An eighth of schools do not have designated library space, research from the Great School Libraries campaign has shown.
The survey of 1,750 schools showed that 13% of schools did not have access to a designated library space, and where schools did they were often being used as classrooms or additional meeting rooms rather than for reading.
The report also found that where schools have higher numbers of students eligible for Free School Meals, they are less likely to have a designated library space, with only 56% of schools with half or more pupils on FSMs having library space.
The report highlights the benefits of libraries on students’ reading and writing skills, as well as how they can improve general academic achievement. The report points to concerns that this has occurred at a time when many areas have seen public libraries close amid spending cuts.
Working with the National Literacy Trust and Penguin Random House, last year Schools North East helped secure 15,500 free books for schools across South Tyneside and Middlesbrough with accompanying CPD on engaging primary aged children in reading for pleasure.