Hans Christian Andersen Award Blog

   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Owning books boosts children?s literacy and mental wellbeing

The National Literacy Trust has released new research which shows that the more books a child owns, the more likely they are to do well at school and be happy with their lives.

To get books into the hands of the children who need them the most this Christmas, the charity has launched a festive book giveaway to give parents the chance to win one of 20 different titles for their child: wordsforlife.org.uk/festive-fun/winter-book-giveaway.



   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Development and Discussion: Why do children need great ...

Why do children need great school libraries?

In this Development and Discussion blog the National Literacy Trust’s Head of Research Christina Clark explains how the charity’s latest research demonstrates the value of school libraries on children’s lives.

It is an undisputed fact that school libraries play a crucial role in supporting children and young people to acquire the skills they need and deserve for the future. Indeed, previous research has highlighted the importance of school libraries, not just for children and young people’s reading and writing skills, but also for their general academic attainment, wider learning skills, their motivation and attitudes towards reading, and other personal and interpersonal outcomes, such as self-esteem and feelings of success.

While school libraries are clearly important for the reasons outlined above and more, there is a lack of data on school libraries in the UK, which means that nobody has a clear idea of the state of provision, potentially contributing to educational inequality. In 2018, the Great School Libraries campaign was launched with the aim to bring school libraries and librarians to every school in the UK and to gather data on the quality and quantity of school libraries that already exist.

A benchmarking survey will be conducted across the UK in early 2019, which will tell us how many schools have a school library, in its many guises, and much more. However, that survey will not provide information on the pupils' experience and use of school libraries, which is why we thought that it might be interesting to see what children and young people who participated in our latest annual literacy survey that we conducted in November 2017 and January 2018 had to say about school libraries.

So, how many children and young people say that they use the school library? Of the 45,523 children and young people who answered our questions on school library use, nearly 2 in 3 (63.2%) told us that they use their school library, while nearly 1 in 3 (32.9%) told us they don’t. 3.9% of children and young people we surveyed told us that they don’t have a school library.

Overall, school library use decreased slightly over the last couple of years, with 67.1% of children and young people in 2016 telling us that they used the school library.

Our data tells us how many pupils use the school library - and also who is more likely to use it. For example, more girls than boys say that they use their school library (68.5% vs. 63.5%). Similarly, more pupils who receive free school meals, our proxy of socioeconomic background, use their school library compared with their more advantaged peers (69.1% vs. 64.7%).

However, the biggest difference in school library use is seen across age groups, where over twice as many pupils aged 8 to 11 as those aged 14 to 16 say that they use their school library (81.9% vs. 37.3%).  We also found geographical variation in school library use with those from the  North West of England (52.4%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (57.6%) being least likely to use the school library and those from Greater London (75.2%), the West Midlands (72.2%) and the South West (71.5%) being most likely to use the library.

Why do children and young people use, or don’t use, their school library? Read the full blog post below to find out. 

DandD_School libraries 2018 blog

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   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Welcome to the SLA Website: Christmas closure

The SLA office will close at 4pm on Thursday 20th December and will not open again until 8am Wednesday 2nd January. During this time emails and phone messages will not be monitored. We hope you all have a lovely festive period, whatever your plans. 

More Details...



   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

There?s a Yeti in the Playground: mini winter challenge

Just incase the story starters from Tommy Donbavand aren't enough to keep pupils and young ones busy over the festive period (see blog post on on 12th Dec titled 'End of Term') don't forget The Reading Agency run a mini Winter Challenge - this year the focus book is "There’s a Yeti in the Playground". To get involved have a look at their website and while you're there you can make use of the Book Sorter to come up with suggestions of new reading material. 



   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Excelsior Award Shortlists announced

The Excelsior Award - the nationwide book award for graphic novels and manga has announced the shortlists for 2019 with four separate categories for ages 9 -18, Why not get reading and join in, the awards are great at encouraging your students to explore new graphic novels and they are now Key Stage ranged. 



   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Bringing it Alive! Storytelling to boost Literacy and ...

Our course Bringing it Alive! Storytelling to boost Literacy and Reading for Pleasure, run by Alec Williams , will be held at Library Services for Education, Clyde Crescent, Whaddon, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 5QH on 12 February 2019.

Pupils need to listen to a wide range of stories but are they getting the most from storytelling in your school? This lively course will make sure that your stories will both motivate pupils to read and show them the pleasure they can get from it. Covering picture books and easy-to-learn stories from memory for all primary-aged children, this course will build confidence and give fresh inspiration for every teacher.

The closing date is 28 January 2019. Bookings received by 15 January 2019 are eligible for a £15 discount making the cost of the full days training just £90 for SLA members, £120 for delegates from Gloucestershire Library Services for Education subscribing schools and £150 for all others. Second place delegate discounts are also available. 

Key Audience: primary school teachers and support staff

Feedback from previous course: “Your course was a real confidence boost for us, as well as just plain fun – so thank you very much.  Your notes and recommendations too will be really useful.”

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   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Job Vacancies, Learning Support Assistant: Claires Court, ...


Claires Court

Learning Support Assistant

We are seeking to appoint a highly committed and self-motivated Learning Support Assistant, with the responsibility of running the school's library at Junior Boys.

The successful candidate will work under the guidance of the Head of English and Class Teacher to support children both within the classroom and with their reading programmes. The ideal candidate will have a passion and knowledge of children's literature, with the ability to manage and promote the school library.

This is a full-time post working Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm, when the School is in session.

To be successful in this role, you must be:

  • Experienced working with young people, in a classroom setting, ideally in a similar role and age range  
  • Educated to a good standard: English and Maths GCSE A-C grade
  • Highly organised and have good IT skills, particularly in using management systems
  • Able to encourage a love for reading to our pupils
  • An enthusiastic team player, with the ability to adapt to a variety of situations 
  • Engaged with the School's ethos, thinking creatively and reflectively within an open, honest and hardworking team. 

Above all you must want the very best for our pupils and be prepared to put their needs first. You recognise the importance of educating the whole child within a broad curricular and co-curricular programme, and of achieving high standards. In return we offer a positive working environment, with supportive colleagues and regular opportunities for professional development and training.

To apply, please download an application form from our website https://www.clairescourt.com/jobs

 Please post completed forms to the following address:
HR Department
Claires Court Schools Ltd
1 College Avenue

Alternatively, completed forms may be emailed to recruitment[at]clairescourt.com (no agencies, please).

Applications must be received by 12:00pm on Monday 14 January 2019. Please apply early as applications will be considered upon receipt; we reserve the right to interview/appoint prior to the closing date.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and applicants must be willing to undergo Child Protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service.  We are an equal opportunities employer. 

LSA Application Pack

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   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Oxford University Advent calendar of useful resources

Although we're posting a bit late, Oxford University had made this December calendar of useful free resources and courses available to schools, so if you have some free time in the next week do explore.   



   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award finalists

Many congratulations to the outstanding finalists shortlisted for the 2019 PLAA

All young people who give their time to help support the library in their school deserve a massive THANK YOU and it was very difficult to cut down the list of nominees.




   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Job Vacancies, Perse School, Librarian: The Perse School, ...


The Perse School, Cambridge
Librarian (full-time, term time)

The Perse is one of the country's leading co-educational independent day schools, providing a high quality education to pupils aged 3 – 18 in Cambridge. 

We have an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated Librarian with a strong interest in children's literature and experience of managing a library, ideally within an educational setting.

The Librarian will be responsible for the development, management, and promotion of the school library as an essential learning environment for all students and staff. The Librarian plays a key role in providing individualised service, encouraging reading for pleasure, facilitating independent learning and research, promoting intellectual curiosity and scholarship and supporting teaching and learning requirements throughout the school.

Further details, including a full job description and online application form can be obtained from our website:

Closing date: 16 January 2019 at midday.

Job Specification, Librarian 2019

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   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Job Vacancies, Head of Library Services: Queen Elizabeth's ...


Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet 
Head of Library Services
Location: North London (High Barnet)

One of the country's leading academic schools, Queen Elizabeth's Barnet blends a distinctive heritage and proud traditions with an innovative, forward-looking approach to providing a state education like no other to 1,250 boys aged 11-18. 

The School is seeking to appoint a Head of Library Services to lead the well-resourced and heavily-used Queen's Library, located in the heart of the campus. The successful candidate will work with senior staff to promote reading and to support teaching and learning. There will also be an opportunity to develop a strategy for the enhancement of the School's archive.

Previous experience of working in a school-setting may be an advantage, but is not an essential requirement.

During term-time the Head of Library Services will work from 8am to 5pm (with appropriate breaks); s/he will not need to be on site during the school's holidays apart from 10 days during the summer. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience within the range of £28-£33K p.a.

Further details and an application form are available on the School's website:  http://www.qebarnet.co.uk/staff_vacancies

Deadline is Monday 28th January 2019.

Application Form for Support Staff Posts

Word document, 559 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later)


Candidate brief - Head of Library Services January 2019

PDF file, 3 MB (Requires Adobe Reader)


Queen Elizabeth's is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the Disclosure & Barring Service. We are an equal opportunities employer.

More Details...



   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Fulbright Award for study abroad

An exciting opportunity for British primary and secondary school teachers and education professionals.

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Programme brings British teachers and education professionals to the United States for a semester to pursue individual or group projects, audit courses for professional development at a host US university, and observe and share their expertise with teachers and students at the university as well as local primary and/or secondary schools.

The award includes:

·                                Travel costs (international and some domestic)

·                                Accommodation, maintenance allowance, and meal stipend

·                                Opportunity to participate an End of Program workshop in Washington DC

·                                Sickness and accident coverage

·                                Visa guidance

·                                Pre-departure support

·                                Support in the USA

·                                Access to a global alumninetwork of collaborative engagement and cultural diplomacy, with over 300,000 academically and professionally accomplished members.

The competition is now open - deadline for applications is 25th February 2019.





   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Training Course - Young People Reading through Libraries

 Teen Dream – Getting Young People Reading through Libraries

15th February 2019 – Beeston Library – 9.30am – 4pm

Libraries and Information, East Midlands

Teen Dream - booking form

Word document, 63 kB

Requires Microsoft Word 2007 or later



An exciting day allowing people to exchange information about how to encourage teenagers in their leisure reading.

Cost - £30 members/£50 non-members

(tip – cheaper to become member for many benefits, and then book –see booking form)


‘The Bookpushers Project’ Cathy Petersen – Derbyshire County

‘The StorySmash Project’ James Hunter – Nottingham City

 ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ Amy McKay – Corby Business Academy

‘Raising Attainment in Reading’ Alison Edwards – Firth Park Academy

 ‘Reading Rangers and beyond’ Lynn Goodman – Northampton College

 ‘Funding through the Arts Council’ Peter Stones – Arts Council



   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Chris Riddell awarded OBE

“Everyone associated with The School Library Association would like to congratulate Chris Riddell on being awarded an OBE in the 2019 New Year Honours List in recognition of his illustration and charity work.

Chris’ distinctive drawings magically appear on the page in front of you, even whilst he is fully engaged talking and listening to a rapt audience.

As well as having been the 2015-2017 UK Children’s Laureate, Chris is a children’s illustrator, writer and political cartoonist for The Observer. He has won three Kate Greenaway Medals, the British librarian’s annual award for the best-illustrated children’s book.

The SLA are also immensely lucky to have Chris as a very supportive President from 2017 – 2020.

Chris Riddell

Chris said of his honour: “I feel immensely proud to be recognised in this way and rather humbled when I think about the truly important job done by teachers, librarians and my fellow writers and illustrators. We want to put books into the hands of children so they can discover the great gift that is reading for pleasure. In these uncertain times we need great children's books more than ever!”



   16/01/2019 - 05:25 AM

Reading for Pleasure Awards

Egmont Publishing in partnership with The Open University and UK Literacy Association, aim to recognise teachers and schools whose practices make a real difference to children’s RfP.

After a highly successful launch last year, there will again be three award categories: Early Career teacher, Experienced teacher, and a Whole School award. The winner of each category will receive Egmont books to the value of £250 for their school, and there are 20 copies of Help Your Child Love Reading by Alison David to be won.  

The deadline for entries is Monday 21st January, and the winners will be announced on 16th March at the OU/UKLA Reading for Pleasure Conference in London.

Nominate yourself or a colleague here