School libraries ‘face cuts or closure’

Children’s literacy is at risk as more schools are turning their libraries into classrooms, a teaching union warned today.

Other school libraries are too small and do not have enough computers for all children to use, according to a survey of teachers.
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More than one in five school staff said their school library budget has been cut by at least 40 per cent since 2010.
The report, by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, called for Ofsted inspectors to report on the state of the library in each school they visit.
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL, said some schools have fantastic libraries. But she added: “We are also hearing alarming stories of schools cutting library hours and staff, or turning their libraries into classrooms and binning their books.
“This is particularly worrying because reading for pleasure develops children’s literacy, educational attainment and ultimately their chances in life. 
“Getting rid of school libraries also risks increasing inequalities and further disadvantaging the most deprived children who are less likely to have access to books or computers at home and will have less access to public libraries since so many are closing.”

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