The Boys Who Need a Father Figure at School
Byline: Laura Clark
SCHOOLS should provide father figures for white working-class boys who lack them at home, Ofsted inspectors declared yesterday.
They should ensure that boys get 'good male role models' because too many are growing up with poor attitudes to adults, especially women teachers.
In a report on under-achievement by white boys from lowincome homes, the inspectors said schools needed to be sensitive to children's family lives.
They praised one school which tries 'to put in place what isn't done at home' and another which ensured boys had male teachers or mentors.
The report also called for greater use of action-packed adventure stories in English that would appeal to boys and help improve their literacy.
It added that encouraging boys to go on school trips, including adventure activities, helps boost their self-confidence. And it sug- gested that boys respond positively to direct rewards such as cakes and fizzy drinks for making an effort at school.
The report is aimed at addressing growing political concern over the lack of progress made by white boys from poor homes.
Their achievement at GCSE is now worse than any other group, giving them a reduced chance of getting into university.
Official figures show that only 15 per cent of white boys qualifying for free school meals finish compulsory schooling having mastered the three Rs.
For black boys from similar backgrounds the figure is 22 per cent, while for Asians it is 29 per cent and Chinese 52 per cent.
For its report, Ofsted inspectors surveyed 20 schools where white working-class boys were bucking the trend and doing well in national tests and GCSEs. …