Katy Parkinson, founder director of growing Teesside business, Sound Training, reflects on the need for the next Government to invest in reading skills to support businesses of the future…
Another election looms: all parties will promise us lots of things.
An article in The Telegraph recently told us “Britain could add trillions to its economy if only it had the education standards of Poland, Vietnam and Estonia”
So I hope and pray that, whichever party is elected, they will have read the article.
Our young people are the business leaders, entrepreneurs and apprentices in waiting and we simply cannot afford to neglect their education. It is crucial that schools and colleges receive sufficient funding so that they can effectively educate our future leaders and provide businesses with a well-educated and skilled workforce.
There is an obvious link, recognised by many professionals, between reading ability, educational success and future life outcomes. A report carried out by LKMCO (click here for more) states that poor reading ability has huge cost to an individual and also to the economy.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that the UK are ranked 22nd in the world for reading standards. I find this incredibly sad and if we are not careful, this will only get worse.
We need to tackle the challenges schools have and provide them with funding to deliver effective teaching of reading and language skills throughout all stages of education. I, along with many professionals, believe we should be teaching reading from reception to adult hood; students need to be taught reading strategies past the primary stage. Learning to read doesn’t stop when the child leaves primary school.
We often hear of the aim to ‘link business with education’. Will this ever be achieved if investment in our workforce of the future is inadequate? All politicians hopefully appreciate that our young people have amazing talent. I want them to be empowered; I want them to have the education they deserve. The government needs to play their part and ensure our schools have the appropriate levels of funding.