Friday, 26 June 2009

Teaching the 3Rs

The fetish with localism will clearly be fully realised in next week's schools white paper, as the National Strategies are abandoned in literacy and numeracy. In truth, what matters most is that pupils are taught the basics properly, including phonics, and not that they are taught through the strategies which had not been as effectively delivered in recent years as they were when they first started.

But there should still be a role for government in kitemarking quality, whether provided by other schools, local authorities or private providers. Schools should be able to choose from quality providers. Otherwise the danger is that there will be a return to the haphazard teaching of the 3Rs that occurred before the strategies. And ministers must be very clear that the primacy of the basics is not being compromised, and that every pupil will still have an entitlement to learn to read (using phonics), to write clearly, and to learn arithmetic skills.

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