The results suggest that learning to read at an early age has ramifications far beyond simple literacy.

London - Bedtime stories are dying out as children’s attention spans shrink, a survey claims.

A declining ability to concentrate is threatening children’s enjoyment of reading, according to the poll of teachers and parents.

They say that today’s youngsters are more interested in screen-based activities such as computer games, TV and the internet.

One in four parents of young children admit they never read a bedtime story or only do so once every six months.

Only half of parents said they read to their children every day.

Some 77 percent of teachers said children’s attention spans were shorter than ever before.

Almost all teachers said parents needed to do more to encourage reading at home. The survey of 410 English teachers and 2,000 parents of children aged two to 11, found that pupils are spending three times as much time in front of screens as they do reading.

Research earlier this year found that a generation of children who have grown up with video games and the internet believe reading is not “cool”.

The latest findings were released by publishing giant Pearson, which is running an ‘Enjoy Reading’ campaign.

Its president, Rod Bristow, said: “Study after study has shown that reading for pleasure is a key indicator of future success for children, but demands on children’s attention and the difficulty of inspiring reluctant readers mean many are missing out.” - Daily Mail