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'Too much pressure on teachers' - famous TV writer and author bemoans school league tables

Author Anthony Horowitz wants to see a greater focus on school libraries  
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Author Anthony Horowitz wants to see a greater focus on school libraries Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Foyle's War writer and Alex Rider creator Anthony Horowitz has called for more funding for school libraries after criticising how education league tables "put too much pressure on teachers".

The famous author, who has a home in Orford, said a library was the "beating heart of a school" but that many "need more funding for libraries".

He added: "The National Curriculum has put too much pressure on teachers, as they have league tables to worry about.

"We have partly forgotten that education is not simply about being qualified for a job.

"Every single school should have a fully qualified librarian. Personally, I think more time should be given to reading for pleasure."

Mr Horowitz said that he was "great supporter of public libraries".

While many community libraries have faced cuts and closures, albeit not in Suffolk, he said: "What matters more is the school library."

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That is because the books in school libraries can help with the teaching of all subjects in the classroom, he said.

Mr Horowitz, who has written two Sherlock Homes novels and was chosen by the Ian Fleming estate to write James Bond novels, also spoke of the "excitement" he felt as a youngster when getting the chance to read in the school library.

"They could open doors for other children today," he said.

Earlier this year Mr Horowitz, who has even reserved a burial plot in Orford because of his love for Suffolk, became a patron of the charity Home-Start Suffolk.

The charity is based in Martlesham but helps families across the county deal with challenges such as depression and isolation, with a view to giving children the best start in life.

He said supporting the charity was his "way to give something small back" to the county that he loves.

"Anything I can do to help, I will," he said.

Writing in the charity's 2018/19 annual report presented at its most recent annual general meeting (AGM), he said: "I believe every young person should grow up not just with dreams but with the chance to have some of those dreams fulfilled."

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