Three Rs on the decline as a quarter of adults have a

first_imgThe traditional ‘three Rs’ are on the decline in England, analysis has revealed, with over a quarter of adults having literacy levels so low that they may struggle to read a bus timetable or a wage slip.Five million adults lack basic reading, writing and numeracy skills required in everyday life and to carry out a job, research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found.According to government figures, 28 per cent of adults have a standard of literacy of level 1 or below, the equivalent of GCSE grades D-G. For numeracy, 29 per cent of adults scored the level 1 or below. Some people have never reached a good level of literacy and numeracyCredit:Alamy Child writing Stephen Evans, Deputy Chief Executive at Learning & Work Institute, said: “Everyone needs a set of basics for life and work in modern Britain. It’s shocking that so many people lack these core capabilities.”This holds back people’s life chances, businesses future success, and national prosperity.” These shocking figures show millions of adults are being left behind in the modern economyKatie Schmuecker, JRF Which countries have the best literacy and numeracy rates? https://t.co/ukFBWZtY7i #education #edchat pic.twitter.com/eWihchyAHB— World Economic Forum (@wef) August 28, 2016 Around one in 20 adults have the literacy or numeracy levels of a five-year-old, meaning they would struggle just to write a short message or to select a floor number in a lift.England is the only country in the OECD where the average literacy score for the youngest age group (16-18 years old) is lower than that of the oldest age group (55 to 65 years old), the  Foundation said.23 per cent of 16 to 18 year-olds are at literacy level one or below, compared to 19 per cent of 55 to 65 year-olds. For numeracy, 29 per cent of 16 to 18 year-olds are at level 1 or below, compared to 26 per cent of the older age group. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. In other countries, young people significantly outperform their older counterparts, but the trend is the opposite in England. For the oldest age group in the study, England is third in the international rankings for literacy, while for the youngest age group (16-18) it is 18th.Katie Schmuecker, Head of Policy at JRF, said: “In a prosperous country like Britain, everyone should have the basic skills they need to participate in society and build a career.“But these shocking figures show millions of adults are being left behind in the modern economy, holding back their potential and the productivity of our businesses suffering as a result.”last_img read more