Are low levels of book spending in primary schools jeopardizing the National Literacy Strategy?

Hurd, Steve; Dixon, Malcolm and Oldham, Joanna (2006). Are low levels of book spending in primary schools jeopardizing the National Literacy Strategy? Curriculum Journal, 17(1) pp. 73–88.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09585170600682624

Abstract

When the National Literacy Strategy was introduced into English primary schools it aimed, among other things, to raise standards of reading and, in so doing, to improve children’s ability to use textual sources to enhance their wider learning and enjoyment. We propose that success in achieving these is likely to be affected by the way in which school resources are allocated between staffing and learning resources, in particular books and other text-based media. Consequently, this article investigates school policies towards book provision. Using evidence from inspections of 6150 primary schools, questionnaire returns from head teachers in 540 primary schools and individual interviews with primary teachers, we argue that book provision is a significant factor in the success of a literacy strategy. The findings also indicate, more widely, that appropriate decisions on the allocation of school resources are an important component of curriculum policy.

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