We welcome the inclusion of public libraries in updated literacy guidance issued by the Department for Education.
'The reading framework: teaching the foundations of literacy', a new version of which was published this week, provides non-statutory evidence-based guidance for teachers and school leaders on teaching reading up to Year 9.
Developed with contributions from reading and language experts from across the literacy sector and school leaders, the guidance supports teachers and school leaders in evaluating their teaching of early reading and shares best practice for improving early reading.
A total of ten new sections have been added, including ones covering organising and promoting books, developing a reading for pleasure culture and leadership and management of reading.
The updated guidance describes public libraries as "an important resource for teachers, parents and children" and advises schools to develop links with library services. It also includes library use among suggested "core strategies to encourage sustained, voluntary reading" and encourages primary teachers to seek advice from children’s librarians in choosing books to read aloud to children.
The updated guidance comes shortly after Libraries Connected launched its Ready to Learn campaign, which highlights the crucial role libraries play in helping young children settle in and succeed at school.
Sarah Mears MBE, programme manager at Libraries Connected, commented:
Public libraries have a crucial role to play in supporting children’s development as readers and we’re delighted to see that explicitly recognised in the Reading Framework. The updated guidance reflects the growing consensus that public libraries are literacy powerhouses, sparking imagination, curiosity and a love of learning among children of all ages.
To really drive literacy levels we need a fully integrated approach, with libraries, schools, parents and the wider community all working together to promote books and reading. The updated Reading Framework is a welcome step towards that.