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Govt reading initiatives "impacting" sales
24.10.11 | Caroline Horn
The Government emphasis on reading for pleasure could be behind an uplift in sales to school libraries, claims bookseller Marilyn Brocklehurst of the Norfolk Children's Book Centre.
She said: "The pronouncements by the government about reading for pleasure are having an impact; schools are asking us for support to develop their libraries. Teachers who care about reading now have a mandate to sort out the school library."
Speaking last week, schools minister Nick Gibb said: "As well as mastering the basic skill of decoding, we want to encourage children to experience the joy of reading and develop a lifelong love of books." The government will be announcing its policies to promote reading for pleasure "in due course", he added.
Joy Court, learning resources manager in Coventry, said: "We are definitely seeing reading as a high priority for schools, certainly in Coventry. Some schools that chose not to buy into our School Library Service this financial year have been getting in touch because they are worried about reading standards."
The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education has had a record number of individual schools applying for its Power of Reading programme, which supports reading for pleasure in the classroom.
Kate Agnew of the Muswell Hill Children's Bookshop added: "We are now seeing parents getting involved with schools and reading. They are visiting the bookshop with teachers, as part of PTA initiatives, to ask for help with reading materials."
Among other government reading initiatives are a reading test for six-year-olds and a new inspection framework for Ofsted, which includes a facility for Ofsted inspectors to listen to pupils reading aloud to check their rate of progress.