Schools short of books

* Schools are so short of books that they cannot meet the demands of the national curriculum, claims a survey commissioned by the School Book Alliance. Eric Bolton, chairman of the alliance and former chief inspector of schools, said pupils were surviving "on a meagre diet of photocopied pages and damaged, outdated texts".

According to the survey, parents were shocked to find how little schools spent on books - a yearly average of Pounds 19.23 per child - and wanted a fourfold increase. Two-thirds of parents said they would vote for a party that pledged to spend more money on education.

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