A new heart-breaking statistic: 1 in 7 Primary Schools lacks library provision...
Nobody can deny the importance of reading for young people. Literacy affects all aspects of life. Providing students with library spaces and resources gives them a dedicated area where they are encouraged to read for pleasure. Having a library emphasises not just the importance of reading but the joys of reading too! Schools can kit their library out with soft furnishings like beanbags or decorations like colourful bunting to create a cosy, inviting space where children's imaginations can flow freely as they relax and enjoy a story.
At Cabins for Schools, we were shocked and disappointed by the results of a recent report conducted by the charity called ‘Read for Good’. They found that 1 in 7 Primary Schools ‘Lacks Library Provision’. In fact, 750,000 children have NO access to any form of library space. This is an alarming number of young people who are unfortunately unable to access a reading space on school grounds, who aren't being encouraged to read for pleasure while expanding their vocabulary and developing their literacy skills.
Typically, young people from less affluent areas or less affluent families may have fewer (or possibly no) books at home to read. This can set them at a disadvantage to other children who are able to access reading materials at home. Schools have the power to tackle this, to provide designated reading spaces and libraries on school grounds so that all of their pupils have equal access to books. In fact, Books2all argue that: 'there’s no doubt that school libraries reduce educational inequality. They give all children equal access to the same breadth of reading material, regardless of how many books they have at home, and are crucial for supporting children who struggle to get the help they need outside the classroom.'
Furthermore, SEN Magazine states that: ‘School libraries can vary considerably in quality and accessibility. The report looked at primary schools in Gloucestershire and found that there were often books in bags on the floor, or in boxes and that many of the books were outdated and inaccurate.’ So, not only do 1 in 7 Primary schools not have library provisions, but a number of those that do actually lack the necessary quality that pupils deserve and need. It could be that many of those libraries do not resemble the image we might conjure of a school library at all, possibly discouraging children from reading for pleasure, rather than encouraging them.
The reports don’t stop there. Twinkl published an article which engages with research conducted by Great School Libraries. It states: 'school library provision has fallen in the last 3 years. The number of secondary schools with school libraries has fallen since 2019.' This sadly shows that across the board, both primary schools and secondary schools are suffering from a lack of library provisions for their pupils. This is deeply concerning. Providing quality library provisions and resources is paramount for students’ education and attainment. Twinkl advocates for providing library spaces, stating: ‘Reading is powerful for children. Research shows that children who read for pleasure develop a wider vocabulary, deepen their comprehension and even boost their cognitive skills.’
At Cabins for Schools, we believe that all students should have (equal) access to quality library provisions. Interestingly, the aforementioned report reveals that 85% of schools without a library said they lacked space for one. With Cabins for Schools, the issue of space is no more! We take great pride in designing and installing additional builds onto existing school grounds. Our buildings are detached from your main school build and can be designed to any size, tailored to your requirements, to take that unused corner of the playground to new and exciting heights.
We were overjoyed to work with Morven Park School to create the library space of dreams! Now, their pupils have access to a bright, modern and spacious build with books galore. Morven Park School chose an 8m x 4m hybrid cedar building for their students. As you can see from the photographs, they filled their library space with shelf upon shelf of books, as well as cosy furniture items like their mushroom stools, creating an inviting environment which encourages students to sit down and enjoy their reading time. It’s a great spot for children who don’t enjoy the busy playground or are keen to immerse themselves in the world of fiction.
A creative, designated reading space allows students to enjoy books in a relaxed and quiet setting. They can physically relax and tune their attention and focus on reading and learning, aiding attainment levels.
We don’t just offer library buildings like these. We also create log cabin libraries in larger sizes or reading nooks in smaller cabins, depending on your schools’ requirements. A log cabin will fit neatly into the corner of the playground or school field. We can install our log cabins with solar pipe domes to let the natural light flood in, perfect for reading. Being additional outdoor builds, pupils will benefit from fresh air and the surrounding nature. These factors are perfect not just for getting stuck in a good book, but also for mindfulness and emotion regulation and mental health.
Accessibility is essential. We can create school libraries and reading nooks designed with ramps to ensure they are fully accessible for wheelchair users. No child should be inhibited from accessing a quality reading space.
9 Benefits of Reading for Children
- They will attain a larger & more extensive vocabulary
- Better academic performance
- Improves imagination
- Develops creativity
- Develops empathy
- Deeper understanding of the world around them
- Improves concentration levels
- Supports cognitive development
- Improves wellbeing/mental health
Does your school lack library provisions? No child should go without. It's time to provide your students with the fundamental opportunity to read. Create a designated library space with Cabins for Schools and watch your pupils flourish.
Call us today on 0800 0448 418