England climbs global rankings in reading and literacy

The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) ranks England joint eighth out of 50 countries, and among the highest performing countries in Europe.

The results are based on a study of the reading comprehension and enjoyment of a cohort of 340,000 nine-year-olds around the world.

The study was first introduced in 2001, and this year’s results are the country’s best to date and a dramatic improvement on the 2006 results, when England was ranked 19th out of 45 countries. The study also reveals that while all pupils are making improvements it is low-performing pupils who have made the greatest progress.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “Today’s results put the success of our increased emphasis on phonics and continued focus on raising education standards on a global scale. Thanks to the hard work of teachers across the country, 154,000 more six year olds are reading better than ever before – this is fundamental to our ambition of helping every child fulfil their potential.

“Our rise through the global rankings is even more commendable because it has been driven by an increase in the number of low-performing pupils reading well. This demonstrates our determination to ensure this is a country that works for everyone, regardless of background.”

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