanding of stories and how stories work and how the world works are at a huge advantage.

"You'll find that in some areas books are very prevalent in homes, in other areas they're not."

Across England and Wales, 16% of 11-year-olds failed to reach the expected level or better in reading.

The figures in the rest of Berkshire range from a 19% failure rate in Slough, to 16% in Bracknell, 15% in West Berkshire and 12% in Wokingham and Windsor and Maidenhead.

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