Murphy To Establish Reading Prize

5 March 2015, 07:15 | Updated: 5 March 2015, 07:16

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy will establish a reading prize if he becomes first minister to encourage "working class kids'' to expand their horizons.

The prize, modelled on the Premier's Reading Challenge in South Australia, will involve setting a target of school pupils reading at least 12 books in a school year.

Schools across Scotland will be encouraged to take part in the voluntary scheme.

Mr Murphy announced the reading prize ahead of a visit to a school in Springburn, Glasgow, to mark World Book Day, where he will read extracts from Stig Of The Dump to primary six pupils at Elmvale Primary School.

He said: "If I am elected first minister I will establish a reading prize for Scotland's kids.

"I want this initiative to achieve two very simple things - encourage kids to read more books and help them to enjoy reading.

"For children to know the value of books is to open their minds up to a whole world of possibilities. I want Scotland's kids to expand their horizons and lose themselves in the world of books.

"The evidence from across the world shows that the more kids read, the better they do at school. With too many working-class kids being left behind by the SNP Government in Edinburgh, anything that will support pupils to get on in life should be encouraged.

"In homes across Scotland live the next JK Rowling and Ian Rankin. We need to inspire them to achieve their full potential.''