School Libraries

Department for Education written question – answered on 28th July 2017.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect to publish their care leaver covenant.

Photo of Lord Bird Lord Bird Crossbench

Her Majesty's Government how many, and what proportion of, schools in the UK have a library; and how they assess the quality of such libraries and their staff.

Photo of Lord Bird Lord Bird Crossbench

Her Majesty's Government whether they will ensure that every school has an adequate library with qualified staff.

Photo of Lord Bird Lord Bird Crossbench

Her Majesty's Government how many, and what proportion of, schools in the UK have a library; and how they assess the quality of such libraries and their staff.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

School libraries play an important role in encouraging pupils to read for pleasure. We believe that it should be for schools to decide whether to provide and maintain a library service for their pupils.

Head teachers do recognise the role libraries can play in improving young people’s literacy, and ensure that suitable library facilities are provided. It is also up to schools to decide how they run their library. While many head teachers, especially those in secondary schools, choose to employ a qualified librarian, this is not a statutory requirement.

We do not collect data on school library provision. However, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) indicated in 2011 that 92% of pupils in Year 5 in England were attending a school where there was a library. This was above the international average of 86%.

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