Wirral MP hosts Great School Libraries campaign event with former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen

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07 Jul 2023
Margaret Greenwood MP has hosted an event in parliament on behalf of the Great School Libraries campaign with children’s author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen. The event aimed to highlight the importance of school libraries.  

It was part of a series of activities being led by the Great School Libraries campaign which is calling on UK governments to ensure that schools have access to adequate funding to maintain school library provision.  

The campaign, which is supported by school librarians, head teachers and teaching staff across the UK, is a joint initiative of the School Library Association, The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the CILIP School Libraries Group.   

Evidence suggests that school libraries lead to higher attainment, promote a better quality of life and contribute to the delivery of a well-rounded education.  

However, according to a recent report by the Great School Libraries campaign, 14% of primary schools in the UK do not have a library, while even where provision exists, most primary schools use their library space for other purposes.  

The same report revealed the number of UK secondary schools with a library on site has dropped by 10% since 2019.  

Concerns have been raised that there is significant variation across the UK in terms of school library provision and that this is leading to restricted reading choices for children.  

Speaking after the event in parliament, Margaret Greenwood MP said:  

“It was a pleasure to meet with children's author Michael Rosen and work with representatives of the Great School Libraries campaign to put on this event in parliament.  

“There was a very good turnout which shows that many MPs are keen to support the campaign.  

“Encouraging children to enjoy books from an early age is incredibly important.  

“It is vital too that schools are able to develop a culture of reading for pleasure.  

“I have seen at first hand during visits to Woodchurch C of E Primary School what a real difference a school library can make to the happiness and attainment of children.  

“Work needs to be done urgently across the UK to develop school libraries so that pupils can take advantage of the benefits they can deliver in relation to learning, reading and wellbeing.”  

Children’s author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen said:  

“Every child deserves a great school library with access to quality books, digital resources and the expert support of a dedicated librarian or library staff.   

“Sadly, research shows that children in independent fee-paying schools are still much more likely to have access to a quality library than those in the state sector.”  

“Together, we can transform literacy, learning and life-chances for children across the UK.”  

You can find out more about the Great School Libraries campaign via its website here: www.greatschoollibraries.org.uk/  

It also uses the hashtag #GreatSchoolLibraries on Twitter. 

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