Book Trust impact

Book Trust impact

Below are some statistics of how our programmes have helped children and families enjoy reading and improve their reading skills.


How Book Trust programmes have helped

Our results with disadvantaged children


  • 85% of hard-to-reach parents feel more confident about reading
  • 31% of hard-to-reach parents joined the library for their child for the first time and 17% undertook a course at their children’s centre
  • Children improved their reading age by 14 months
  • Over 80% of teachers say reading, writing, speaking and listening improves among four- to six-year-olds


Our results with under-5s

  • Over 80% of parents who use our reading advice find it useful
  • 71% from poorer backgrounds read books more often with their children 
  • More than 50% of families who are not already members join libraries


Our results with primary schools

  • More than 95% of parents read our free books  with their children and 79% say children are engaged by the books
  • 69% of teachers say children enjoy reading more
  • 32% of teachers say children’s literacy skills improve
  • 80% of libraries say new families use their services

Our results with secondary schools

  • 52% of 11-year-olds said they enjoyed reading more
  • In 2014, Book Trust's Read for My School competition saw 200,000 children reading over 850,000 books in just two months
  • Book Trust introduced 67% of librarians to new books and authors
Reading for pleasure appears to be more significant for reading attainment than reading to improve reading skills and achieve results

(Schiefele and Schaffner, 2012)

Books given to children

  • In 2013-14 Book Trust gifted:
    • Over 2.5 million book packs
    • 5.5 million books
    • 2.5 million children reached
  • In 2013-14, Book Trust's targeted schools offers reached more than 220,000 disadvantaged children in primary and secondary schools.
  • 57.5 million books have been gifted by Book Trust since 1992


Early years

Book Trust's Bookstart early years programme has been running since 1992. So far over 10 million children have received 38 million books through Bookstart.

In 2013-14, almost 1.5 million packs and 3 million books were gifted to babies, toddlers and preschoolers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including almost 5,000 additional needs packs.


The Bookstart model has been adopted by over 30 affiliates across five continents and the pack guidance material is available in 27 community languages.


Bookstart universal packs: impact on families

  • 27% of parents know more about how to read with their child since receiving their Bookstart Baby pack, increasing to 46% of Bookstart Treasure recipients.
  • 45% of parents have spent quality time with their child as a result of Bookstart Baby, increasing to 49% of Bookstart Treasure recipients.
  • 50% of families who were not library members joined the library after receiving the Bookstart Baby pack, increasing to 57% of Bookstart Treasure recipients.


Specific impact on socio-economic groups

The statistics below refer to the National Readership Survey classification of socio-economic status, which ranges from higher managerial positions in group A to casual labourers and unemployed people in group E.

  • 38% of DE parents report that they know more about how to read with their child since receiving a Bookstart pack, compared to 27% of AB parents.
  • 73% of DE parents feel the Bookstart Treasure pack has improved communication with their early years setting compared to 52% of AB parents.

I remember when [my daughter] got them… they were some of her favourite books. We got them when she was really young and we didn’t know what we should be doing. There was one with lots of facial expressions - that was really valuable.    (Father of 4-year-old)

It’s a brilliant idea just because…[y]ou’re just not sure whether you should be reading and whether it’s appropriate.  It kick starts it.    (Mother of 9-month-old)

Bookstart Corner: impact on families

Following participation in Bookstart Corner (for families who need additional support), parents of 12- to 24- month-olds reported the following impacts:

  • 87% spent quality time with their child as a result of Bookstart Corner
  • 85% felt more confident about reading with their child
  • 84% felt more knowledgeable about reading with their child
  • 71% were reading books more with their children

It has taught me a lot. Before I didn’t know how to introduce my child to any books or know any rhymes.    (Parent that took part in Bookstart Corner)

The fact that the parents have more confidence in reading means they are more likely to do it, and the fact that they read to the child means the child is prepared and ready to start school. Bookstart Corner gives them the confidence to try.    (Bookstart Corner practitioner, West Midlands)

Significantly, Bookstart Corner increased the engagement with services that participants had not previously been using, with 21% of parents attending a group at their local Children’s Centre and 31% of parents joining the library for their child.

It gives us opportunities for signposting parents to different services because we see more by being in their own homes.    (Practitioner, London)

To view these statistics and many others, explore the Bookstart reports and evaluations


Looked-after children

  • In 2013-14, Letterbox Club sent parcels to 5,736 looked after children in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland
  • 7,450 children in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland will receive Letterbox Club parcels in 2014, signed up via local authorities, schools and other organisations
  • Letterbox Club has sent 156,306 parcels to 26,051 children across the UK since the programme began in 2007


Children's Laureate - Chris Riddell (2015-2017)

Book Trust runs the Children's Laureate programme that reaches thousands of children and families every year through events and visits to schools and libraries.


Book Trust prizes and awards

Book Trust-managed prizes recognise and celebrate the work of hundreds of authors and illustrators every year. Children are directly involved in the judging process for the Blue Peter Book Award, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize.


Making a difference

Making a difference

Find out how Book Trust's work with primary school age children is making a difference.

Making a difference

Making a difference

Find out how Book Trust is making a difference for secondary school age children.