Teenage Girls Found to Read Twice as Much for Pleasure as Boys; SCHOOLS: Improvement in Reading Skills at Primary Schools Has Stalled and Gender Gap Is Widening
TEENAGE boys spend just 20 minutes a day reading books for pleasure while television and computer games are far more popular pastimes, a survey showed yesterday.
The poll, published on the eve of World Book Day on Thursday, showed 76pc of 14 to 16-year-olds and 81pc of 11 to 12-year-olds in the UK read because they enjoyed it.
Boys aged 15 to 16 said they spent about 2.3 hours a week reading, while girls the same age put in 4.5 hours.
The figures chimed with an international survey published last year which showed the UK languishing near the bottom of a table of 32 countries when it came to reading for pleasure.
In England, progress in national English tests taken at the end of primary school has stalled while boys fell further behind girls in 2001.
The proportion of pupils achieving the required standard last year halted at 75pc, raising the prospect that the Government will miss its 80pc target for 2002.
While 11-year-olds' attainment in writing SATs tests rose, there was a 1pc fall in reading from 83pc to 82pc. …