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REFLECTINGREALITIES Survey of Ethnic Representation within UK Children’s Literature 2017 www.clpe.org.uk Contents 3 Introduction 4Foreword Project 5Summary Executive 6 UKChildren’s Literature Profile 2017 • Proportionof Ethnic Minority Representations in Books According to Text Type • Maincharacters in UK Children’s Literature 2017 • Contrastin Demographic Make-up with the Proportion of Ethnic Minority Presence in Children’s Literature 8of Presence Tiers • Reflectingon Character Voice and Agency • MulticulturalCast of Characters with Shared Agency • BackgroundCharacters Identified as Belonging to an Ethnic Category 9and Moving Forward Conclusions 10 Recommendations 11 Appendices 16 Acknowledgements Illustrations © Holly Sterling and reproduced with her kind permission. Introduction The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is an independent charity. Our work raises the achievement of children by helping schools to teach literacy creatively and efectively, putting quality children’s literature at the heart of all learning. Through our research, training and resources we emphasise the importance of books and literature as absolutely crucial in helping children to become confident, happy and enthusiastic readers and writers with all of the benefits we know this brings.

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Ajouté le 17 juillet 2018
Nombre de lecture 394
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REFLECTINGREALITIES
Survey o Ethnîc Representatîon wîthîn UK Chîldren’s Lîterature 2017
www.clpe.org.uk
Contents 3 Introductîon 4Foreword Project 5Summary Executîve 6 UK Chîldren’s Lîterature Profile 2017 • Proportîon o Ethnîc Mînorîty Representatîons în Books Accordîng to Text Type • Maîn characters în UK Chîldren’s Lîterature 2017 • Contrast în Demographîc Make-up wîth the Proportîon o Ethnîc Mînorîty Presence în Chîldren’s Lîterature 8o Presence Tîers • Reflectîng on Character Voîce and Agency • Multîcultural Cast o Characters wîth Shared Agency • Background Characters Identîfied as Belongîng to an Ethnîc Category 9and Movîng Forward Conclusîons 10 Recommendatîons 11 Appendîces 16 Acknowledgements
Illustratîons © Holly Sterlîng and reproduced wîth her kînd permîssîon.
Introduction
The Centre or Lîteracy în Prîmary Educatîon (CLPE) îs an îndependent charîty. Our work raîses the achîevement o chîldren by helpîng schools to teach lîteracy creatîvely and efectîvely, puttîng qualîty chîldren’s lîterature at the heart o all learnîng. Through our research, traînîng and resources we emphasîse the împortance o books and lîterature as absolutely crucîal în helpîng chîldren to become confident, happy and enthusîastîc readers and wrîters wîth all o the benefits we know thîs brîngs.
We know that beîng a reader opens the world to chîldren and thereore we absolutely belîeve în every chîld’s rîght to access qualîty lîterature that honours, values and reflects the realîty în whîch they lîve. But we also know that readîng îs a tremendously împortant actor în developîng empathy and understandîng or lîves and contexts beyond your own. In act books that ofer perspectîves rom beyond your own lîe or context can be îndîvîdually and collectîvely transormatîve.
Thîs îs why we were so keen to develop our work around Reflectîng Realîtîes. At CLPE we read thousands o books every year and are always revîewîng our book provîsîon and our book lîsts to ensure that we are întroducîng teachers to the best chîldren’s lîterature. However we stîll find ît dîicult to find enough books to add to our collectîons that are truly and authentîcally reflectîons o the wîde world în whîch we lîve. Durîng the process o the survey thîs year we have learnt a great deal. We are grateul to the publîshers o chîldren’s books în the UK who have embraced thîs opportunîty to work wîth us to create a knowledge base rom whîch we can all learn and move orward. We are hopeul that what we have ound out and share wîth you în thîs report wîll be useul and helpul as we all contînue the conversatîon.
Louîse JohnsShepherd Chîe Executîve, CLPE
www.clpe.org.uk
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Farrah Serroukh Learnîng Programmes Leader CLPE
Project Foreword
In February 2018, we launched our Reflectîng Realîtîes înîtîatîve, a new study înto ethnîc representatîon în chîldren’s lîterature. Funded by the Arts Councîl, the aîm îs to quantîy and evaluate the extent and qualîty o ethnîc representatîon în chîldren’s publîshîng în the UK.
We învîted all UK publîshers o chîldren’s lîterature to submît any tîtles publîshed în 2017 that eatured Black or mînorîty ethnîc characters. (We wîll use the acronym BAME and the term ‘ethnîc mînorîty’ rom thîs poînt orward as these provîde a common poînt o reerence.) These submîssîons have been analysed usîng a specîfically desîgned ramework to determîne the extent and qualîty o representatîon wîthîn and across all tîtles. It was împortant to capture both components because î we want books to truly reflect the realîtîes o theîr readershîp, ît îs crucîal to determîne the qualîty o representatîon and gîve thîs as much weîght as the extent o representatîon. We are aware o the paradox that surveys o thîs nature can present. All too oten, exclusîvely ocusîng energîes on the busîness o surveyîng can serve as nothîng more than a dîstractîon, îronîcally leavîng lîttle or no space or actîon. The undamental aîm o thîs work îs to move the conversatîon on.
Over the course o processîng and analysîng the submîssîons, we have learnt a great deal about what reflectîng realîtîes can look lîke when done well. I we could dîstîl thîs înto one îdeal, ît would be to understand that we are all complex and multîaceted beîngs, portray thîs în the nuance o characterîsatîon and the layerîng o the world o the story, and apprecîate the împortance o strîvîng to capture and reflect authentîcally and respectully the realîty o characters, theîr lîves and theîr world.
We know that those who work în all areas o chîldren’s books and lîteracy recognîse that there îs work to be done. The aîm o thîs survey îs to provîde us wîth a meanîngul annual benchmark so that we can contînue to guîde all stakeholders to învest în and împrove the extent and qualîty o representatîon long ater the conversatîon has moved on. We want to channel the momentum to ensure that thîs îsn’t reduced to an awkward ootnote or ‘trend’ în the hîstory o UK chîldren’s publîshîng because somethîng as întegral as a person’s îdentîty and sense o sel deserves to be recognîsed, respected and valued now and always.
So we see thîs survey as an opportunîty or us to provîde some în depth analysîs that supports all those who work wîth and love books. We are hopîng that we wîll be able to provîde a regular, useul and meanîngul benchmark that îs not just a countîng exercîse but gîves us all the tools and knowledge to move orward and create truly reflectîve books and storîes across all areas o chîldren’s lîterature.
www.clpe.org.uk
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Executive Summary
There were 9115 chîldren’s books publîshed în the UK în 2017. O these only 391 eatured BAME characters.
Only 4% o the chîldren’s books publîshed în 2017 eatured BAME characters.
Only 1% o the chîldren’s books publîshed în the UK în 2017 had a BAME maîn character.
Over hal the fictîon books wîth BAME characters were defined as ‘contemporary realîsm’.
The demographîc make-up o the UK dîd not alîgn wîth the presence o BAME characters în books publîshed în 2017. Each ethnîc mînorîty category was sîgnîficantly under-represented. The Department or Educatîon reported în 2017 that 32.1% o pupîls o compulsory school age were o mînorîty ethnîc orîgîns. In stark contrast, only 1% o chîldren’s books had a BAME maîn character and a quarter o the books submîtted only eatured BAME presence în the orm o background characters.
Books întended specîfically or a school based audîence or educatîonal înstructîon defined as ‘Readîng Schemes’ made up 29% o the submîssîons. Thîs would îndîcate that only two thîrds o an already very small set o tîtles were developed or a mass ‘book shop’ readershîp, thereore suggestîng an even lower overall proportîon o books produced or chîldren eatured BAME presence. I we omît the number o books defined as Readîng Schemes thîs would suggest that only 3.7% o books publîshed în 2017 eaturîng BAME presence were developed or the ‘book shop’ market.
The fictîon tîtles were categorîsed accordîng to a set o agreed sub-categorîes întended to define subject matter. ‘Contemporary Realîsm’ was a category defined as books set în modern day landscapes/ contexts; these amounted to 91 tîtles, whîch accounted or 56% o the fictîon submîssîons. Thîs category thereore eatured the hîghest percentage o BAME character presence. Only 1 o the chîldren’s fictîon tîtles submîtted could be classîfied as comedy, conversely 10% o submîtted books eatured Socîal Justîce themes. Almost a thîrd o submîssîons
10% o books wîth BAME characters contaîned ‘socîal justîce’ îssues.
Only one book eaturîng a BAME character was defined as ‘comedy’.
26% o the nonfictîon submîssîons were aîmed at an ‘Early Years’ audîence.
classîfied as contaînîng socîal justîce îssues ocused on themes o war and conflîct. Thîs very much corresponds wîth the socîetal context o recent years and îs împortant to acknowledge, explore and mîrror în lîterature. That saîd thîs does however raîse some împortant questîons. Do those rom mînorîty backgrounds only have a platorm when theîr suferîng îs beîng explored? And how does such dîsproportîonate varîatîon o representatîon skew perspectîves o mînorîty groups?
The non-fictîon tîtles were categorîsed înto subject matter categorîes. The hîghest percentage o BAME character presence accordîng to type o non-fictîon were texts defined as Early Years Concepts tîtles. These made up 26% o the non-fictîon submîssîons. Early Years Concepts tîtles were defined as non-fictîon books targeted at readers aged 0-5. Thîs raîses concerns regardîng the extent and qualîty o BAME presence în non-fictîon tîtles more broadly în terms o publîshîng output and specîfically as chîldren move through the educatîon system. It would appear that as chîldren make the key transîtîon to Prîmary rom Early Years, non-fictîon ofers ewer opportunîtîes or chîldren o BAME backgrounds to experîence posîtîve and varîed representatîons, dîmînîshîng chances to nurture sel-worth and aspîratîon.
The data hîghlîghts not only the însuicîent degrees o representatîon but also brîngs înto questîon the qualîty o BAME representatîon în chîldren’s lîterature and how meanîngully such presence values, valîdates and reflects chîldren’s realîtîes.
www.clpe.org.uk
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UK Children’s Literature Profile 2017 obook%s publîshed 4 chîldren’s în 2017 eatured BAME characters
For full details see appendices on page 12
Proportion of Ethnic Minority Representation in Books According to Text Type FICTION NON PICTURE FICTION BOOKS % % % 3 6 6
For full details see appendices on page 12
www.clpe.org.uk6
Main characters in UK Children’s Literature 2017
Source: Department or Educatîon 32%
0.4%
0.1%
Arab
6.8%
pupîls o compulsory school age în England were o mînorîty ethnîc orîgîns în 2017
0.5%
Asian
o chîldren’s books 1% had a BAME maîn character
Contrast in Demographic Makeup with the Proportion of Ethnic Minority Presence in Children’s Literature For full details see appendices on page 14
3.4%
1%
Black
KEY: Percentage o populatîon în England and Wales reported as belongîng to an Identîfied Ethnîc Mînorîty category Source: Oice o Natîonal Statîstîcs
0.7%
0.1%
Chinese
2.2%
0.2%
Mixed Race
0.6%
0.3%
Other
Percentage o Total Books Publîshed în 2017 eaturîng maîn cast characters reported as belongîng to an Identîfied Ethnîc Mînorîty category
www.clpe.org.uk
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Tiers of Presence
Reflecting on Character Voice and Agency
As well as notîng the number o BAME characters and theîr posîtîon în the narratîve, we also documented înstances în whîch characters expressed themselves and whether or not theîr ethnîcîty was overly determîned or încîdental to the narratîve. 38% o the BAME maîn characters expressed theîr thoughts.
In tîtles where characters dîd explore theîr ethnîc îdentîty, thîs was oten wîthîn the context o plots ocused on the reugee experîence, bîographîes o key figures who had overcome sîgnîficant adversîty and one tîtle ocused on Cîvîl Rîghts. Wîthîn thîs sample o books, thereore only 6% o the tîtles eatured a maîn character who spoke about theîr ethnîcîty.
Multicultural Cast of Characters with Shared Agency
The number o books submîtted eaturîng a multîcultural cast o characters wîth shared agency amounted to 40 tîtles, whîch represents 10% o submîssîons. It îs înterestîng to note that în every ethnîc mînorîty category, BAME characters were more lîkely to eature as part o a multîcultural cast member as opposed to a lead maîn character.
Background Characters Identified as Belonging to an Ethnic Category
25% o the books submîtted only eatured BAME presence în the orm o background characters.
Position of Characters Identified as Belonging to an Ethnic Minority Category books eatured of 15969 BAMEbackground those books characters also had aBAME Maincharacter of 88 those books also had aBAME Secondarycharacter of 99 those books DID NOTeature aBAME Mainor Secondarycharacter
Illustratîon © Holly Sterlîng rom Everybody Feels Scared by Moîra Butterfield (QED)
www.clpe.org.uk
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Conclusions and Moving Forward
In our experîence o workîng wîth publîshers o chîldren’s lîterature, we know that they are passîonate about producîng qualîty books or theîr readershîp. Our revîew has been prooundly eye openîng and provîded clear însîghts înto how the publîshîng îndustry mîght better serve the needs and înterests o theîr readershîp. Every chîld îs entîtled to eel sae and valued. In the current socîo-polîtîcal and economîc clîmate the rîsk o margînalîsatîon o mînorîty groups îs heîghtened. I în theîr ormatîve years, chîldren do not see theîr realîtîes reflected în the world around them or only see problematîc representatîons mîrrored back at them, the împact can be tremendously damagîng. To redress îmbalances în representatîon îs not an act o charîty but an act o necessîty that benefits and enrîches all o our realîtîes. Energîes must be învested înto normalîsîng and makîng maînstream the breadth and range o realîtîes that exîst wîthîn our classrooms and socîety în order or all chîldren to eel valued and entîtled to occupy the lîterary space. There îs an appetîte and demand or better, more broadly representatîve books, whîch makes the învestment în such books an ethîcal, moral and commercîal împeratîve.
The publîshîng îndustry has recognîsed an îmbalance în representatîon and as a result has started to învest tîme and money towards redressîng thîs. At CLPE, we want to help buîld on thîs and move the conversatîon on. The publîcatîon o thîs survey marks a begînnîng, not an end and we hope that by devîsîng thîs ramework we have produced a tool that wîll support all stakeholders to contînue to revîew and analyse books through a crîtîcally reflectîve lens so that we can all move orward în thîs journey. Thîs publîcatîon provîdes a blueprînt or an annual survey that helps înorm and guîde ongoîng învestment în broadenîng representatîon în chîldren’s lîterature. It îs a means o capturîng îndustry trends that can lead to a more nuanced conversatîon about the value and împact o reflectîng realîtîes. In tîme we hope that the findîngs and supportîng analysîs wîll înorm how best to meet the needs and înterests o all readers.
www.clpe.org.uk
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Recommendations
Content n  BAME characters need to be better represented wîthîn chîldren’s lîterature în general – better reflectîng the UK populatîon, not as a tîck box exercîse but as a meanîngul and accurate representatîon o the înterconnected, dîverse socîety wîthîn whîch our chîldren are growîng up.
n  Content should be balanced, allowîng or cultural specîficîty wîthout reducîng characterîsatîons to derogatory stereotypes or a two dîmensîonal shorthand.
n  BAME characters need to be well developed and authentîcally portrayed.
n  BAME characters should not be predomînantly defined by theîr struggle, suferîng or ‘otherness.’
n  BAME characters should be central to many narratîves and not only predomînantly eature în the margîns.
Text Types and Genres n  Non-fictîon beyond the early years needs to be more representatîve, ensurîng that ully representatîve texts accompany chîldren at each stage o theîr development and growth.
n  BAME characters should exîst across a range o genres and wîthîn both fictîon and non-fictîon, allowîng readers to experîence the ull spectrum o emotîons when enjoyîng these representatîons.
n  Partîcular consîderatîon should be gîven towards makîng books produced or the ‘gît’ and ‘trade’ markets more representatîve, accompanîed by confident marketîng strategîes, resourcîng and învestment to ensure wîder access.
Authorship n  Thorough research and careul consîderatîon should be exercîsed to ensure respectul, nuanced and layered portrayals.
n  The îndustry should învest în both establîshed and new authors rom a range o backgrounds who are able to paînt characters and worlds wîth the întegrîty that the subject matter deserves.
www.clpe.org.uk
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Appendices
Methodology
We undertook a act findîng mîssîon and consulted wîth the Cooperatîve Chîldren’s Book Center o the School o Educatîon at the Unîversîty o Wîsconsîn–Madîson to glean însîghts rom theîr practîces and protocols as developed over the last three decades that would help înorm our approach.
We învîted UK Publîshers o Chîldren’s Lîterature to îdentîy, collate and submît all theîr tîtles that ulfilled the ollowîng crîterîa:
Text Type
Chîldren’s Fîctîon
Chîldren’s Non-Fîctîon
Pîcture Books
Age Range
3-11 years
Content
Featurîng Black and Mînorîty Ethnîc Characters
We made clear rom the outset that we would not publîsh data about îndîvîdual publîshers or compare them to one another. We have however expressed that we are happy to share the data about publîsher specîfic output wîth the relevant publîsher upon request so that they can see how well we thînk they reflect the realîtîes o theîr readershîp.
We receîved 587 submîssîons rom 40 publîshers. Upon receîpt o these books, we applîed the elîgîbîlîty crîterîa to determîne whîch tîtles would qualîy or processîng. 391 out o the 587 tîtles qualîfied or processîng under the submîssîons crîterîa.
In collaboratîon wîth the Steerîng Group we developed an Analysîs Framework that would allow us to revîew both the extent and qualîty o Ethnîc Mînorîty representatîon în each tîtle. The Ethnîc categorîes were drawn rom the UK Census categorîes wîth approprîate extensîons to these definîtîons to accommodate broader representatîons o ethnîcîty în lîterature. Whîlst acknowledgîng the lîmîtatîons o the Census definîtîons o ethnîcîty, we chose to apply these to allow us to draw parallels wîth the UK populatîon versus the characters who populate the world o books.
The ramework was structured to help us to consîder how many BAME characters eatured în each book, theîr posîtîon în the narratîve, theîr degree o agency and the qualîty o the representatîon both în the text and în îllustratîons.
Publîcatîon Detaîls
Publîshed în the UK
Fîrst Publîshed în 2017
www.clpe.org.uk
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