Andrew Allison

Conservatives and Education

In Conservatives, education on November 18, 2007 at 5:23 pm

The Conservative Party has announced that it intends to scrap Key Stage 1 and instead introduce a simple reading test. They also want to ensure that all pupils can read at the end of Year 1.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with my party over this. Children should be encouraged to read from an early age; this is without doubt, but setting yet more targets and pushing reading down the throats of young children who are not yet ready for it will be counter productive. I believe we start formal education too early in Britain. Children prior to the age of seven – in my opinion – should be taught to read and learn basic arithmetic in an informal, fun setting, as well as in the home. If you want children to learn you have to make sure they enjoy it first and that they do not feel they are failures.

I hope this policy announcement will be open for discussion and then dismissed.

  1. I don’t know about delaying formal education till 7 but I agree that more target setting in education is NOT what is needed.

  2. Hi Andrew,

    Can’t agree with you on this one. Scrappin Key Stage 1 tests and replacing them with a simpler reading test, is a sensible move. It will actually relieve the pressure on teachers and mean that they can focus on basic literacy.

    What we need to ensure is that these simple reading tests are used not to punish teachers but to simply inform for future learning. That is pretty much how things use to operate.

    Of course, the most Conservative thing we could do is scrap the National Curriculum in its current form. Oh and perhaps get rid of a few underperforming Heads too. We certainly have some of them locally don’t we …

  3. You and Fiona Phillips! Agree with both of you by the way.

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