The effects of literacy efforts at a local level 

Local level

The effects of literacy efforts at a local level 

The UK’s low levels of literacy affect our nation on a global scale. They undermine our economic competitiveness and cost the taxpayer £2.5 billion every year. Yet government initiatives and national policies still struggle to make a difference. They often fail to bring about change in the areas that struggle the most. 

To better target our most deprived areas and to rectify the literacy problem in a way that will help us all, not just a select few, literacy efforts must start at the local level.

Focused approach

A targeted, local approach means initial literacy efforts can go to the areas that need it most. Certain places are always going to be worse off. But when the government attempts a blanket, one-size-fits-all approach, these deprived areas can fall by the wayside. 

There will be people struggling all over the country, and literacy levels should be improved everywhere. But when looking to make some real strides in the right direction, it’s important we begin in places where the majority struggle. The areas where low literacy is a vicious cycle that traps entire communities. If adults struggle with their literacy and the school system isn’t bridging the gap, then generation after generation will continue the trend.

By focusing our efforts on the most deprived locations, we can start a momentum that will carry the cause forward nationally.

Different needs

Every location will be at a different point with its literacy levels. They’ll need different help and resources to make real progress. What works in Manchester might not help in Swindon. 

So by starting small, we can cater our efforts based on each individual case. When looking to evoke big changes, we want our efforts to be successful and useful. No one wants to waste time and resources on something that will never work. Assuming the entire nation’s literacy problem can be solved with one set of efforts is reductive to the entire cause. 

Collaborative effort

Rectifying the literacy problem will work best if it’s a collaborative effort. By making changes on the local level we can encourage local businesses, charities, and institutions to take responsibility for their part in literacy efforts. It shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of education to rectify our literacy problem. We’re not just talking about students, but our future workforce and leaders. 

Low literacy affects all generations, and businesses have a personal stake in literacy levels as well. A third of businesses are not happy with the skill level of school leavers and are left funding remedial training as a result. It’s important to spread awareness that this is everyone’s issue and distribute the efforts accordingly. By getting more people involved, we’ll solve the problem quicker.

National initiatives and policies have made some progress for our literacy problem. But they still struggle to target the areas of our country that need the most help. The most deprived areas remain a lost cause, and the cycle of low literacy is able to continue. It’s important we approach our literacy problem at a local level. We need efforts that are focused, adaptable, and encourage collaboration. Only then will we start to see the problem reversed in every part of the country.

At Coster Content, we want to do our part for the nation’s literacy. From education to the economy, literacy matters on both local and global scales. So it’s important that where national initiatives fail, we focus our efforts locally. If you want to find out more information, get in touch on 0161 413 8418.

Alia CosterComment