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Literacy news

Nick Gibb: "Every school should have a library"

6 Oct 2010

Minister of State for Schools Nick Gibb has said that he would like to see every school have a library and that teachers should have a deep knowledge of children’s literature. However, the minister acknowledged that under current government policy legislating for such move would be unlikely, and that more advocacy would be needed.

Speaking at a National Literacy Trust fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference Mr Gibb said that he believed “every school should have a library” and that it was vital teachers had a “deep knowledge of children’s literature.” Following a question from a member of the audience on how comprehensive school library provision could become a reality, Nick Gibb replied “I would love to be lobbied on this issue.”

Any move to make school library provision compulsory would go against the current direction of government policy and the minister did point out that it was very unlikely the government would legislate to make school libraries compulsory.

His comments were part of a lively panel debate including Toby Young, journalist and free schools advocate; Miriam Gross, journalist and author of So why can’t they read?; and Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central. Hosted by Starbucks, the event focused on how the new government plans to rise to the literacy challenge.  

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