We have updated our cookie policy to reflect recent changes in the UK/EU law concerning the use of cookies and tracking technologies. We use cookies on this website (including the page you are currently viewing) to ensure that the site functions smoothly and to help us understand how we can improve it. If you continue without changing your settings, you are agreeing to receive all cookies from the SLA website.

or view our cookie policy to find out more

Show Menu | Show Sidebar (Login/Search)


School Libraries in 2012 - the SLA Survey

SLA Coloured LogoThe 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:

  • Government support for trained school librarians in secondary schools as a first step towards trained librarians in all schools
  • Ofsted inspection of the role of school libraries in schools reading for pleasure and literacy policies
  • Ofsted inspection of the library role in whole school curriculum support
  • Schools Library Services offering more Librarian-based advice and support services into Primary Schools to support staff there
  • Exploration of co-location and facility sharing options between public and school libraries, groups of schools or clusters

School Libraries In 2012

PDF file, 198 kB

Requires Adobe Reader


The full report is available to download, as well as the press release and the summary report of the data.

SLA School Libraries Survey PR

PDF file, 213 kB

Requires Adobe Reader


Full Summary Report

PDF file, 334 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

Error no. 216 occurred.