Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney has launched the second round of bidding for a national funding programme aimed at improving school library services.
The Scottish Library Improvement Fund (SLIF), which offers a total fund of £1 million over three years, was launched in September 2017 to support school library projects as part of a wider approach to improving literacy and educational attainment.
Education authorities have until 14th May 2018 to apply for a share of this year’s allocation of £450,000.
The fund supports projects that meet key priority areas, including the curriculum, health and wellbeing, information and digital literacy, family learning, and standards and leadership. In particular, school libraries are encouraged to submit projects that support the Year of Young People 2018.
To mark the opening of this year’s fund, Deputy First Minister John Swinney met with Falkirk Council Provost Billy Buchanan and officials, as well as teachers, librarians and pupils at Grangemouth High School to view progress on a school library improvement project, which secured £20,000 in the first round of SLIF bids.
The project involves all secondary schools in the area and three primary schools, and aims to enhance the literacy skills of pupils with English as an additional language by encouraging a love of reading and engaging with families. Pupils and their families will be involved in a shared writing project that will produce a book exploring the subject of identity.
Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, John Swinney, said:
“Our £1 million School Library Improvement Fund recognises the vital role that school libraries play in supporting literacy and improving attainment.
“It aims to encourage innovation within the school library sector and, last year, funded 15 fantastic projects across Scotland including a pioneering scheme in the Highlands to encourage teenage sensory reading and a mental health and wellbeing initiative in Clackmannanshire.
“I would encourage all schools to consider applying for the fund and use the investment to make their school library an exciting and inspiring place to learn - at the heart of the school community.”
Pamela Tulloch, chief executive, SLIC said:
“We know from research that well-resourced libraries with professionally qualified librarians can lead to better attainment and positive attitudes to learning. Through SLIF, we want to support more school library services to boost their resources and increase the role of libraries and librarians in the curriculum.
“We have seen today at Falkirk Council a fantastic example of an inclusive, council-wide school library project that can work at different levels of education to help pupils achieve more. I would encourage teachers and librarians to get together to create innovative ways of working and apply for funding to help bring their ideas to life.”
More information on the fund and how to apply is available here.