Posts Tagged ‘Bookstart’


December 22, 2010

Margaret Thatcher stole the milk, Michael Gove stole the books.

The slash and burn policies of the ConDem Coalition at times beggars belief.

Bookstart costs £13 million nationwide. It is to be scrapped. £13 million is a drop in the ocean.

I love reading. I do not know where I would be without a book to read.

Bookstart as the name suggests, is a first book for children, it gets them on the path of reading, it is their first step.

But in what can only be described as an act of petty minded meanness the scheme is to be scrapped to save a paltry £13 million.

Former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion has called it “an act of gross cultural vandalism”.

It is the early years that make a difference to later in life. Now it is young children who are suffering under the ConDem government slash and burn of public services.

The Booktrust which administers Bookstart will lose all its government funding from 2011. It also administers Booktime (which provides further packs for children as they start primary school) and Booked Up (which enables all year 7 pupils in England to choose a free book). In combination, these programmes send out 3.5 million book packs every year.

Children’s author Alan Gibbons, winner of the 2000 Blue Peter Book Award for Shadow of the Minotaur, has compared Education Secretary Michael Gove to the Dickens character Scrooge: “By what distorted logic could he think the pulling of funds to Booktrust is sensible or cost effective?”

He noted recent figures that showed 9% of boys entered secondary school with reading levels of the standard expected of seven-year-olds.

Alan Gibbons also pointed to the OECD’s PISA report, published this month, that showed the UK slipping in international education rankings and said too few children were reading for pleasure.

One in 11 boys leave primary school unable to read. In some areas it is as bad as 1 in 7!

We are not all in it together. The poor pay the price, the rich laugh all the way to their offshore banks. The Sunday Times Rich List 2010 has seen a £77 billion increase in wealth for British super rich in 1 year! That is Britain’s Super Rich have seen wealth rise by one third in one year! And for the likes of Sir Philip Green (or should that be Greed?) do not even pay tax! The rise is easily the largest annual increase in the 22 years that the survey has been carried out!

Not satisfied with scrapping Bookstart, not content with increasing student university tuition fees three fold and scrapping Education Maintenance Allowance for the poorest students, the latest slash and burn of public services is to fire hundreds of lollipop men and women who help kids safely across the road as they leave school.

Captain SKA – Liar Liar
My daughter received this book through Bookstart and still loves it
Government to reduce funding for free books charity
Writers furious at plan to axe free books scheme for children
Booktrust reading schemes to lose government funding
Booktrust funding news
One in 11 boys leaves primary school ‘unable to read’
Why cuts are the wrong cure
If ever there was a campaign that Tories should support …
Sunday Times Rich List 2010: Britain’s richest see wealth rise by one third
Sir Philip Green is Sponging Off the State

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