27 July 2012 Share
The knowledge, enthusiasm and professional experience of school library staff continues to underpin pupils’ achievements throughout their school careers
The knowledge, enthusiasm and professional experience of school library staff continues to underpin pupils’ achievements throughout their school careers, according to our snapshot survey of more than 1,000 school libraries.
Our report outlines the key entitlements that a school library can fulfil for children and young people. However, the report is realistic about the obstacles to school libraries achieving these goals, not least a decline in budgets in real terms. As a general rule the larger schools have the larger budgets, but one school surveyed with more than 2,000 pupils only has £2 per pupil to spend, and one academy of more than 1,500 pupils only spends 31p per pupil on library budget, while another spends 62p.
In the conclusion to the report I state: “The SLA is committed to supporting everyone involved with school libraries, promoting high quality reading and learning opportunities for all. The results of this survey seem to indicate that there is less and less of a high quality service being provided for our students. Without the skills and pleasures that reading and researching can give us we will have a cohort of students lacking essential life and work skills.”
The SLA recommends the following steps to ensure that all schools have equal access to the benefits of school libraries, while recognising that the solution for each school will be different: