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Spending on books gets best results

Researchers analysing the data collected by Ofsted from 6,000 schools have found that buying books has more effect on English, maths and science test results for 11 year olds than spending on technology, or even teachers.

Average test scores for KS2 pupils in schools which spent £100 per pupil on books rose by 1.5%. The equivalent spending on technology had a smaller effect.

The data was collected from almost one third of primary schools in England, as well as a survey of 540 headteachers, and analysed by a team from The Open University, Liverpool John Moores and Liverpool Hope universities.

This echoes international research which, over the last two decades, has effectively demonstrated that the spending on books, the use of effective and experienced school librarians and the collaboration of librarians and teachers are three elements which have a positive impact on pupil's learning outcomes.

The research was reported in The Curriculum Journal, vol 17 no. 1, March 2006 and in The Times Educational Supplement 19th May 2006. See also TES online.

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