The School Library Commission Report School Libraries: A Plan for Improvement has been published today (15 September 2010). The 26 page report from the National Literacy Trust (NLT) and Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA) is based on the 90+ submissions of evidence, plus further evidence from various stakeholder groups including pupils, teachers, school librarians, head teachers and local authority staff, as well as an expert round table of organisations including CILIP, ASCEL, UKLA and Booktrust as well as SLA. Standing behind all this is also a huge piece of research based on a survey of 17,000 pupils.
There are 32 recommendations that will be presented to government today, with the strong voice coming both from the Commissioners and from the pupils that school libraries do something special, and that there is no evidence that what a good school library delivers can be delivered in any other way! The report underlines what previous reports (Ofsted 2006) have emphasized - that support from the head and senior managers is vital, but then takes it one step further by recommending high level strategic advocacy to ensure consistency of good practice across all schools and all areas.
The report will take some time to digest, but will then form the basis of further partnership work to embed school libraries, librarians and school library services into the newly forming Coalition Government's education policy. The SLA welcomes the report and recommendations and joins with the commission in its call to the Department for Education to 'wholeheartedly endorse the role of school libraries and school library services in supporting the new government's renewed commitment to literacy.'
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