Saturday, 14 July 2012

Are some schools book-free zones? Research please!

On facebook, a parent (Janine Charles) wrote the following comment about her child's school:

" I'm so disappointed to find that her school has only a few books in each classroom and in common with lots of primary schools - no library at all."

OK, here's a challenge to any journalists interested in children's reading, to any of the splendid NGOs working in the field of children and reading:

Can  you please find out what book provision is looking like in schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?

Can you please find out how the books in the school are used?

Can you please find out what percentage of the books in schools are NOT reading scheme books (or what US researchers call 'basal readers')? 

How many real books are there in sample classrooms?

How many real books per pupil are there in school libraries?

How many of these books are being regularly distributed to the children and talked about?

(Please look back at my blog a few days ago:

There is also a good deal of evidence available at the National Literacy Trust.)


PS Janine goes on to say:

" I suppose my point is [what] if schools don't have libraries where would a child [who doesn't] encounter books [go]?  --so school becomes the only place where those literary encounters with other lives, possibilities, imagination and flight are possible."