Teenage pupils 'lack motivation'

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Indy Politics
UP TO 40 per cent of teenagers in some schools lack motivation with 10 to 20 per cent seriously disaffected, MPs were told yesterday, writes Ngaio Crequer.

Michael Barber, Professor of Education at Keele University, told the Education Select Committee there was a peer group culture against achievement at school, which had to be changed. The committee is inquiring into performance in inner-city schools.

Professor Barber said it was important there was a national expectation that these children would do well, regardless of their circumstances. He said some US teachers gave voluntary classes to children to keep up. Teachers had found a new lease of life because the children had wanted to be there.

Professor Peter Mortimore, deputy director of London's Institute of Education, said the emphasis should be on children's achievements rather than ability.

More effective teaching methods on the Continent lead to higher standards than in Britain, especially for low-achievers, according to a study which compared school performance in England, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, MPs were also told yesterday.