Scottish teenagers are only reading 'because they have to' report finds

A new report has revealed that Scottish teenagers do not choose to read for pleasure, but only if they have to for school work.
A new report has revealed that Scottish teenagers do not choose to read for pleasure, but only if they have to for school work.
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Scottish teenagers are only reading because "they have to" rather than for enjoyment, a new report has revealed.

The PISA analysis of reading attainment across 36 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries has shown that Scottish pupils performance has improved slightly in the last three years.

READ MORE: Pisa: Performance of Scottish pupils in maths and science at record low

However, a student questionnaire along with the statistics, has found that both male and female 15-year-olds are only picking up a book when they need to for schoolwork.

The random testing of Scottish pupils took place between last October and December and involved 107 secondary schools across state and private sectors, with a total of 2969 students taking part.

Asked if they agreed or strongly agreed with the statements "I read only when I have to" and "I read only to get the information I need", 50.9 per cent and 49.4 per cent of girls said yes. Only 31.1 per cent agreed that "reading is one of my favourite hobbies".

In boys the figures were higher with 64.3 per cent agreeing that they only read when they had to, and 64.9 per cent when they had to get information. Just 15.6 per cent said they read because it was a favourite hobby.

Asked further about reading for enjoyment, 71.6 per cent of girls and 81.8 per cent of boys said "I don't read or I read less than 30 minutes a day".

Yet despite the numbers, almost four fifths of the children asked said they believed they were good readers - 78 per cent of girls and 77.3 per cent of boys. However the percentages fell when asked if they felt they could understand difficult texts.

The PISA statistics found that reading levels - students' ability to understand and evaluate texts - have improved in Scotland overall, but are still significantly lower than they were at the start of the millennium.

Reading was at its highest level in 2000 when Scotland scored 526 compared to today's figure of 504 - although that is a rise from the 2015 result which saw it hit its lowest point of 493.
In contrast both boys and girls in Scotland, and the UK as a whole, were more likely than the OECD average to use digital devices every day to chat online, participate in social networks, browse the internet or download music, games and films. A total of 51.8 per cent of boys used digital devices daily to play collaborative games, while just 7.3 per cent of girls did so.

The questionnaire found that Scottish pupils were also more likely to have a fear of failure, with 65.2 per cent of pupils worrying about what others think of them when they do fail, and 72 per cent overall were also concerned that failing at school could adversely impact their future.