Nick Gibb's 'classics' deal offers little that schools can't have for free, writes Tony Parkin
On February 13 2016 the Department for Education (DfE) proudly launched its "New classic books in schools initiative". There's little new - or any 'initiative' - involved, as the department backs the cosy deal set up by schools minister Nick Gibb MP with Penguin Classics.
It aims to make a few bob out of the 100 recommended titles plucked from Penguin's Black Classics series. Most of them are already well out of copyright, and while Penguin has still been charging several pounds for most of them as Classics, other publishers were already offering them for anything between 99p and £1.50, and they are stock in trade for many a discount bookstore alongside the remaindered books.