You couldn’t actually make it up. All Government stats and comments say that the ‘standards’ (I have never really bought into this idea) in reading are not good enough. So what do they do? They abandon a wonderful scheme, that for some children, is their only realistic chance in the home of getting access to real, exciting books.
Using the ‘austerity’ ticket the Government have decided to pull out of supporting the charity Booktrust which oversees the ‘Bookstart’ prgramme. This will save a measly £13m and in the process destroy “a national institution and the envy of the world”, so says ex-poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion.
Methinks that now the joy of reading could be substituted for a diet of systematic synthetic phonics and that children will be tested on their ability to decode ‘non-words’.
Just as they have had a moment to rethink the stance on sports funding a New Year Resolution to ‘think before you act’ ought to see a reversal of this Scrooge-like action and Bookstart’s funding will be reinstated.
Readers can help by signing a petition to get Mr Gove to change his mind:
Bookstart is a wonderful scheme that gets new books into the hands of new parents. The government mistakenly want to cut the £13 million funding for this scheme. This is the cost of one second class stamp for every person in the country. Surely the value of literacy is greater than a price of a stamp? Please sign this petition in order to get Michael Gove and the government to change their minds.