To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the call by the Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell, for there to be a statutory requirement for each school to provide a library.
9 September 2019
This answer is a correction from the original answer.
In August 2019, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister announced a £14 billion increase in investment for schools across England over the next three years. The department welcomes the Children’s Laureate’s commitment to these issues and publication of her ‘reading rights’, which aligns with the government’s commitment to raising literacy standards.
The National Curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils develop the habit of reading widely and often, becoming independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read for pleasure and for information. Reading aloud is a part of this, and teachers are encouraged to read poetry, stories and non-fiction to younger pupils, as well as longer books to older pupils. The National Curriculum also contains guidance for teachers setting out that pupils should have opportunities to exercise choice in selecting books.
It is for individual schools to decide whether to provide and maintain a library service for their pupils. Many head teachers recognise the important role school libraries play in improving literacy and encouraging pupils to read for pleasure and ensure that suitable library facilities are provided.
It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.