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SLA Blog » October 2007RSS Feed RSS

The SLA blog contains news about the SLA and topical information of general interest to our members. The blog has been running since 2004. An RSS 2.0 feed and information about how to subscribe to the blog are available.

Older blog posts are still available, though archived, on the website, but please check the date at the top of the post to make sure the offer or information is likely to be valid.

SLA Phone Numbers

As of today all SLA phone numbers beginning 0870 have been discontinued. Only the local numbers (beginning 01793) are still in use.

The main SLA office number is 01793 791787. If phoning from outside the UK, please use +44 1793 791787.

Our fax number is 01793 791786. If faxing from outside the UK, please use +44 1793 791786.

If you have the old numbers (beginning 0870 or +44 870) stored in your address book or phone memory, please update them to the 01793 numbers.

Our full up-to-date contact details can always be found at http://www.sla.org.uk/contact.php and individual e-mail addresses for SLA staff can be found at http://www.sla.org.uk/sla-people.php

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Film Education’s Young Film Critic of the Year Awards 2007

Film Education‘s Young Film Critics of the Year for 2007 have been announced as:

Young Film Critic of the Year (15-19)
David Gray, 16, Shenley Brook End School, Milton Keynes, Die Hard 4.0
Sensory Impaired Category:
Dilara Earle, 16, George Heriot's School, Edinburgh, Two Days in Paris

Young Film Critic of the Year (11-15)
Shani Freeke, 13, Dunottar School, Reigate, Pan's Labyrinth
Sensory Impaired Category
Dorri Johnston, 14, Inter High School, Aberdeen, Night at the Museum

Junior Film Critic of the Year (7-11)
Sabeeh Sadiq, 10, Rudston Prep School, Rotherham, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Sensory Impaired Category:
Angus Morton, 10, Bearsden Primary School, Scotland, Casino Royale

Mini Film Fan (3-7)
Adam Milward, Mary Eton Primary School, Cleveden, Hoodwinked

The winner of each age category receives a Yamaha Theatre System as well as a Promethean Interactive Whiteboard for their school.

All the nominees attended a spectacular, star-studded awards ceremony at the Odeon West End on Wednesday 10th October and the winners were awarded their prizes by some of Hollywood and the UK's top film and TV talent including Paul Greengrass (Director, The Bourne Ultimatum), Jane Goldman (Screenwriter, Stardust), Michel Ocelot (Director, Azur and Asmar, The Princes' Quest), Penny Woolcock (Director, Exodus) as well as Blue Peter's Konnie Huq.

Former Young Film Critics have gone on to write film reviews and reports for Newsround, The Guardian, First News, Student Times, Primary Times, the Guardian's Learnnewsdesk and Empire Online! Who knows what fantastic journalistic opportunities are in store for this year's winners?

The winner of the Young Film Critic 15-19 age category will also be given the unique experience of spending a day at Empire Magazine's offices shadowing Assistant Editor, Ian Freer.  He comments, "The Young Film Critic Awards are the perfect incentive for getting students to think about film in a critical, more insightful way. It will be a pleasure to have the winner helping out at EMPIRE -  students always have a fresh, often unique take on movies that is bound to liven up the debate between us stuffy critics!"

Working closely with DTS, NDCS, RNIB and RNID, Film Education ensures that all sensory impaired children throughout the UK are also given the opportunity to enter the awards and attend free schools screenings in National Schools Film Week.

Any budding young critics who'd like to enter the competition next year should visit the Young Film Critic website for more details.

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Every school should have a qualified librarian says Head of Specialist Schools and Academies Trust

Opening the Renaissance Learning two day-conference in Stansted today Sir Cyril Taylor, Chair of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust recommended, among other things, that "every school should have an adequate library of at least 10 books per child and a qualified librarian or at least a teacher with librarian skills."  Sir Cyril also welcomed the Bootrust report Library Books in Schools, launched on Monday, which recommends that:

all secondary school libraries should be staffed by at least one person with a professional library qualification and knowledge of children's literature.

all primary school libraries should be staffed by at least one person with a qualification in children's literature

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School libraries: Booktrust report says they are under-used and under-funded

Research published on 1st October 2007 by the independent national charity Booktrust to coincide with the launch of Children's Book Week has revealed the desperate situation faced by underdeveloped and under-funded school libraries.

See the full report: Library Books in Schools

Booktrust reported the statistic that over 92% of secondary schools and 61% of primary schools are spending far below the recommended figure per head on books for their libraries.

Booktrust worked with LISU at Loughborough University to arrive at a recommended spending figure per head on library books of £10 for primary schools and £14 for secondary schools. This figure is based on fiction and non-fiction books and does not include materials such as set texts, textbooks or study guides. Many primary and secondary schools are failing to meet the recommendations of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) of an average stock of 13 books per pupil and 17 books per pupil for those over the age of 16. The average number of books in secondary school libraries was just 8 per pupil, well below CILIP's recommended figures.

The research also revealed that:

  • on average pupils in secondary schools only borrowed one book each per term.
  • just 1% of those who run libraries in primary schools have a professional library qualification. 58% of secondary school libraries are run by staff without a professional qualification
  • 1/3 of respondents reported that the person who ran the primary school library did not have specialist knowledge of children's literature. In secondary schools, 22% of respondents had no specialist knowledge of children's literature
  • 85% of secondary schools reported that expenditure on the library in 2006-07 was around the same or lower than the previous year.
  • 72% of primary school respondents stated that if they had a bigger whole school budget they would spend more on the library

Booktrust recommendations:

  • Booktrust recommends that all secondary school libraries should be staffed by at least one person with a professional library qualification and knowledge of children's literature.
  • Booktrust recommends that all primary school libraries should be staffed by at least one person with a qualification in children's literature.
  • Booktrust recommends that all schools increase their spending on books to the recommended levels.
  • All schools should allocate a specific budget for the library within their whole school budget
  • Primary schools should receive advice on how to manage and run an effective school library in order to make the most of their resources

The SLA believes that this is a very important report, which should influence decision makers at all levels.

Guardian Education comment
Daily Mail comment

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International School Library Day

Today, 1st October, we are celebrating International School Library Day in the UK.  We hope that all school librarians will find time to create a stir about the work they do, and to raise the profile of the library with students and staff, in their school and in the community.

You can use the specially designed posters and bookmarks, and also link the day with any work you may be doing for National Children's Book Week, which starts today too.

And don't forget the competition! This year we are inviting you to send us a photo of how you celebrate ISLD in your school.  There will be two categories, for primary and for secondary schools, and the best in each category will receive £50 of book tokens for their library.  Some photos may be uploaded to this page, so please make sure that the usual permissions are received before sending photos of children, as they maybe identified by school if you win a prize.

Closing Date: 12th October.

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