A new report in the Sunday Express this morning claims that more and more teachers are struggling with basic spelling and numeracy. The article reports that 'Michael Gove, the Shadow Schools Secretary, pledged that a future Conservative government would raise teaching standards'.
The real question needing to be addressed is: how do we improve standards in literacy and spelling? The answer does not lie in ploughing money into secondary schools. The task needs to be undertaken in the primary phase. The evidence lies behind statistics like those published each year by Sounds-Write. Year after year dozens of teachers all over the UK and using the Sounds-Write programme test the children they are teaching in spelling and the results are simply incontrovertible. Children can be taught to read and spell to a very high level, in most cases far exceeding their chronological age.
Instead of spending money on setting up bodies to deal with parents’ complaints, the government should be making sure that the training institutions are equipping teachers to deal with the national scandal that leaves so many children leaving school without basic competency in these areas.