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The Literacy Project

The Literacy Project

1.8 million disadvantaged children in the UK are unable to read properly. 1 in 7 adults in England lack the literacy levels expected of an 11-year-old. The link between low levels of literacy and poverty is stronger in England than in every other country in Europe, with the exception of Romania. By 2025, low literacy will have cost the UK economy £32 billion.


What is The Literacy Project?

Our mission is to raise literacy levels through targeted and concentrated local action, consolidating the unique assets of the publishing industry to drive up low levels of literacy and social mobility in the poorest communities in the UK. 

How will it work?

A publisher (or group of publishers working together) with the support of the PA will identify a community with which to partner. Within the chosen area, publishers will make connections with existing literacy programmes and local initiatives to use their unique assets (e.g. staff, authors, illustrators, books, skills and business partners) to complement and support efforts in that area and, in doing so, concentrate and target maximum effort to achieve swift and effective outcomes.




  • National Literacy Trust priority areasThe National Literary Trust has, working with Experian, identified literacy and social mobility cold spots in the UK. See the list of regions, cities and communities most in need of support for both children's and adult literacy.
  • Smaller areas also in need of supportIn addition to the priority areas identified by the National Literacy Trust, there are many more parts of the UK that need our attention.
  • Get in touchContact the Publishers Association and the National Literacy Trust to discuss ways you can get involved in the project.
  • How can I get involved?Select a community to work with and then mobilise your resources to help to support literacy in schools, libraries, prisons and early years providers through whatever means possible.