Hans Christian Andersen Award Blog

   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

FXP Festival 2019 for STEM

FXP Festival is a free education initiative for schools and colleges in East Anglia taking place over 6 - 8th July 2019. If you would like to interest your students, or can offer help yourself, please do read these further details and get in touch with the organisers. 

FXP Bulletin

PDF file, 209 kB (Requires Adobe Reader)



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

CE Blog 2019_5: Working towards something better

It’s May and CE Blog number five already – where is this year going?! I think the speed at which it’s passing is an indication of how much is going on at the SLA, some of which is exciting, and some of which is required (paperwork!), but all of which is positive as it’s moving us forwards.

Yesterday I was at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education as they hosted CILIP (the library and information association)’s event ‘Building a Nation of Readers’, which was primarily focused on the issues surrounding diversity and representation across the industry. I was pleased to be there representing school libraries – as the discussion proved they are genuinely a central piece in moving the situation forward. The ability to guide children to books that they see themselves reflected in (in a positive way!) and the ability to ensure that they encounter role models within industries so they can picture themselves doing that job – whether as an author; publicist; graphic designer or something else entirely.

I was reminded of the difficulty I had in sourcing books which showed young children in books in positive ways – not just always being the bullied one, or involved in gangs or the one in care. Books that tell positive stories about children of different classes, races, abilities and that show them there is a positive future waiting for them.

I had an interesting discussion about othering[1] and the difficulty of displays. As guides we want to highlight books that deserve attention, and ensure that pupils know of their existence, but it was raised that doing an ‘LGBTQ’ or ‘Diversity’ display is really pointing out the difference, rather than celebrating them as being part of the norm. I completely understand the point, and do agree, but it is complicated – as school staff I wanted to provide role models for all the pupils, and in order to do this we have to highlight those authors… however, it’s made me reconsider whether a purposed display is the right way of going about it – it may be that a mixed purpose display with those diverse voices is actually more poignant. Or have those books on display but without any labels.

While being in this role I have had more than one conversation with someone who feels, for whatever reason, that the job/conference/sector wasn’t inclusive, and wasn’t ‘for them’. We need to do all we can to change this – it’s on those of us who are already working in the space to make it more welcoming. Some of that is big change, such as the economics and making sure jobs are paid at a reasonable rate, part of that is medium change – such as bearing in mind when discussing the ‘need’ for qualifications that the education system is weighted against certain groups, and some of it is personal – keeping an eye on the authors we bring into schools and making sure they come from a range of backgrounds. Even with restricted budgets we need to be searching for the diverse books, because it’s not just about the books – it’s about society. It’s about empathy and perspective and understanding – it’s about making sure that every child can see a future that has choices in it, a chance for them to be different, live differently to their family should they choose to.

The school library sector has an important role to play, in setting children’s expectations, and in contributing to change within the publishing sector. Bearing in mind that reports to Prevent regarding far right sentiments are on the increase (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46556447) we need to be having these discussions, making diverse material available and not shying away from getting involved.

At times yesterday the discussion was uncomfortable, anger and bitterness were laid out for everyone to see, but it is important that these discussions are happening because it’s only by listening to people’s experiences that we can start to understand the challenges and how we need to change. We need to learn how to be better, and do better and we need to choose who to learn from carefully. We can’t expect people to simply take our word that things are changing – they need to be invited in, to see it for themselves. We can't expect people to be grateful things are changing – it’s where they belong, opportunities they deserve, and prospects they have earnt.

At the SLA we are aware of these issues, and are looking at things we can put in place so we are an association for everyone. Things take time, and we may make mistakes along the way, but we are listening, learning and doing what we can to put the pressure on to activate change.

It’s a bank holiday so I’m going to end with 5 things to help create change based on the discussion we had yesterday:

1) Re-think displays – you may still feel that LGBTQ month deserves a big display – just make sure those voices are included in other displays too.

2) If you have to buy books at huge discounts it does impact what the author gets paid – maybe do this strategically, and choose carefully who’s book you buy at full price, and who you ask for freebies (remembering that the industry as a whole suffers from an economic problem as this article shows: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/17/writers-earn-less-than-600-a-year).

3) Make sure speakers that are invited into school show the breadth of who exists in the world – as someone said yesterday they are all just stories, and most people will find something human to connect to.

4) Notice what is being taught – are there women, people of colour, different classes and abilities being taught on your curriculum? Is the homework that is being set focused one way or the other? Have you got resources on offer to balance the narrative? Could you discuss this with the teacher/curriculum leader/child?   

5) Maintain your book knowledge with a specific focus on diversity and inclusion – recognise when a book only has white, able bodied characters in it. It doesn’t make it any better or not, but recognising it is important (this is also really interesting to do with adverts). For every book like that read one that represents a range of people. Letterbox library (https://www.letterboxlibrary.com/) is great for this, and of course, our own journal The School Librarian has significant numbers of book reviews.  

Enjoy the bank holiday!


[1] Other (verb) - View or treat (a person or group of people) as intrinsically different from and alien to oneself. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/other



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

SLA Sponsored places to the weekend course

The SLA sponsored places to the SLA/YLG Weekend Course have gone to Odontuya Adiyadorj and Soraya Berry - congratulations! 

Thank you to everyone who sent in an application - we are hoping to do this again next year, so do try again. 



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM


LADY ELEANOR HOLLES SCHOOL (GSA and HMC) (900 girls aged 7-18)

JUNIOR SCHOOL (GSA and IAPS) (192 girls aged 7-11 years)

Head of Library Services

We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic, well-qualified and committed Head of Library Services to join our friendly, diverse and academically successful community at Lady Eleanor Holles School from September 2019.

Here at LEH we are firm believers that our Learning Resource Centre (LRC), Sixth Form Library and Junior School Library are at the heart of the school, and therefore require a Head of Library Services who will be integral in supporting and fostering a love of learning through academic and extra-curricular activities.

The successful candidate will be able to develop a vision and implement a strategy for the three libraries which reflects the educational philosophy of the school. In additionally, they will contribute to curriculum and personal development by liaising with all departments, as well as with individual members of the teaching staff, to support pupils with study and life skills.

LEH is a thriving school, situated on the outskirts of London, on a 24-acre site with excellent facilities. It is a great place to work, with a positive atmosphere, supportive colleagues, well-behaved students and bespoke CPD.

The school has its own attractive pay and benefits structure. Some of our most popular benefits are listed below:

  • Teachers' Pension Scheme for teaching staff and membership of LEH Group Pension Scheme (with life assurance) for non-teaching staff
  • Free lunches, tea and coffee
  • Generous occupational sick pay scheme
  • 'Care First' Employee Assistance Programme
  • Occupational Health Service
  • Learning and development opportunities, including financial support for postgraduate study
  • Christmas closure
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Free car parking on site
  • Library facilities open to all
  • Use of 25-metre swimming pool at specified times
  • Staff receive free or reduced price tickets to attend the excellent school drama and music productions
  • School fee reductions for LEH; the school also has an arrangement for fee reduction at Hampton Boys' School
  • The school offers a rent or mortgage allowance subsidy for new permanent teaching/non-teaching staff who are at the start of their careers or relocate to the area in order to take up the post

An application pack is available from the school’s website by clicking here. Applications must be made on the school’s own form, together with a covering letter or supporting statement, and should be sent to personnel[at]lehs.org.uk.

The closing date is noon on Thursday, 16th May 2019.

CVs will not be considered and should not be submitted.

The Lady Eleanor Holles School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  All applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening, including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Hanworth Road, Hampton, Middlesex TW12 3HF Tel: 020 8979 1601 pahm[at]lehs.org.uk   www.lehs.org.uk

Registered charity no. 1130254

More Details...



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

The Awesome Book Awards 2019

Tamsin Winter has won the Awesome Book Awards 2019 for her first children’s novel Being Miss Nobody.

"Reading is the best thing you can do for your brain but also your heart. It increases your empathy and caring and getting young people reading will really make a difference to their lives," said Tamsin. She was presented with her prize and trophy by the winner of last year’s Awesome Book Award, Peter Bunzl.

The Awesome Book Awards is a prize that celebrates the best new fiction authors for young readers aged between 7 and 10 and is an annual event run by Cranleigh School and Cranleigh Prep School.

Cranleigh Pupil, Amelie Lewis, who voted for the winner and introduced Tamsin on stage, said: "Being Miss Nobody is a brave and topical book for our generation. It’s book we can all learn from and one that stays with you after you have finished reading it. I loved it!"

The other titles shortlisted for the 2019 Awards were: Running on the Roof of the World, by Jess Butterworth; The Starman and Me, by Sharon Cohen; Brightstorm, by Vashti Hardy; and The Ice Garden, by Guy Jones. Thousands of pupils from schools across London and the South East read the whole shortlist and then voted for their favourite overall.



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM


On Tuesday 28th May 2019, 7-8pm there will be a Twitter debate on gender equality in children’s books. Led by the Gender Equality Charter this group believes that solving the problem of gender imbalance is only going to happen through collaboration, discussion and debate. They have created a Community of Change, which is open to everyone who believes in ending gender stereotypes and achieving gender equality.

Some definitions on the GEC site may help to clarify commonly confused concepts.

Follow @gendercharter for the debate in which school libraries should be an important part.



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

Very Hungry Caterpillar 50th Anniversary

On the evening of Monday 6 th May, which is Very Hungry Caterpillar Day, London came alive with the iconic artwork of Eric Carle. The stunning light-projections included Eric Carle’s iconic caterpillar and butterfly accompanied by life-affirming messages to celebrate the spirit of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which in Eric Carle’s own words, is at its heart “a story of hope”.

“It [The Very Hungry Caterpillar] is an affirmation to all children. It says: I too can grow up. I too can unfold my wings and fly into the world. I think it’s this message of hope.” Eric Carle

2019 marks the 50 th Anniversary of this childhood classic. In 2018 The Very Hungry Caterpillar was voted the Best Children’s Book of All Time and a copy of the book is sold every 15 seconds somewhere in the world.

You can see some images from the night here



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

CILIP magazine to promote diversity and inclusion in ...

Pen&inc. is a brand-new industry magazine and listings guide to diverse and inclusive children’s books launched by CILIP, the library and information association. 

With a mission to improve young readers’ choice and access to diverse and inclusive books, Pen&inc. provides a listings guide for diverse, inclusive and representative books with over 450 titles submitted for the Spring/Summer edition.

Writer and broadcaster Konnie Huq joined CILIP to launch Pen&inc. alongside publishing industry guests on the evening of Thursday 2nd May at CLPE’s Literacy Library, in Lambeth.

Konnie said:

“Growing up as a minority, despite being a voracious reader, it sometimes felt like books often didn’t quite cater for me and so they weren’t always relatable. And I don’t just mean from an ethnicity point of view but also how you feel as child – anything that can mark you out – whether disability, religion, culture, or even stuff like being a bit geeky. Pen&inc. is such an important publication because young people are our future and without diverse stories and characters being published and celebrated we prevent progression for change towards a more inclusive and empathetic world.”

Pen&inc. also features an in-depth look at how a new generation of publishers are learning about and looking at diversity. It’s up to librarians, booksellers and publishers to put great stories, wonderful characters and strong voices in front of children.

An amazing piece of artwork from illustrator Yu Rong, the winner of the Quentin Blake Award for Narrative Illustration, adorns the front cover of the first issue of the magazine. And Pen&inc. will be looking for more new talent to feature on each cover of future issues.


·         Pen&inc. is a bi-annual publication, with Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter issues published in April and September

·         Pen&inc. will be distributed to 1,500+ bookshops across the UK; to more than 150 library services and library service managers; and around 10,000 individual librarians and library organisations

·         Pen&inc offers free listing space to promote diverse and inclusive books, authors and illustrators –the first issue features more than 450 titles from 35 publishers

·         Pen&inc. will also be available to view online

CILIP launches magazine to promote diversity and inclusion

PDF file, 496 kB (Requires Adobe Reader)



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

Teaching Skills for School Library Staff: Cheltenham, ...


Our course Teaching Skills for School Library Staff, run by Chris Powis, will be held at Library Services for Education, Clyde Crescent, Whaddon, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire on 5 June 2019. The closing date is 21 May 2019. Bookings received by 13 May 2019 are eligible for a £15 discount.

This course will look firstly at the nature of teaching and learning before considering each step of the process – planning, delivering, assessing and receiving feedback.  Delegates will be involved with stimulating discussions and there will be the opportunity to share experiences so if you are working with young people, students, small groups of library users or staff this course will help you develop your skills as a teacher and trainer.

Run many times in the past, testimonials include Fantastic course from an inspiring and practical trainer’ and ‘Chris is an excellent teacher - supportive and thought-provoking.’


Key Audience: KS2 and secondary school librarians / library staff - experienced and new to teaching and learning skills

More Details...



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

Shortlist for The Alligator?s Mouth Award revealed

Five books have been shortlisted for the first year of The Alligator’s Mouth Award, the new children’s book prize celebrating the best titles for readers aged six to eight. Selected by a panel of children’s book experts, including renowned illustrator Axel Scheffler and children’s poet Joseph Coelho, the shortlist showcases the best writers and illustrators of highly-illustrated fiction in the UK.

The full shortlist for The Alligator’s Mouth Award 2019:

·       Dave Pigeon (Racer!) written by Swapna Haddow and illustrated by Sheena Dempsey (Faber & Faber)

·       Lyttle Lies: The Stinky Truth written and illustrated by Joe Berger (Simon & Schuster)

·       Nice Work for the Cat and the King written and illustrated by Nick Sharratt (Alison Green Books, Scholastic Children’s Books)

·       Rabbit and Bear: Attack of the Snack written by Julian Gough and illustrated by Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books, Hachette)

·       The Legend of Kevin written by Philip Reeve and illustrated by Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press)

 The Alligator’s Mouth independent bookshop teamed up with The Bright Agency to create the new children’s book prize, to champion both authors and illustrators of illustrated early fiction.  Axel Scheffler will be announcing the winner at a ceremony in London on Thursday 13th June.  Keep up to date with the awards on Twitter by following #AlligatorsAward 




   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

Raintree match funding for schools

Raintree Publishers are running a very generous match funding scheme at the moment but you need to apply soon, the offer runs our in 5 days. Although your application must be submitted before the 13th May you can place orders up until the 31st July. The offer is open to all Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools in the UK.

More details can be found on the Raintree website here.



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

Join Yorkshire & Humberside branch for afternoon tea

School Library Association Yorkshire & Humberside would love you to join us for afternoon tea and our AGM

on Saturday 1st June 2019, 1.30-4.30pm at The Loft, Miller’s Yard, York, YO31 7EB (http://www.millersyard.co.uk/

There are also positions on the Branch committee open! 


Word document, 108 kB

Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later



Yorkshire branch invite you to tea
Yorkshire branch invite you to tea















   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

Mental Health and Wellbeing in a School Library Setting: ...

Our course Mental Health and Wellbeing in a School Library Setting, run by Self Esteem Team , will be held at Wirral Grammar School for Girls, Heath Road, Bebington, Wirral, Merseyside CH63 3AF on 11 June 2019. The closing date is 24 May 2019. Bookings received by 14 May 2019 are eligible for a discount.

Key Audience:

primary and secondary school staff

More Details...



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

Picture and Comic Books for All: Sutton, Surrey, 11 June ...

Our course Picture and Comic Books for All, run by Bev Humphrey, will be held at Heath Educational Books, Willow House, Willow Walk, Off Whittaker Road, Sutton, Surrey SM3 9QQ on 11 June 2019. The closing date is 25 May 2019. Bookings received by 14 May 2019 are eligible for a discount.

Key Audience:

primary and secondary school staff

More Details...



   20/05/2019 - 06:26 AM

Promoting Reading in the Digital Age: Ely, Cambridgeshire, ...

Our course Promoting Reading in the Digital Age, run by Bev Humphrey, will be held at Ely College, Downham Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB6 2SH on 23 May 2019. The closing date is 8 May 2019. Bookings received by 25 April 2019 are eligible for a discount.

Key Audience:

primary and secondary school library staff

More Details...