How to

Reading for Pleasure funding

Many schools have now accessed funding from their local English Hub towards DfE-validated SSP Programme resources, decodable texts and training. However, you may be often wondering how you can access funding to develop your class and school libraries. Here are seven potential sources of funding that are worth exploring.

  1. Supermarket grants

Supermarkets often have schemes which you can take advantage of to help stock your library shelves. Tesco Community Grants can be used to support your school and class library. It is also worth getting in touch with your local Asda Community Champion who may be able to make a donation of books.

  1. Foyle Foundation

The Foyle School Library Scheme provides the opportunity for state-funded schools in the UK to apply for between £2,000 and £10,000. If successful, the majority of the funding should be spent on physical books for the library, but the Foundation will also consider contributions towards library software and furniture.

  1. Siobhan Dowd Trust

Funded by the money earned in royalties and foreign sales of the late Siobhan Dowd’s books, this Trust focuses on supporting disadvantaged readers and encouraging Reading for Pleasure. Schools who are awarded grants get the chance to take a group of children to a local bookshop (preferably an independent bookseller) to select books.

  1. Local businesses

It is also well-worth connecting with local businesses to see if they are able to make any donations of books or funds which could be used to purchase texts. I would especially recommend getting in touch with companies linked your local area such as those with offices or sites close to your school. I have previously had success in applying for a grant from the Ford Britain Trust, while teaching at school in Dagenham close to their factory.

  1. PTAs

If you are lucky enough to have Parent Teacher Association or similar at your school, you may want to discuss with them the value in supporting and funding the Reading for Pleasure provision for the children. In her last school, Little Wandle’s Deputy Programme Developer Sarah was lucky enough to have the Parent Staff Association fund subscriptions to the Phoenix magazine and National Geographic for Kids magazine for the children.

  1. School community

You may want to invite your local community to make donations to the school library. Including a dedication inside the front cover detailing who has made the donation, is a great way to thank those involved. You might team up with a local independent booksellers to curate a list for the community to choose from. I have previously used an online service from the brilliant children’s bookshop The Alligator’s Mouth to make this quick and easy for those purchasing books for your school.

  1. Online booksellers

Look at online booksellers like Best Books for Schools. They are independent, cost much the same as Amazon and provide amazing support for schools. You can use their wish list service for parents and the local community to donate to.

Author Bio: Matthew Courtney, Teacher and Curriculum Lead. You can find Matthew on Twitter here