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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-03477: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 5 October 2016

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason its recently-launched initiative to encourage primary schoolchildren to read is called the First Minister’s Reading Challenge; what other names were considered, broken down by reason for rejection, and, when selecting the name, whether it considered any similar initiatives that are named after heads of government, and, if so, (a) which and (b) what lessons it learned from these.

Answered by: John Swinney 2 November 2016

The current First Minister's personal love of reading and her commitment to improving literacy levels for children and young people across Scotland have been key factors in driving the development and launch of this initiative. While not the only factor that may affect success of initiatives like this, the Office of the First Minister can also bring a significance and profile that a reading challenge might otherwise not achieve - the success in the uptake of the Challenge in the short time since the launch is an indicator of this. The initiative was named the First Minister's Reading Challenge without consideration or rejection of alternatives.