Playwright Sir Tom Stoppard says he believes that technology is the cause of a decline in reading among children.
Sir Tom said that as more technologically advanced products come into homes, children find themselves devoting more time to tinkering with them instead of reading their favourite books, undermining their grasp of English.
The dramatist, famous for stage play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and writer of Oscar-winning romantic comedy Shakespeare In Love, said: “The printed word is no longer as in demand as when I was of the age of pupils, or even at the age of the teachers teaching them.”
Sir Tom insisted that English and the humanities subjects have been adversely affected by the prioritisation of science-based subjects, saying: "I want to support the whole idea of the humanities and teaching the humanities as being something that, even if it can't be quantitatively measured as other subjects, it's as fundamental to all education."
Stoppard's comments come ahead of a summer school for teachers at which he is due to lecture, organised by The Prince’s Teaching Institute.