Five-year-olds not ready for school
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Tuesday 08 May 2012
Thousands of five-year-olds are arriving at school with too limited a vocabulary to take part in lessons, a senior government adviser revealed today.
Even some in high performing schools ion the leafier suburbs are struggling, Dr Liz Sidwell, the Government's Schools Commissioner, told a conference in London today.
Dr Sidwell, whose job means she advises ministers on tackling under-performance and its flagship academies programme, warned that one of the biggest problems was parents just not getting out of bed in the morning to send their children off to school.
“If your parents are lying in bed and don’t go to work, it is very difficult to get the children up on time” she said. “This is something we really can’t have.”
She revealed she had devised five golden rules for good parenting which she urged schools to pass on.
These were: get up in the morning, give your children some breakfast, send them off to school on time and make sure you talk to them during the day.
“How can we get these children to come to school on time if this is happening?” she said. Even high achieving schools were affected.
“Children at five are coming in with lower and lower ability to get on with their work,” she added.
“At the moment children aren’t ready for school at five.”
Figures showed that five-year-olds from disadvantaged homes were likely to be at least a year behind in their vocabulary when they first started school.
In addition, 1.9 million schoolchildren came from workless homes.
Figures also showed that 700 primary schools failed to reach the Government’s minimum target of 60 per cent of pupils reaching the required standard in maths and English by the age of 11.
Around 200 have failed to reach the minimum target for five years in succession.
Dr Sidwell,. speaking at a conference of the Forum of Independent Day Schools – made up of largely former direct grant schools who went independent when Labour introduced its comprehensive drive in the 1970’s rather than abandon selection, urge independent schools to sponsor local primary schools.
They need not part with cash but could pass on their expertise to the schools, she said.
Dr Sidwell also urged oversubscribed academies to consider introducing a lottery system to determine school admissions.
She said lotteries were popular with parents because they understood them as many of them did the lottery in their spare time.
Earlier, Toby Young, the journalist and founder of the West London free school, revealed his school used a lottery to help determine admissions to avoid middle class parents snapping up all the places by buying higher priced homes near the school.
The school allocated 45 per cent of places on proximity to it, the majority of the rest were viay amongst those who lives within a 1.5 mile radius of the school with a smaller number going via a separate lottery for those within three miles of the school. In addition 10 per cent of places were for those children with musical aptitude.
Dr Sidwell also called for stiffer targets for secondary schools. At present the minimum target is 35 per cent of pupils getting five or more A* to C grade passes including maths and English rising to 50 per cent by 2015.
“I believe there should be 80 per cent,” she said. “We have a long way to go.”
Meanwhile a commission was launched today to examine the academies programme. Chaired by former chief schools inspector Christine Gilbert, it will examine admissions policies and the use which academies are making of their freedom from local authority control.
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
Matt Damon uses toilet water in ice bucket challenge to stress sanitation issues in developing world
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Rubble Bucket Challenge: Ice Bucket Challenge adapted in solidarity with Gazans whose homes have been destroyed in conflict
Car tax disc changes: Make sure you know the new rules from 1 October or risk £1,000 fine
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- 1 Rice Bucket Challenge: India's take on the Ice Bucket Challenge 'for Indian needs'
- 2 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Rubble Bucket Challenge: Ice Bucket Challenge adapted in solidarity with Gazans whose homes have been destroyed in conflict
- 5 Teenager dies after suspected ice bucket challenge goes horribly wrong
- < Previous
- Next >
£120 - £180 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are looki...
£70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: School Receptionist - Part ...
£7 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: We are a large and successful recrui...
£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...