A new Ofsted report into the teaching of English, "Excellence in English", has highlighted schools' investment in books, home reading, book borrowing from the school library and events such as book fairs and storytelling events as instrumental in helping children develop as "keen readers".
The report's author studied 20 schools that were trying to raise standards of English. It concluded that a rise in pupils' performance in English at a number of the schools included in the report "reflects the impact of a popular library, lots of reading by teachers, and the provision of good quality, up-to-date texts to stimulate pupils". The report also found that, where provision is outstanding, boys fare as well as girls in English.
The Ofsted report comes at a time when many schools are closing their school libraries. Alan Gibbons, who heads the Campaign for the Book, warned that he expected more school library closures to be announced over the summer. "There has been a rash of them and there's no doubt that there are more to come," he said.
A spokesman for Ofsted confirmed that Ofsted inspectors are not required to report on libraries as part of their schools inspections, and that that position was unlikely to change.