Tuesday, May 12, 2009

'Rising Marks, Falling Standards' - a report from Policy Exchange

Thanks to Susan Godsland of the RRF for the heads-up on a new report that launches a blistering attack on the Government's education policy. It's by the Policy Exchange, 'an independent, non-partisan educational charity', and it's called: 'Rising Marks, Falling Standards: an investigation into literacy, numeracy and science in primary and secondary schools' by Tom Richmond and Sam Freedman.
What are the main findings in the report?
- After spending £2 billion (Yes, that's two billion pounds!) on the Primary Literacy Strategy, the effect on pupil achievement has been minimal
- Progress has been far slower than has been claimed and has now ground to a halt
- The Government's insistence on opting for a single approach has reduced innovation. And, when it has got it right, as in the case of the change of tack towards synthetic phonics following the Rose Review, it has taken so long and the process is so bureaucratic that change is not taken up with enthusiasm and the drive necessary to implement it properly.
In the course of the next few days, I shall be looking at some of the more important findings in the report.

2 comments:

  1. I've just read this document and am amazed there hasn't been more publicity in the national press. To my way of thinking the failure of the various strategies and additional interventions are more scandalous and expensive to the taxpayer and the long-term future of the country than any of the MP expense furore currently bagging the headlines.

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  2. You're right, Gini! The billions wasted every year on secondary school catch-up programmes, and adult and prison literacy programmes in the English-speaking countries is a scandal when most of it need never have to take place. The answer: quality first phonic programmes that teach children to read and spell as soon as they begin school.

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