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Department for Education pulls book-gifting funding

21st December 2010

All government funding for Booktrust's book-gifting programmes in England will be pulled from next year, it has been revealed.

The Department for Education told the reading charity that the catalyst funding it provides for the Bookstart, Booktime and Booked Up schemes will come to an end from April 1st 2011.

'We are immensely surprised and disappointed by this decision and know that families, teachers, librarians, health visitors, our publishing partners and many others up and down the country will be sharing these feelings,' the organisation commented.

The charity also asserted that the programmes have been instrumental in encouraging children in England to start reading for pleasure. The group added that it will investigate other funding options to ensure it can continue to run the initiatives.

According to figures published by the Bookseller, the Department for Education contributed GBP 13 million to the Bookstart, Booktime and Booked Up schemes last year, which was used by the charity to seed another GBP 56 million in funding from other partners.

This year, Booktrust used its Booktime programme to give out 1.4 million free copies of Eric Carle's Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth to four and five-year-olds in England.
 

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