Monday, 27 December 2010


The aim of this charity was to provide free books for children from the age of nine months until their first term of secondary school when they are 11. BOOKTRUST: a free book scheme that benefited 3.3 million young people every year has been scuppered by the government. 
Booktrust started a small-scale project  in 1992. When it was awarded government funding in 2004, the scheme become UK universal. 24 other countries now run a similar scheme.

But - Merry Christmas - 10 days ago, the charity was told it was to lose 100% of its government grant. The Guardian Book Blog suggests the government is anti-reading; I wonder where they got that idea.

The decision to end Booktrust's funding is thought to have been taken to finance the education secretary's U-turn on sport: to provide the funds to have the School Sport Partnerships restored. I didn't realise it would come down to a choice: Fit or illiterate. Perhaps we should hold a referendum?

The Deputy Prime Minister is noticeably invisible again. As the Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, championed Bookstart. I understand he is is in a difficult position: it cannot be easy being tied up in a quest to riddle your CV with bullet points. 
The government may be working on another partial U-turn. Planning to put poorer children in a queue for some free books. Instead of Booktrust being a positive influence, and open-to-all, they are looking for ways to stigmatise the joy of reading.


  1. perhaps the government is more interested in pacifying the populace than making any effort to educate it. After all, educated people think too much.

  2. So sad - books for kids is the best investment ever!

  3. Hi Marcy
    I think the government isn't very good at joined up thinking; they don't look beyond the price to see the cost of cutting back on the education budget.

    Hi Jemi
    It is sad. Very short-sighted.

  4. And in the same day they gave £40billion to the UN towards disasters. They had already given £80b to Pakistan for their floods,(let's hope when the UK thaw comes there is money left for the UK flood victims).
    I am not a cold hearted person and great that they are helping others, begins at home surely?
    £120 billion could have been made into £10b and the rest shared out in the UK...don't get me started. What a shame charities are being targeted.

  5. Hi Glynis
    Charity is necesasary.
    The amount saved by attacking Booktrust was no more than a droplet in the larger pool of charitable donations.

  6. It's a sad day when books are taken from the poorest segment of our society. Working in a publicly funded library (and before that I worked in a school library) it is a particularly important part of my life. I believe that children need books with programs like you are talking about- via school libaries, via RIF here in the states, however they can get them. If we feed them we are only solving part of the problem. Education/reading is a real need! Glad you posted this!!!