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Access to high quality books

Resource to support key area 1.5.1 Access to high quality books

Type: Classroom resources, Training videos
Level: Core, Silver
Audience: Primary, Secondary
Key area: 1.5.1 Access to high quality books

This resource offers practical ideas and suggestions to help make sure your learners have access to a wide variety of exciting and engaging texts.

Watch this short video to find out more about key area 1.5.1 Access to high quality books. This is part of our series of webinar shorts, 5 to 10 minute training videos focusing on each key area of the Reading Schools framework.

Involving and consulting your learners in the process of auditing and renewing your school's book stock will ensure their needs and interests are met, while keeping your bookshelves healthy.

Why it is important

We expect Reading Schools to provide up-to-date reading materials relevant to the needs, interests and experiences of all learners.

Involving learners in the processes of procuring books and reading materials is a hugely important part of this process; by consulting them you will be able to tailor collections of books to inspire and foster a lifelong love of reading.

Without access to a wide range of texts, whether that’s books, magazines, newspapers, ebooks or audiobooks, interest in reading runs the risk of depleting. Ensuring your school and class libraries are stocked with titles to meet the interests of your learners is crucial and this resource offers good practice examples, ideas and guidance to support the development of your book stock.


For core accreditation, schools should make sure that learners have access to contemporary and diverse reading materials relevant to their needs, interests and experiences.

Book audit

Involving your learners, parents and carers

Rotate your stock

Your local library provision

Funding opportunities

Book shopping

Our Book Discovery Guides and book lists


As well as sustaining your core level activity, silver level schools should detail how they are providing all learners with the opportunity to join the local public library for access to books, ebooks and audiobooks.

Library membership

Learners are only at school for 39 weeks of the year, and for just 6 hours each day. It's important that accessing local public library services is normalised and celebrated if our children and young people are to enjoy a lifelong love of reading beyond their school years.

Library services have seen significant challenges over recent years, with many forced to close due to a lack of funding, but what they offer is invaluable within communities and we should all play a part in their safeguarding.

Linking your school, or school library, with your local public library (or authority-wide library service/community entrusted library service) can really enhance your Reading Schools journey, by offering a direct route for learners and their families to become library members and having a unity around a shared passion for reading for pleasure. Library services can also be a great place to go for book recommendations, your local librarians can offer advice on current book lists and popular titles.

Why not involve your local library in your Reading Schools activities too; you could jointly host an author event, or use library spaces for your reading celebrations.

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