The BBC reports that children’s authors such as Philip Pullman and Malorie Blackman are calling for a halt to the “shocking decline” in England’s school libraries.
They, along with 148 others, wrote to Education Secretary Justine Greening, asking her to signal her belief in the “value of literacy” for learning. She is being urged to set up a national service and to safeguard the positions of qualified librarians in schools.
Over a quarter of schools have no librarian, a recent survey suggests.
The letter is signed by most of the big names in children’s literature, including former children’s laureate Nick Riddell, Roger McGough, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, and historical writer Lady Antonia Fraser.
It says: “Before they can read to learn, children and young people must first learn to read, to research and successfully to navigate today’s information-rich world.”
The letter adds that Ofsted is considering guidelines for inspectors to consider how schools and colleges access the support of a trained librarian.
The letter highlights how England has lower rates of teenage literacy than other developed nations, according to international rankings.
Read more Pullman’s plea to save school libraries
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