Teachers Accused of Failing English

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Byline: GAVIN MADELEY

TRAINEE teachers have such a poor grasp of English that they are unable to do their jobs properly, it was claimed yesterday.

A study by school inspectors found that teaching graduates' standards of spelling and grammar were so bad that they could not teach their subjects effectively.

The HM Inspectorate of Education report said many new secondary school staff lacked proper training in reading and writing.

Presenting his findings, senior chief inspector Douglas Osler said: 'The attention given to literacy issues in secondary programmes for subjects other than English was often insufficient, leaving some student teachers poorly prepared.' The report comes less than two months after universities claimed they were 'dumbing down' courses because undergraduates had such a poor grasp of English and mathematics. Mr Osler called on schools used for teaching practice placements and university faculties of education to keep a closer check on the efforts of student teachers to improve their pupils' reading and writing.

He said in his report: 'Some student teachers had insufficient knowledge about how to develop necessary reading or writing skills for pupils in the context of their subjects.'

Judith Gillespie, of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, said she was concerned but not surprised. …