Organisations including the School Library Association (SLA), British Education Suppliers’ Association and The Reading Agency have criticised an Ofsted report into improving literacy for its failure to mention school or public libraries among its recommended actions to raise standards of literacy.
The report, Moving English Forward by Sir Michael Wilshaw, highlights the failure of many schools to encourage reading for pleasure, the “limited and often unimaginative variety of books read in class", and suggests that many teachers "have a very limited understanding of the world of literature, including good-quality contemporary literature".
The report adds that: "In too many schools there is no coherent policy on reading overall; schools put in place numerous programmes to support reading, especially for weak readers, but do not have an overall conception of what makes a good reader."
Tricia Adams, director of the SLA, said: "One of the key findings is that too few schools give thought to a love of reading; surely an indication of encouraging a love of reading in a school is a good library and a qualified librarian?"
Public libraries also have a "critical role to play" in inspiring children to read, said Miranda McKearney, director of The Reading Agency. "We’d like to see library partnerships in every school improvement plan, and headteachers championing joint work—including ensuring every child is a member of their local library," she said.