Trendies Who Betrayed Our Pupils, by Charles; PRINCE ATTACKS TEACHING METHODS THAT IGNORED BASIC SKILLS

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Byline: TONY HALPIN

THE Prince of Wales launched a blistering attack yesterday on the legacy of decades of trendy teaching.

Generations of children had been sold short by a failure to teach the three Rs properly, creating a 'moral and cultural void' which threatened civilised society, he said.

'There can be no doubt about the importance to our children of the basic skills of reading, writing, and numeracy,' Charles told a gathering of business executives from companies working in partnership with schools as part of his Business in the Community organisation.

'If these things are not taught to children in the most effective way - and we have seen a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with trendy ideas over the past 40 years - then children will be placed at a grave disadvantage for the rest of their lives.' He went on: 'Anything less than the best inevitably leads to underachievement and unemployment, which you understand better than most. It can lead to even worse. It can

result in a superficiality of existence which is rooted in the material and the transient. A moral and cultural void can swallow these young people up as they live a life excluded from literature, culture, history and ideas that identify us as a nation and define us as human beings.' Many of the business executives at the conference at St James's Palace admitted they had been shocked into action by reports showing that nearly half of 11-year-olds do not reach the expected standards in English and maths. …