Reading Agency calls for library/school partnerships

The Reading Agency has called for greater partnership between libraries and schools, creating an advocacy pack encouraging schools to see the benefit of working together.

The charity is working with the UK Literacy Association and the National Association for the Teaching of English to create the advocacy pack, supported by ex-Ofsted English lead Phil Jarrett. It will focus on the charity's own Summer Reading Challenge, and the improvement in children's literacy when schools are involved in promoting and following-up the scheme.

Miranda McKearney, c.e.o. of The Reading Agency [pictured] said: "I believe the time is right for a new era of partnership working—public libraries’ community reading support should be factored into schools’ reading for pleasure policies, alongside the support of schools library services."

The Summer Reading Challenge aims to get children to read six books during the summer holidays, with thousands of children taking part each year in libraries across the country. The Reading Agency said that when schools promote the scheme in the summer term and follow it up in autumn, take up and completion rise, with a noticeable impact on reading age and enjoyment.

Tim Redgrave, headmaster of Ysgol Esgob Morgan school in Denbighshire Wales, which had 100% completers of the Summer Reading Challenge in 2012, said: “The services and expertise that the library authority offers to a school like ours is invaluable.”