THE Keighley constituency - which includes Ilkley - is in the top 40 per cent of areas across the country identified as needing support due to "entrenched" literacy problems, according to a reading charity.

The National Literacy Trust has released a map of 'literacy vulnerability', highlighting which areas of England need the most support to tackle poor reading skills in all age groups.

The survey – conducted with Experian – reveals that out of 533 parliamentary constituencies across the country, Keighley is 203rd.

Keighley and Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins this week urged parents to be as supportive as possible in helping their children with literacy.

"One of my proudest moments as leader of Bradford Council was launching a district-wide campaign to improve numeracy and literacy standards," he said.

"The central plank of this was encouraging parents to take a more hands-on role in their children's education by assisting with homework, ensuring there was a quiet place with a desk for them to do it and speak good English at home.

"Our local teachers do a remarkable job in the classroom and we owe them a great debt, but parents can also have a very positive influence and I would urge them to be as proactive and supportive as possible outside school hours."

In the survey, the Shipley constituency – which includes Cullingworth and Denholme – is 333rd.

All three Bradford constituencies are in the top 15 per cent – Bradford East 36th, Bradford South 43rd and Bradford West 69th.

The area deemed most in need of support is Middlesbrough, followed by Barking and Hackney. Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough is fifth and Leeds Central comes 13th.

Rather than being just based on academic results, the survey looked at income and employment levels as well as education performance.

The trust, which has run a literacy hub in Bradford since 2014, says it will now use the data to decide how best to focus its efforts.

It has already organised numerous events and programmes to try to boost reading in areas of the district, especially among children. These include pushing for dads to read to their children more, and work in the district’s schools.

Jason Vit, literacy hubs manager at the trust, said: “We work in areas across the UK like Bradford where literacy problems are entrenched, intergenerational and are having a serious impact on people’s lives.

“Tackling deep-rooted literacy issues takes time and depends on innovative partnerships between all parts of the community – including local authorities, libraries, sporting and cultural organisations and faith and voluntary community groups, as well as businesses and health and education organisations.

“Our work has already had a significant impact since we began operating in Bradford in 2014, increasing early years development scores and encouraging 53 per cent of the district’s young people aged eight to 16 to write daily outside of school.

“We’ll use this data to shape our work in Bradford going forward, focusing on areas that need literacy support the most.”