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Making a case for #GreatSchoolLibraries

Today sees the announcement of a 3 year campaign to ensure that school libraries are providing support for school staff and pupils well into the future. The multi-organisational evidence based campaign is headed by the SLA, CILIP and SLG. The campaign will aim to unite work already done in Scotland with new work in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

The campaign vision is ‘Every child deserves a great school library’ and it has three main aims:

1) Recognition of School Libraries/Librarians in Ofsted Inspection Framework

  1. 2) Creation of a School Library Strategy for England

  2. 3) Specific investment into School Library development

This will be a long running campaign, and momentum will be bolstered by focusing on different stakeholders at different points, and making sure we are speaking the truth, but talking in a way that makes sense to those different groups.

September will see the launch of the first set of materials, which will be for supporters, and then the campaign will take on its first big challenge – evidence collection. Part of the problem with campaigning for school libraries is that there is a lack of data about the current situation – anecdotally we hear things but there hasn’t been any comprehensive survey of them by the government – they aren’t included in the school census which happens every year. And even if they were, questions pertaining to school libraries have to be very explicit about what they mean by a ‘library’. We define it as:

 “A dedicated space outside of a classroom that offers open access to all pupils throughout the school day. The library is a whole-school resource that provides an inclusive space with access to a range of curated resources, both online and physical, to support teaching and learning.”

We are approaching this campaign with all the patience, dedication and passion to fight for the outcomes which we know will help pupils across the nation achieve their best outcomes, and we would love it if you could join us. To register as a supporter, and thereby receive the pack of resources in September, please sign up here: https://www.cilip.org.uk/page/GreatSchoolLibraries

 If you would like to get more involved – by writing a case study, or getting involved as an organisation, please email alison.tarrant[at]sla.org.uk.

To keep abreast of the latest campaign developments check the dedicated website, the SLA website, or follow the hashtag on Twitter - #GreatSchoolLibraries and you can follow the SLA at: [at]uksla.

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