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Schools surveyed on textbook sales

Principal teachers in secondary schools are being surveyed in a unique electronic review to find out whether book-buying is in decline in Scottish schools.

"A number of our members often voice concern about spending on books for schools," Lorraine Fannin, director of the Scottish Publishers'

Association, said. Its educational liaison group launched the 10-question survey this month.

Ms Fannin said: "They hear from conversations with principal teachers that their level of funding for books has decreased dramatically over the past five years, as money is diverted into other areas. It seems important to us that we collate empirical evidence that either supports - or denies - such claims.

"We hope that these fears are misplaced, because one of the liaison group's aims is to stimulate the educational publishing sector in Scotland, and foster closer relationships between teachers and publishers."

Questions cover the percentage of departmental budgets spent on printed books, whether this had increased or decreased over the past five years, how principal teachers make their book-buying decisions, the kind of books that are bought and whether funding problems prevented departments buying when they wanted to.

Complete the survey online at www.opinionpower.com Surveys797030880.html.

Or contact Ben Allan of the SPA at ben@scottishbooks.org to receive an electronic link. Responses are requested by November 25.

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