The report of the All-Party Parliamentary Literacy Group Commission in the United Kingdom compiled by the National Literacy Trust report is just out. It is a large document at 28 pages but well worth the time spent browsing it. Certainly it is worth sharing with your Senior Management Team and with your English Department and Literacy teachers whatever school you are in if you have boys (or indeed are the parent of boys).
There is much for librarians to nod and agree with, some things of course we well know already from being at the coalface of literacy, but there are some recommendations we can work with too and it is always great when they are written in a report from an authoritative body.
The Commission’s Recommendations
1. Schools should have access to an evidence framework to inform
effective practice in supporting boys’ reading.
2. Every child should be supported by their school in developing as a
reader. Crucially, schools must promote reading for enjoyment and
involve parents (overtly fathers) in their reading strategies.
3. Every teacher should have an up-to-date knowledge of reading
materials that will appeal to disengaged boys.
4. Parents need access to information on how successful schools are in
supporting boys’ literacy.
5. Libraries should target children (particularly boys) who are least likely
to be supported in their reading at home.
6. Social marketing and behavioural insight need to be deployed
to encourage parents to support the literacy of their children –
7. Every boy should have weekly support from a male reading role model.
8. Parenting initiatives must specifically support literacy and fathers.
9. A cross-Government approach to literacy needs to be developed and
I thought this quote interesting too “Three-quarters of schools are concerned about boys’ reading” and the skeptic in me has the comment in return “then why are you busy chopping libraries of every kind and school librarian hours – surely there is an irony there!” I’m fairly certain that the UK is not dissimilar to us in respect of boys reading. Get this document out in your school and shout out the need for great books for boys. Boys of all ages! And maybe your school will sit up and note that school libraries are vital to getting boys interested in reading and give you a great big enormous budget next year. (Well you can hope!)
Get the report here
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