A SCHOOL has stepped in to pay for all its new pupils to have the chance of picking a free book after the Government cut funding for a literacy programme.

Until last year, every 11-year-old in England got the chance to choose a free book during their first term at secondary school as part of the national Booked Up scheme.

But the scheme closed in 2012 after funding from the Department for Education was removed.

"The current financial climate has meant this year's Year Seven will not have the opportunity to take part," English teacher and librarian Tamsin Page said.

"However Hinchingbrooke School Library has set up 'Hinchingbrooke Booked Up', picking up the financial cost to ensure no Hinchingbrooke student misses out."

She said the aim was to "support and encourage reading for pleasure and independent choice at a difficult time of transition".

The pupils were able to choose from a list of specially selected title, including the Hunger Games Trilogy, Fact Attack books and books by authors such as Jacqueline Wilson and Roald Dahl.

Each one has a book plate inside which reads: "This book is a present from Hinchingbrooke School Library as you begin secondary school in the hope that it will encourage you to develop a life-long love of reading."

Mrs Page appealed for any parents who want to support the scheme to contact the school.

INFORMATION: Anyone interested in helping the Hinchingbrooke Booked Up scheme should contact the school on 01480 375700.