Catherine McKinnell marked World Book Day during a debate in Parliament on the importance of reading for pleasure and providing children with access to books.

The debate, led by Nickie Aiken, MP for Cities of London and Westminster, highlighted the important work of the World Book Day charity, which aims to give more children, regardless of background, the chance to develop the habit of reading for pleasure, improving their life chances dramatically.

In the debate, Catherine spoke about the importance of making sure children have a strong foundation in reading and writing skills by the time they leave school and outlined Labour’s plan to achieve this. Labour’s plan includes a Curriculum and Assessment Review and the development of an inclusive curriculum so children do not miss out on the subjects they find fun.

Catherine said: “Together, this will ensure that children are able to develop life skills, like better communication skills, essential for their futures.”

Following the debate, Catherine said:

“Reading for pleasure brings so much joy, however, we know that not every child has the same access to books or a safe environment to read. That’s why it is essential that we make reading an activity that can be shared by all children.

Labour’s plan to create an excellent foundation of reading, coupled with the development of a broad curriculum with subjects that children find fun, will not only help to improve standards of reading in schools but also provide the social environment that reading for pleasure can flourish in.”