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Free book scheme to be slashed by half

The government has cut funding to a scheme which provides free books for children by 50 per cent. Booktrust has been told that its funding will be reduced in April from #163;13 million to #163;7.5 million and to #163;6 million in the year after that. The changes mean that one of the five programmes will now become a targeted offer and the cardboard treasure box given to three-year-olds will become a treasure bag. Children will still get a free book at ages one, three, five and 11.

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