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  • Writer's pictureTony

Children are reading later

The way and the speed in which children are learning is changing: but few are talking about it.

Given the changes that are happening in our society and which affect children from the earliest days, it is not surprising that their responses towards reading, learning, and indeed education are changing.

To give but one example, there has been an eight per cent rise in health visitors’ reports of children with delayed language in the last year, according to the Institute of Health Visiting.

Indeed the Institute reported that in 2016 72% of health visitors said they had found an increase in the number of children with delayed speech and communication development.

This means that the children are likely to use simpler sentences and fewer words and will struggle to understand instructions that they might in the past have been expected to grasp. This figure of 72% finding compares with 64% in 2015.

Elsewhere a study last month found that more than half of the people working with children and young people have received little or no input in their initial training programme relating to speech, language and communication development - which may well explain part of the problem.

Now these figures are worrying enough, but in research which recently carried for one of our clients out it was discovered that worries about a significant lack of willingness among students to engage in reading was sweeping not just schools but also into universities.

Indeed in the higher education sector it was discovered that many students who were studying for degrees which required a considerable amount of reading (degrees in subjects such as history, for example) were simply not in the habit of reading books of any kind and were resistant to the idea.

The study we undertook revealed research in a number of universities which pointed to a total change in attitude towards book reading across the generation that has grown up with the internet - a change that is affecting schools as well.

Studies like that from the Institute of Health Visiting, and our own study which pulled together other areas of work, can be very relevant as a basis for the way in which advertisements and promotions can be written for teachers.

Where it is apparent that the company writing to the teachers is fully aware of current trends and concerns, and where the company is also able to offer new insights and findings from studies that the teacher will not have seen before, then the chances of a bond between the teacher and the company are greater.

The company is now seen not just as a supplier trying to push its books, equipment, IT facilities etc, but rather as an organisation in the know and able to offer new insights. This inevitably draws the teacher closer to the company and its products.

But although such research findings are already being published, they are not making the mainstream news. As a result many teachers may miss the findings and not appreciate how one particular product is very much in keeping with current concerns. works with a number of companies in finding new ways to approach their advertising in order to make sure that teachers see them as the key player in the market. Our aim is to ensure that their products and services are not just in tune with the curriculum, but also with the changing responses of pupils and students to the fundamentals of learning.

Indeed where a company offers a free report to teachers relating to a key issue that is of interest to the teachers as part of its advertising, it is then able to build a database of interested teachers who can be emailed regularly and eventually persuaded to purchase the goods and services on offer.

This doesn’t mean that advertising to bring in immediate sales should not be undertaken. But it does emphasise the fact that a combination of adverts that look for immediate sales with advertisements that take a longer approach, is by far the best way to generate continuing success in selling to schools. offers this sort of approach through its Velocity programme which combines the creating of adverts with such activities as offering free reports, tracking who visits the website, building a list of interested teachers etc.

There are more details in our article The Seven Ways You Can Double Sales

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