HEADTEACHERS have responded with disappointment at news the county council is considering whether to axe the long-running schools’ library service.

Worcestershire County Council has opened a consultation regarding the future of the service which will close on September 1.

The total number of schools buying into the service, running since 1933, has fallen by around 76 per cent since 2000 – with only 52 schools currently signed up to it.

The service helps schools to manage and organise their libraries and resources, as well as providing books on loan, including through mobile libraries.

A large part of the service sees schools borrowing books for a set period rather than having to purchase them outright.

For example, a typical primary school can spend £2,833 with the service, yet receive £15,014 worth of book stock, according to the council’s website.

Powick Primary School Headteacher Anthony Dixon-Gough said: “It would be a great shame, as a school we have been requiring it for some time.

“We are in a fairly rural area – it is actually a trek to for parents to take children to visit a library. The nearest library is in Malvern. So to have a library able to move around is actually hugely beneficial.

“It is so essential to be able to read. It is something we recognise – it is part of our key agenda.”

Acting headteacher of Hallow CE Primary School Rachael Barnes added: “We are really disappointed we would really like it to stay.”

Speaking previously Cllr Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for communities, said: “We contacted all the schools, we tried to see if they were engaging with the service, but very few schools responded.

“We tried to say you need to use it or lose it, but unfortunately not enough schools responded.”

Cllr Hodgson reiterated that the decision to stop the service is far from a done deal but rather the council is “considering it as an option”. She said interest in the service has seen a “gradual decline but has become more noticeable recently”.