By Richard GarnerEducation Editor
Writing standards among seven-year-olds have fallen for the second year in succession, according to test results published yesterday.
The figures have prompted concerns that the new generation of youngsters are learning so-called "texting" skills instead of mastering the basics of grammar and punctuation. In addition, teachers' leaders and academics are warning they are being pushed into learning the three Rs at too early an age - and becoming frustrated when they cannot master them.
Figures for this year's test results show the percentage of youngsters reaching the required standard in the reading and maths test remain the same as last year - at 84 per cent and 90 per cent respectively.
The figure for writing has dropped by one percentage point - for the second year in a row - to 80 per cent.
Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "I think youngsters are learning a different culture of writing nowadays. It is all about writing "cu2nite" rather than writing it out."
Children are being taught to use texting shorthand at home - instead of developing writing skills, he argued.
Mr Brookes also called for a review of testing, claiming that the writing test was pitched at a higher level than reading. …