Latest News

Shortlist announced for the UKLA/Wiley Research in Literacy Education Award 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

UKLA is delighted to announce shortlists for the prestigious ​UKLA/ Wiley-Blackwell Research in Literacy Education Award 2018.

UKLA announces the shortlist for the Academic Book Award 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The four books selected for the shortlist all make distinctive and very different contributions to the field. Subjects include: film, storytelling, writer identity and digital media.

UKLA Life Time Achievement Award

Monday, January 22, 2018

​On 20 November 2017, colleagues, friends, admirers and family gathered to celebrate the immense contribution Margaret Meek has made both nationally and internationally to the advancement of language, literacy and literature education.

Ofsted’s ‘Bold Beginnings’ UKLA response

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Although welcoming some of the viewpoints and observations within the report, UKLA has some serious concerns and reservations regarding the possible impact that some of the statements might have on the future development of the early years curriculum.

UKLA Comments on PIRLS

Monday, December 18, 2017

​The publishing of the PIRLS 2016 results has resulted in the usual political flurry, with politicians seizing the opportunity to emphasise that the raised focus on securing children’s decoding skills through systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) has been responsible for the UK’s positive shift in ranking.

Current Global Politics Limit Academic Freedom

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

On Universal Children’s Day, the scholarly organization International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) issued a Statement of Principles, because it is worried about the ways in which contemporary geopolitics curtail academic freedom.

This summer, IRSCL convened its 23rd biennial congress in Canada. More than 20 percent of the scholars whose papers were accepted were unable to attend Congress 2017, not only because of radical economic disparities in the world but also because of current restrictive travel policies and the “chill” caused by them.

– IRSCL finds the current xenophobic situation worrying as it curtails academic freedom. The free flow of people and ideas across borders has to be defended anew, says Lies Wesseling, President of IRSCL.

For this reason, IRSCL has issued a Statement of Principles, which explains why scholarship can flourish only in a world with open borders.

– The statement was issued on Universal Children’s Day, to emphasize not only the importance of our research, but also of children’s literature’s potential to foster empathy, nurture creativity, and imagine a better world, says Lies Wesseling.

IRSCL is an international scholarly organization dedicated to children’s and young adult literature with 360 members from 47 different countries worldwide. Every second year the organization arranges IRSCL Congress, the world’s most international congress within the research field.


The International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) aims to facilitate co-operation between researchers in different countries and in different branches of learning and to enable researchers in different countries to exchange information, share discussion of professional and theoretical issues, and initiate and co-ordinate research. These scholarly aspirations are in keeping with the international nature of the object of our research: children’s literature and culture evolve through ongoing processes of cross-border and cross-cultural translation, adaptation, and remediation. Our scholarship matters both because childhood reading, watching, writing, and playing are invaluable cultural practices of young people and because these practices shape the adults we become.

Children’s literature and culture also tell us who is included in that “we.” Recognizing that we inhabit intersecting axes of identity, IRSCL values the inclusion of scholars from all stages in their academic careers and of any national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, class, ability, gender, sex, sexuality, size, and age.IRSCL also encourages scholarship on how these forms of identity become manifest in works for young people. IRSCL believes that international scholarly collaboration and the free flow of ideas across borders are indispensable: they grant insight into the sources of deep cultural assumptions about difference and help mobilize the capacity of children’s literature to foster empathy, nurture creativity, and imagine a better world.

IRSCL also knows that, in the current geopolitical climate, we cannot take for granted the values of intellectual freedom, scholarly expertise, careful and evidence-based argument and reflection, and the capacity to be open to contrary views, as substantiated through international exchange and collaboration. These values need ongoing articulation, implementation and defense, both within our own ranks and in global society at large. IRSCL may build on long-standing experience in this respect. The society was founded in 1969 by scholars from Czechoslovakia, Germany, Austria, Spain and Switzerland, under trying political circumstances, with the Cold War in full force, a divided Germany, and Soviet military oppression of the Prague spring. Nevertheless, the founding members were determined to cross national boundaries and political divides. Building on this heritage, we are ready to rise to the occasion again.

UKLA issues its response to the government consultation on primary assessment

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

In 2016, UKLA published a brief statement of principles of assessment, stating that “We believe that the design and implementation of the statutory assessment system in primary schools have a number of serious problems which are not resolvable within the existing framework...

New Editor for Literacy Needed

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

UKLA is looking for a new editor (or editors) for their international journal Literacy, published by Wiley. After a splendid period guiding the journal to even greater quality and international appeal, the current editors are stepping down.

A new article by Margaret Clark on Australia and the Phonics Check

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

​Policy makers in Australia are increasingly taking note of their performance in comparative research programmes like the OECD's PISA...

The Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards

Monday, October 09, 2017

The publisher Egmont is collaborating with the Open University and the UK Literacy Association to build reciprocal and interactive communities of readers.


Monday, September 11, 2017

@The_UKLA #UKLA18 #teachersbookawards

The judges for these unique book awards, which are the only awards judged by active classroom teachers, will this year come from Wales, with the 2018 UKLA International Conference, at which the eventual winners are announced, being held in Cardiff.

There are 8 groups of judges in total covering the three age categories and they have until mid-March to read the longlisted books, discuss them with their group leaders, and share them with pupils. All groups will then meet together for the difficult task of choosing their shortlist of 6 books in each category.

Headteachers welcomed the opportunity for their teachers to widen their knowledge of recent children’s titles. For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a number of new children’s books is as important as finding an overall winner. Research carried out by members of UKLA (Cremin et al 2008) clearly demonstrated the links between teachers’ knowledge of children’s books and the likelihood of pupils becoming successful readers. Despite this evidence, teachers are seldom given time to read new books or funding to purchase them when they do.

UKLA are grateful for the continued support of the award sponsors, which help the awards to grow and develop each year. Micro Librarian Services (MLS), Lovereading4schools and Lovereading4kids, recognise the value of the judging experience for schools and teachers:

‘Lovereading4schools and its sister site Lovereading4kids is very excited and proud to be a co-sponsor of the UKLA Book Awards 2018. The way UKLA work with schools and pupils complements Lovereading’s approach of using book experts and children reviewers to provide good, trusted guidance for teachers and parents that can be hard to find. We are looking forward to sharing the longlisted, shortlisted and winning books with all the parents and schools who use our websites.’ Robert Prime Director of Lovereading Ltd

The UKLA Selection Panel, chaired by Lynda Graham, whittled down the 361 publisher submissions to arrive at a set of longlists, which excitingly feature books in translation in every category and more nonfiction titles than ever. They were pleased to highlight exciting debut authors as well as established and familiar names in children’s literature. Of particular note is the success of small publishing houses like Barrington Stoke, Otter-Barry Books, Gecko Press and Tiny Owl. Lynda Graham says: “the quality of submissions this year was of a particularly high standard and the panel had no easy task, but we are confident that the teachers and schools involved in the judging will benefit enormously from the impact of these quality texts in their schools” All of the books exemplify the award criteria of writing which offers language rich in layered meanings, imaginative expression and exciting vocabulary. Where present, high quality illustration is also an important feature of the chosen texts.

Longlist 3-6

Title Author Illustrator Translator Publisher
Pigeon P.I. Meg McLaren Andersen Press
Under the Same Sky Britta Teckentrup Caterpillar Books
The Night Gardener Eric and Terry Fan Frances Lincoln
Grandad's Secret Giant David Litchfield Frances Lincoln
Don't Cross the Line! Isabel Minós Martins Bernardo P Carvalho Daniel Hahn Gecko Press
My Pictures after the Storm Eric Viellé Daniel Hahn Gecko Press
Odd Dog Out Rob Biddulph HarperCollins
Oi Dog! Kes and Claire Gray Jim Field Hodder
The Darkest Dark Chris Hadfield The Fan Brothers Macmillan
The Wolf Who Cried Boy James O'Neill Russell Ayto Picture Corgi
Grumpy Frog Ed Vere Puffin
The Storm Whale in Winter Benji Davies Simon & Schuster
You Must Bring a Hat Simon Philip Kate Hindley Simon & Schuster
My Name is not Refugee Kate Milner The Bucket List
A Bottle of Happiness Pippa Goodhart Ehsan Abdollahi Tiny Owl Publishing
Old Hat Emily Gravett Two Hoots
Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea Morag Hood Two Hoots
A Perfect Day Lane Smith Two Hoots
Goodnight Everyone Chris Haughton Walker Books
A First Book of Animals Nicola Davies Petr Horaĉek Walker Books
A Child of Books Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston Walker Books
Counting with Tiny Cat Viviane Schwarz Walker Books
It Starts with a Seed Laura Knowles Jennie Webber Words & Pictures
Longlist 7-11
Title Author Illustrator Translator Publisher
The White Fox Jackie Morris Barrington Stoke
Good Dog McTavish Meg Rosoff Grace Easton Barrington Stoke
The Song From Somewhere Else A.F.Harrold Levi Pinfold Bloomsbury
Lesser Spotted Animals Martin Brown David Fickling Books
Fish Boy Chloe Daykin Richard Jones Faber & Faber
The Legend of Podkin One-Ear Kieran Larwood David Wyatt Faber & Faber
Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds Horatio Clare Jane Matthews Firefly Press
Yours Sincerely, Giraffe Megumi Iwasa Jun Takabatake Cathy Hirano Gecko Press
What Not to do if you Turn Invisible Ross Welford HarperCollins
Rabbit and Bear: The Pest in the Nest Julian Gough Jim Field Hodder
Welcome to Nowhere Elizabeth Laird Lucy Eldridge Macmillan
The Road to Ever After Moira Young Hannah George Macmillan
Peter in Peril Helen Bate Otter-Barry Books
Me and Mister P Maria Farrer Daniel Rieley OUP
A Story Like the Wind Gill Lewis Jo Weaver OUP
There May Be a Castle Piers Torday Quercus
The Goldfish Boy Lisa Thompson Scholastic
The Tale of Angelino Brown David Almond Alex T Smith Walker Books
Football School: Where Football Explains the World Alex, Bellos and Ben Lyttleton Spike Gerrell Walker Books
The Street Beneath My Feet Charlotte Guillian Yuval Zommer Words & Pictures
Longlist 12-16
Title Author Illustrator Translator Publisher
Optimists Die First Susin Nielsen Andersen Press
Encounters Jason Wallace Andersen Press
Goodbye Days Jeff Zentner Andersen Press
Mind The Gap Phil Earle Barrington Stoke
Passing for White Tanya Landman Barrington Stoke
We Come Apart Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan Bloomsbury
Lydia- the Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice Natasha Farrant Chicken House
The Island at the End of Everything Kiran Millwood Hargrave Chicken House
The Hypnotist Laurence Anholt Corgi
Wolf Hollow Lauren Wolk Corgi
Kid Got Shot Simon Mason David Fickling Books
Orangeboy Patrice Lawrence Hodder
Out of Heart Irfan Master Hot Key Books
The Bone Sparrow Zana Fraillon Orion
Saint Death Marcus Sedgwick Orion
Black Light Express Philip Reeve OUP
Frogkisser! Garth Nix Piccadilly Press
Alpha: Abidjan to Gare du Nord Bessora Barroux Sarah Ardizzone The Bucket List
Where the World Ends Geraldine McCaughrean Usborne
The Hate You Give Angie Thomas Walker Books

Shortlist announcement w/b March 26th 2018

The winners will be announced on July 6th at the UKLA International Conference, Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff

Enquires fao Lynda Graham [email protected]

​Three new articles by Margaret M Clark

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Following the UKLA International Conference at Strathclyde University Margaret Clark had three articles published in the Education Journal in July 2017 in Issues 310, 311 and 312. 

The first article on `Evidence-based literacy policies` was the paper she had presented at the conference. 

The second article is based on the plenary sessions that opened the conference by John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister for Scotland and Graeme Logan HMCI. Their personal assistants gave her copies of their presentations, and checked the article for accuracy in summarising literacy developments in Scotland. 

The third article reports on very different developments in Australia, where the Federal Minister seems likely to introduce into all states the phonics screening check from England and synthetic phonics as the method of teaching reading. Following the conference Professor Clark has links with several academics in Australia whom she met at the conference, and who are concerned as to whether these initiatives are as claimed based on secure evidence. 

 Margaret holds the copyright for the articles and is willing for them to be circulated.