Library Advocacy: Correspondence with Labour

On the 24th November following the letter I sent to Justine Greening the Secretary of State for Education I sent an email to her shadow counterpart Angela Rayner:

Dear Ms Rayner

On the 21st November I sent Justine Greening a letter (, on the 24th November Dawn Finch on behalf of CILIP also sent her a letter (

The purpose of these was to highlight the dire straits that state school and college libraries in England find themselves in and the fact that England has the lowest teen literacy rate of all OECD nations. We feel that these two things are linked.

In the past, due to the non-statutory nature of school libraries and librarians, UK government ministers have left the decision about school libraries up to the heads of individual schools, this has clearly not worked as the low levels of literacy of English teenagers shows.

As Shadow Secretary of State for Education you have an important voice in parliament, I urge you to throw your support behind the push to have school libraries and librarians considered an absolute necessity for schools and colleges in England.

Yours sincerely

Matt Imrie
Librarian & Editor: Teen Librarian

Yesterday (the 29th November) I received a response from Labour’s Membership Services and Correspondence team:

Dear Matt,

Thanks for writing to Angela Rayner MP in her capacity as Shadow Secretary of State for Education. At this point in time Angela’s mailbag is so full that she has asked me to respond on her behalf.

Labour Party policy is created through discussion and consultation with our members – so thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts; I have forwarded your comments on to our Policy Team who will be grateful to receive them.

During our Annual Conference in Brighton, Angela Rayner MP outlined the Labour Party’s plan to transform Britain’s education system and set out the core principles of our National Education Service.

As we continue to build on our General Election manifesto in anticipation of entering Government, the draft charter sets out the principles that will structure and guide our National Education Service.

Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said:

The next Labour government will create a National Education Service, a cradle-to-grave system supporting everyone throughout their lives. It would start in the early years, where we know it has the most impact on changing people’s lives. But our National Education Service is not just for young people either. Our National Education Service will be lifelong, providing for people at every stage of their life.

A promise, from a Labour government, to the British people and British businesses, that we believe in all of them, in their talent and their potential, in all they give to our country, and that we will never limit their aspiration or their ability to succeed.

It will set out the education that people can expect throughout their lives. The contribution that society makes to them and that they can make to society.

Years of Conservative cuts have and continue to starve schools of the funding they need to deliver a first class education. Crippling underfunding will drive up class sizes and may force schools to cut corners. Labour will give all of our schools the investment they need, to ensure that every child has access to a world-class education.

We really value your ideas on how the next Labour government should tackle the challenges our country faces, and build a more equal and prosperous Britain.

As a member of the Labour Party, you can submit policy ideas and contribute to policy discussions online at As I said earlier, Labour Party policy is created through consultation and discussion with our members, so be sure to have your say in our Policy Forum today.

As a member of the Labour Party, you can submit policy ideas and contribute to policy discussions online at, we’d appreciate it if you could submit your policy idea to this site so that it can be considered by our Early Years, Education and Skills Policy Commission.

Best wishes,

Membership Services and Correspondence
On behalf of Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education

2 Thoughts on “Library Advocacy: Correspondence with Labour

  1. C Trotter on November 30, 2017 at 10:53 am said:

    Hi Matt, interesting that this response contains not a single mention of the word ‘library’!

  2. How many of these MofP have children and how many of those are in state education? Of those in state education, how many benefit from from a good school Library run by a qualified librarian and supported by the SMT of the school? It would be interesting to know this data. Until this issue affects them personally they have no vested interest in supporting the future role of school libraries.

Post Navigation