» Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Asked about the statistics released today by OFSTED which indicated that 50% of boys and 30% of girls left Primary school without sufficient literacy skills, the PMOS said that what was also important was to recognise as well that OFSTED found that more children than ever were reaching the acceptable standards in English and Maths. Results in Key stage 2 showed that attainment in English had gone up 13%, in Maths by 15%. International studies showed that standards were high and rising. That did not mean that we had yet reached the standard we had wished for. But the trend was going in the right direction.

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1 Comment »

  1. Damning statistics, it would seem… the thought of half of our 11-year-old boys being partially or wholly illiterate is frightening.

    However, let us consider what the phrase "sufficient literacy" means. What should the average 11-year-old boy or girl be expected to demonstrate to be judged literate? What, exactly, constitutes an "acceptable" standard of literacy? (candidates should answer ONLY in monosyllables).

    If a child leaves junior school after at least 5 years of planned teaching "without sufficient literacy skills", what does this tell us about our current education system? (these key words and phrases may help you with your answer: crap, administration overload, substitute parenting, mental breakdown, data massage)

    However, if said child comes to the UK aged 8 with little if any English, and then leaves Key Stage 2 after 3 years of planned teaching with at least a basic level of functional literacy, does this instead reflect good quality teaching? (Answer a) yes or b) yes).

    Also, what is the relation between "attainment had gone up by 13%" and "50% of boys left Primary school without sufficient literacy skills"? (Calculators are not allowed for this answer).

    Obfuscation is a skill at which many teachers excel… but this… however, take heart. Even if our children are growing up without adequate literacy skills, they’ll understand the word "spin", anyhow.

    Comment by aunty q — 23 Feb 2005 on 8:40 pm | Link

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