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Booktrust Funding Axed


mundia
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Birmingham stopped giving the packs out to playgroups last year. LEA nurseries could still have them but if we wanted them we had to apply at the library. I questioned it and was told it was to save money. I suppose they thought quite rightly that we'd forget to apply!

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Don't shoot me down for this (and I'm a passionate advocate of children reading), but I have always felt that this scheme was perhaps a bit misplaced in terms of value for money.

 

My house is already full of books and I would buy them for my children regardless. When I get the booktrust books this is an added extra that is lovely to receive, but to be honest does nothing in terms of encouraging reading for my children, because I already do that.

 

I suspect that the same is the case for many parents who receive them.

 

If there was a good way of targeting this funding, so that the books got to those homes where there were unlikely to be any other books, that would make more sense to me. (And also some way of ensuring that they get read when they get to those homes!)

 

I think I would rather money was spent on promoting library services, which are the best source of 'free' books and which are likely to suffer swingeing cuts.

 

Ducks back under parapet :o

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no need to duck.. I too often thought the same.. but we were in an area where they were much needed for the majority of our families..

 

what did bug me was that there was never any check that they went to the parents as intended... we had a new member of staff form a different setting and she said any left were taken by the staff!! :o

 

we had an annual delivery if we pushed for it... and they were often late or difficult to get anyway.. but we kept any and gave them out during the year.. seems others did not..

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Don't shoot me down for this (and I'm a passionate advocate of children reading), but I have always felt that this scheme was perhaps a bit misplaced in terms of value for money.

 

My house is already full of books and I would buy them for my children regardless. When I get the booktrust books this is an added extra that is lovely to receive, but to be honest does nothing in terms of encouraging reading for my children, because I already do that.

 

I suspect that the same is the case for many parents who receive them.

 

If there was a good way of targeting this funding, so that the books got to those homes where there were unlikely to be any other books, that would make more sense to me. (And also some way of ensuring that they get read when they get to those homes!)

 

I think I would rather money was spent on promoting library services, which are the best source of 'free' books and which are likely to suffer swingeing cuts.

 

Ducks back under parapet :o

 

I must say I also agree,

yes it's nice to give children free books but theres no check on whether the children want, need or read the books given out, I know last year I was told by one parent that the pack was lovely but their child already had the book! and Im sure thats often the case. I totally agree investing in libraries would be a better use of money. after all at least with libraries the children get to change the book once they have read it lots.

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Like other families, we already have books and visit the library so the packs were a bonus but not essentail for us.

 

HOWEVER, I think that if you only give packs to families "in need" you inadvertantly create a stigma aorund having the pack, so families don't want it and won't value it. Making it universal boosts the status.

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It is a similar argument to that surrounding whether child benefit should be a universal benefit - those parents who don't want or need it can always choose not to take it or re-gift it. I can well imagine that there are many families and children for whom the free books are the first (and maybe even the only) books they own.

 

I haven't seen the research behind it but I imagine there must be a pretty good rationale for the scheme - I wonder what they'll do with the money they save?

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Did I hear on the news that there was such uproar that the funding has been reinstated? I thought so, but could have been wishful thinking on my part.

 

 

Trouble with this kind of thing is, whenever it is funding for 'vulnerable' groups there is an uproar - and possible reinstatement - I don't understand why governments seem unable to think things through before announcing cuts like this - it is afterall such a small amount of money in the grand scheme of things - just makes me so cynical about them - afterall it could be a double bluff and we are now to view the government as being reflective, caring, listening and wanting children to have these books, and in reality they never really were going to cut the money - we have just been manipulated.

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Things like this make me so cross. Book trust is an amazing scheme. As for the comment about libraries, I'd just check if your local library is making changes . Near my sister (who takes her children to the library every weekend) they are closing the library to save money and when she questioned this was told that if people wanted to volunteer to run it they could as there was no budget available to pay staff........!!!!! She's in Gloucestershire.

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So, how will this work?? Will I have to decide that Jimmy's parents don't have much money, so I can claim a box for him, but cassandra's parents are well-heeled, so she can't have one? Or will it come down to the Health visitors giving them out? I think it would be better to scarp them and keep the libraries open, even if it's on reduced hours.

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Unfortunately, not everyone can access a library easily and not everyone can drive to one in another town or city. Im sure that for evey family who uses a library, there will be several who dont, and a myriad of reason why the dont. Im sue all of us ae aware of closures in our local areas.

 

There are many such cases of universal v targeted resources. Child benefit for one, look at the uproar that means testing that has caused. Winter fuel payments that all over 60s get regardless if income, likewise with free prescriptions. And of course, the EYE on which many of us here depend. Should we also means test all of these and if so, on what exact criteria do we measure entitlement? The trouble with means testing is that the criteria are not always fair, many families dont always know about them, and there will always be those who 'just' miss out.

 

I would still much prefer that the gifting of books remain universal, with those people not wanting them being in a position to pass them onto someone who does.

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I agree with you Mundia. I can't access a library in my rural village, we used to have a library bus, but that stopped last November when the bridges came down in the floods and hasn't been reinstated.

 

I wonder if a book token that could only be exchanged for children's books would be a more economical use of resources and would cut down on distribution/packaging costs

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I think the trouble is book tokens get lost and forgotten about and the emphasis is the on the parent going out to get the book. Through the scheme the book was put directly into the child's hands. I'd be interested to know how may of the world book tokens actually get used every year.

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Guest jenpercy

All children starting secondary school currently get a book. What better way to put children off reading could you think of than to give the books only to children in need.

 

Take up of school dinners drops off steadily as children go up the scale, with almost zero take up in year 6 regardless of need, as children perceive that they are different.

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I think the trouble is book tokens get lost and forgotten about and the emphasis is the on the parent going out to get the book. Through the scheme the book was put directly into the child's hands. I'd be interested to know how may of the world book tokens actually get used every year.

 

 

When it comes to the World Book Tokens I go and choose the £1. books for the children and bring them back to the nursery and we give them out, haven't had a parent complain yet that they want to have the token instead. Our local Waterstones are happy for us to take the children down to the shop to choose as well, so we may well do that this year.

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When it comes to the World Book Tokens I go and choose the £1. books for the children and bring them back to the nursery and we give them out, haven't had a parent complain yet that they want to have the token instead. Our local Waterstones are happy for us to take the children down to the shop to choose as well, so we may well do that this year.

 

 

I used to do that but the bookshops were not happy with me collecting so many of them.. got around it by all staff taking a few and going back several times with them... we always had spare tokens for those who preferred them.

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When it comes to the World Book Tokens I go and choose the £1. books for the children and bring them back to the nursery and we give them out, haven't had a parent complain yet that they want to have the token instead. Our local Waterstones are happy for us to take the children down to the shop to choose as well, so we may well do that this year.

I time an Usborne Book Sale at pre-school to coincide with these tokens - that way the children get books and if we are lucky we get some freebies as 'commission' too!

As my dear old mum would say "It's no good getting older if you don't get craftier"! :o

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