CLPE Reflecting Realities - Survey of Ethnic Representation within UK Children’s Literature (November 2023)
This is the sixth Reflecting Realities report for books published in 2022 (focused on diversity and inclusion in children's books)
The annual CLPE survey, which is funded by Arts Council England, launched in 2017 with the key focus of determining the extent and quality of ethnic minority characters featured within Picturebooks, Fiction and Non-Fiction for ages 3–11 published in the UK. The publication of this year's survey was also supported through a kind donation from Inclusive Books for Children.
The report shows a sustained upward trend in the volume of inclusive and representative literature published for children in the UK.
Key findings include:
• 30% of the children’s titles published in 2022 featured racially minoritised characters, up from 4% in the first report in 2017.
• For the first year in its history the report shows a decrease in the presence of racially minoritised characters in picturebooks and non-fiction.
• This report welcomes and highlights the breadth of genres representing racially minoritised characters.
The increase in representative fiction was welcomed by CLPE as much needed and goes some way towards closing the marked gap between the text types. That said, it will be important to continue to carefully monitor the gap to ensure that the gains made in recent years are not undermined through a regression of presence.
‘We welcome the increase in overall output and were pleased to encounter more variation in the breadth of realities reflected in the literature we reviewed. We encourage publishers and creatives to build on the traction of recent years and continue to strive towards improving the volume and quality of titles that meaningfully reflect realities available to young readers.’
Read our blog Reflecting Realities, the methodology behind the report by Farrah Serroukh and Louise Johns-Shepherd
Illustrations © Chanté Timothy and reproduced with her kind permission.
Booklet design: Ben Cotterill