"The Conservatives have set out plans which they say will ensure children can read by the age of sixteen."Actually they said six, not sixteen. I wonder how that would go down in Japan, where the curriculum covers the most basic 2000 kanji (not enough for true reading fluency by any means) by the age of about 16. Jules's boss (who has several children) mixed disbelief and astonishment when Jules mentioned some time ago that she could read before she went to school - "that's not normal, is it?"
Of course there are different interpretations of what it means to be able to read. I wouldn't expect a British 6 year old to be able to handle the more sophisticated newspapers or novels. But I find it hard to understand a world in which secondary school pupils also cannot read these things!