Thursday, June 25, 2009

O Rose, thou art sick!

Here's a follow up to 'A Rose but ...' Debbie Hepplewhite of the Reading Reform Foundation summed up the Report pretty well I thought:

"I've now read through Rose's Dyslexia Report - some parts too quickly so I need to re-read - however there is a lack of clarity and lack of mention of different types of phonics and different types of teaching.
Rose goes to some lengths to describe the details of various courses for training as a dyslexia specialist - but the report leaves many unanswered questions for me about the details of content and methodology of 'interventions'.
In fact, there is very little information indeed about 'interventions' and no real mention of the fact that many local authorities and the government itself and the National Strategies team currently promote interventions which are 'whole language'."

Frankly, I'm disgusted with the report. If it doesn't provide a clear vision of what to do about children who can't read and spell, then what good is it.
Now, here's a story for you:
In the seventies, the newly formed Anti Nazi League approached Ernie Roberts, an executive member of the AUEW(Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers)and one-time assistant General-Secretary, to ask him to lend his name in support. His executive were resolutely opposed to the ANL. However, Roberts, coming up to retirement anyway, went with his gut instincts and came out publicly in support. It might not sound like much but, in those days, it was quite a big deal for someone to go against such a powerful union body (which included Hughie Scanlon!), particularly when they had been such a central part of it for so long.

What a contrast with our not-so-fragrant knight, who had the opportunity to tell the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families that the DCSF shouldn't be promoting two antagonistic approaches. And to tell us what works in catching up these desperate, illiterate kids!

Blake's poem doesn't seem such a bad metaphor.

5 comments:

  1. John, in excess of 5,000 teaching practioners (we must be close to 6,000 now) have had the Sounds-Write training. How come there is no mention of this type of training in this Report?

    DL

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  2. In fact, it's on the way towards 6,500 now.
    There's no mention because, officially, people like Jim Rose say that they are not able to recommend any one programme!
    I was in St Thomas Aquinas Primary a couple of years ago talking to an Ofsted inspector, inspecting the school, who thought that Sounds-Write was fantastic. I asked her if she'd be recommending it from then on.
    "Oh no," she replied. "I can't advocate any one programme."
    So I said, " Let's get this straight. You are an Ofsted inspector and when you see a programme you think works really well, you can't tell anyone else about it?"
    "That's right!" she said.
    This is the kind of arsey versey world we now live in! Frustrating, isn't it?
    John

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  3. So how come 'Reading Recovery' keeps getting mentioned by DCSF bods?

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  4. I thought that was because Gordon Brown discovered he had some relatives training to become Reading Recovery teachers and consequently started throwing money at it and telling Ed Balls to support it. But maybe that's a myth of the same sort as the suggestion that some MPs may have been fiddling their expenses!?

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  5. The reason RR is firmly in the frame is because the BB (Balls and Brown)have decided to privilege it by promoting it and ladling out the cash to support it. In other words, it's not a level playing field. If you read the Policy Exchange document, you'll see that the authors think that the professional service company KPMG has also had a significant influence on this. If I've got time, I'll blog it.
    However, the Reading Reform Foundation have huge amounts of stuff on how the evidence to support RR jut doesn't stack up. See this for starters: http://rrf.org.uk/messageforum/viewtopic.php?t=3934

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