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Publishers anticipate textbook investment
12.06.12 | Caroline Horn
Publishers are confident that the draft Primary National Curriculum Programmes, released earlier this week, will encourage schools to invest in new textbooks, non-fiction, poetry and reading for pleasure resources when they are introduced in 2014.
The government has only released draft guidelines on English, maths and science so far. Publishers Association director of educational publishing Graham Taylor said the draft guidelines were "welcomed" by publishers as they can now move ahead with development of resources.
He added: “It is vital for publishers to have early sight of Programmes of Study to give resource development, and thereby curriculum reform, the best chance of success."
Rachel Cooke, publishing director for Hachette Children’s Books, said the new programmes enable many opportunities for new trade publishing, including more resources in poetry and phonics for the English programme, and more in-depth teaching on subjects such as evolution and the solar system in science, where schools will also be looking for science biographies.
Cooke said: “Schools have been reluctant to spend on non-fiction resources for the curriculum for the past two years as they have been waiting to see the new National Curriculum, so this should help revive non-fiction library sales.”
Education secretary Michael Gove has also put more emphasis on poetry in the guidelines, including a requirement for children to learn poetry by heart from the age of five.
Macmillan Children’s editorial director Gabby Morgan said: “Many teachers are quite nervous of poetry, so this is a good thing." The company is publishing A First Poetry Book for KS1 children in September. Publisher Janetta Otter-Barry said while bringing more poetry into schools is a good thing: “It does sound a little prescriptive and heavy handed.”