Reading prowess in primary school leads to higher pay, study finds

The TES is reporting new research that suggests children with high reading skills at age 10 can see the effect in their pay packets more than 25 years later…

Research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that a child from a low-income background who was a strong reader at age 10 would earn 21 per cent more per hour at age 38 on average than someone from a similar background with poor reading skills.

Children from richer families with better reading scores earned 10 per cent more than their peers.

The research was carried out for the Read On, Get On campaign; a coalition of charities, businesses and educationalists, which today publishes a report calling for the next government to take action to ensure that all children leave primary with a good level of reading.

The report The Power of Reading calls for a commitment for graduates to lead lessons in every nursery in England by 2020, a recommendation that would require 11,000 more university-leavers to join the profession…

The report points out that only 13 per cent of staff in private, independent or voluntary-run (PVI) nurseries have a relevant degree, compared with 35 per cent in school nurseries, and only 59 per cent had at least one graduate on the staff, whereas all school nurseries did.

More at: Reading prowess in primary school leads to higher pay, study finds


Read the report on the link between reading skills and adult outcomes in full from the IFS at: The link between childhood reading skills and adult outcomes: analysis of a cohort of British children


Read more on the call for more graduates from Save the Children at: Graduates needed in every nursery


The Power of Reading report itself should be online here (but doesn’t seem available at the time of writing).


A couple of different things seems to be going on here: first the IFS is suggesting a correlation between better reading skills aged 10 and earning outcomes later in life (especially for poorer children), and the Read On, Get On campaign is then turning that into a call for more graduates to be working on nurseries.

Your thoughts on both or either of these aspects? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link!

Labour pledges face-to-face careers advice in schools
Primary school's Sats results for entire year void after teacher's cheating a hearing is told
Categories: Pre-school.


  1. The report’s conclusion linking future earning power with reading is stating the obvious.  What are the bets it will be used in election campaigning to show the emphasis on exams at the end of primary is necessary if children are to read ‘properly’?

    The ability to  “read a range of texts fluently and accurately” is essential for most jobs.  That’s Level 3 at Key Stage 2.  According to Morgan, this Level 3 ability isn’t reading ‘properly’ – pupils who don’t achieve Level 4 are ‘failures’ as are the schools which taught them.

    But the ability to ‘read a range of texts fluently and accurately’ makes people employable.  Perhaps the answer to low earnings is to ensure employers pay at least a living wage and don’t lock employees into exclusive zero-hours contracts.

  2. Nor_edu

    SchoolsImprove ReadOnGetOn show that value of pre-school edu only exists where delivered by well qualified staff. Is then life changing

  3. Nor_edu

    SchoolsImprove ReadOnGetOn focus on underachievement needs to be supported earlier. 11 years old far too late.

  4. Nor_edu

    extokyotyke SchoolsImprove ReadOnGetOn still a big role – but need to know what to do. Well qualified staff can help.

  5. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Be better at school and earn more in your working life – thank you Sherlock. How much did that study cost?

  6. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The wages paid in pre-school education doesn’t justify the cost of getting a university degree unfortunately

  7. andylutwyche

    Nor_edu extokyotyke SchoolsImprove ReadOnGetOn Wages in pre-school education mean that a £40+k uni debt is unjustifiable

  8. andylutwyche

    Nor_edu extokyotyke SchoolsImprove ReadOnGetOn Ultimately pre-schools are businesses and therefore in the business of making money

  9. andylutwyche

    Nor_edu extokyotyke SchoolsImprove ReadOnGetOn Ideally what is being suggested is spot on. In reality it is unlikely to happen

  10. Nor_edu

    andylutwyche extokyotyke SchoolsImprove ReadOnGetOn so if ppl are made to feel their kids are better there thn @ home it needs to change

  11. Nor_edu

    andylutwyche extokyotyke SchoolsImprove ReadOnGetOn #iagreewithandy 😉 (are you getting bored of that one yet?)

  12. andylutwyche

    Nor_edu extokyotyke SchoolsImprove ReadOnGetOn Either the cost for parents goes up so that it becomes prohibitive for some or no change

  13. andylutwyche

    Nor_edu extokyotyke SchoolsImprove ReadOnGetOn Not at all – it’s reassuring that I am not alone in my thinking!

Let us know what you think...