Teacher finds five spelling and grammar mistakes in Department of Education letter about writing

'I am not disappointed by this letter, it has saved me planning one of my spelling, grammar and punctuation lessons'

Jess Staufenberg
Tuesday 03 May 2016 18:17 BST
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The teacher had written expressing concerns over more tests for children in Key Stage 2
The teacher had written expressing concerns over more tests for children in Key Stage 2 (Rex Features)

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A teacher has described her surprise at the spelling and grammar mistakes she found in a letter sent to her by Department for Education.

Mary Davies, a primary school teacher from North Yorkshire, posted the letter to social media.

The letter, which outlines the importance of spelling to Ms Davies, was attempting to address the teacher's concerns about recent changes to Key Stage 2 testing in that area.

Ms Davies accompanied the letter with a comment on how the Department's own writing did not appear to be "performing in relation to the national expectations."

"I am not disappointed by this letter, it has saved me planning one of my SPAG lessons, and has also confirmed my suspicions that the Department for Education is not capable of meeting the standards expected of primary school children," she said, referring to Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar lessons.

"Oh, and just a tiny bit of advice, if you need to print a letter out over two pages, it looks more professional if both sheets of paper are the same quality and colour."

The first page of the reply from the Department of Education, which has no mistakes
The first page of the reply from the Department of Education, which has no mistakes (Mary Davies/Facebook)

The letter contained five spelling and grammar mistakes, the teacher said.


The second page of the reply, which contained five spelling and grammar errors 

 The second page of the reply, which contained five spelling and grammar errors 
 (Mary Davies/Facebook)

These included: the wrong use of a possessive apostrophe at the end of "teachers", using "have" when the subject is singular, no capitals on the words National Curriculum, no full stop at the end of a sentence, and the absence of a comma.

Ms Davies said the letter had arrived six weeks after she sent one to Secretary of State Nicky Morgan querying changes to the way children will be assessed in their last four years of primary school.

The new tests are intended to be "tougher", with children expected to understand new concepts including "subjunctive moods" and "passives with and without agents".

In the letter, the the DfE says it makes "no apology for setting high aspirations for children".

This week thousands of parents said they would remove their children from school in protest over "stressful exams", while teachers have threatened strike action over government plans to force every school to become an academy.

The Independent has approached the Department for Education for comment.

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