Education: Literacy Hour in Secondary Schools Would Be Damaging, Teachers Warn
Garner, Richard, The Independent (London, England)
PROPOSALS FOR a shake-up of the English secondary school curriculum will damage the way the subject is taught to pupils, teachers said yesterday.
A survey of teachers who have been piloting the plans this year revealed that 88 per cent believe they would adversely affect teaching of the subject.
Under the plans, the Government will extend the introduction of the compulsory literacy hour in primary schools to secondary schools from September. It has piloted the reform, which includes optional tests for pupils aged 12 and 13, in 17 local education authorities this year.
Ministers intend to make the shake-up of the secondary schools curriculum a key part of Labour's election manifesto. They are worried that standards in national curriculum tests for 14-year- olds have failed to rise as fast as the improvement in tests for 11- year-olds.
Bethan Marshall, assistant secretary of the National Association of Teachers of English, said: "What the English teachers said is that it will allow them very little time to concentrate on developing the quality of extended writing among their pupils. What you need to do among pupils of this age is to develop this kind of talent. …