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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04883: Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 21 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on reports that 30% of schools are not participating in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge, and what number this represents.

Answered by: John Swinney 30 November 2016

At 29 November 2016 the sign up rate stood at 71% of primary schools [1,487 primary schools]. This means that 631 schools (29% of schools) had yet to sign up to the Challenge.

This is an encouraging sign up rate for a voluntary initiative, launched into schools for the first time in August this year. The Scottish Government and Scottish Book Trust will continue to take steps to encourage even more schools to take part. Scottish Book Trust will carry out further promotion to schools early in the new term. The Book Trust will also provide support to any further schools who choose to sign up between now and the spring term, helping them to take part during the remainder of the first year of the challenge. Finally, Scottish Book Trust will evaluate the first year of the Challenge. This will include efforts to seek feedback from schools who decided not to participate in the initial year, as well as those who did. All schools and local authorities will be contacted in the lead-up to “Year two” of the Challenge in order to invite them to participate in academic year 2017-18.