Today, the National Literacy Trust supported by Penguin Random House launched their Primary School Library Review. This project will look the provision and impact of primary school libraries, pre, during and post COVID-19, and will seek to imagine what the future of primary school libraries could look like. To understand the current provision within primary school libraries and make recommendations to government, the Primary School Library Review is first holding a call for evidence to gather views on this important topic from across the sector.
Primary school libraries are an important part of the learning environment of pupils, providing not only access to a diverse range of books and resources but also to a quiet and safe place to read. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, school libraries were under pressure, with 1 in 10 primary and secondary schools in the UK not having a library at all. With primary school libraries likely to have an important role to play in the academic recovery from COVID-19, it is now more important than ever to look at the current provision and make recommendations for the future.
Jonathan Douglas CBE, CEO of the National Literacy Trust said: “We are proud to be launching this important piece of work and are looking forward to seeing the submissions. This is an opportunity for the sector and families to come together to review what a good primary school library provision would look like and what steps are needed to get there.
“Primary school libraries are a key element in the academic recovery of children following the three national lockdowns. There is no greater time to be collating evidence of their fundamental importance as we try and support the youngest generation’s learning and literacy.”
Francesca Dow, Managing Director of Penguin Random House Children’s said: “Every child should have the opportunity to discover the magic of reading in school, and yet we know that library provision in primary schools is patchy – despite so many teachers and librarians’ best efforts. By funding this vital review of the role of primary school libraries, we hope to show how important libraries and reading for pleasure will be to our post-COVID national recovery.”
The call for evidence is targeted at librarians, teachers, schools, organisations and charities within the education space and organisations working with libraries and will be open until June 25th. The call for evidence was developed with a steering group of; Penguin Random House, BookTrust, CILIP, The Reading Agency, CLPE, Open University, School Libraries Group, and the School Library Association. You can see the full scope and submit your evidence here.