The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is launching a second investigation into ethnic representation in children’s publishing after receiving funding from Arts Council England.
The organisation is planning on producing a second Reflecting Realities report that shows to what extent black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) characters are represented in children’s books.
The first report, published in July, revealed only 4% of 9,115 children’s books published in the UK in 2017 featured a BAME character. Only 1% of children’s books had a BAME main character and a quarter of the books (99 in total) with a BAME character only featured them in the background.
The second report will look at the same type of books - children’s titles of any genre published for 3-11 year-olds in the UK - but for 2018.
Farrah Serroukh, learning programmes leader at CLPE and manager of the survey, told The Bookseller: “Ideally we would love to see positive shifts in terms of representation. We want to keep the public’s consciousness on this issue and keep the conversation about the state of play, and how it will change over time, going.”
Sarah Crown, director of literature at Arts Council England, said: “We will be interested to see if, over time, the situation presented in the 2017 survey improves, what trends may emerge, or what other action may be needed by the sector to make the changes that are so clearly needed: to ensure that every child is inspired to develop their sense of self, empathy for others, and to explore the world around them through fiction.”
CLPE is inviting publishers to submit information about books released in 2019 by emailing Farrah on firstname.lastname@example.org by 25th January.
The full report will be published in July 2019.