EVEN THOUGH league tables are an important way of holding schools to account over academic attainment, it is important to remember that education is at its most effective when it is a three-way partnership between teachers, parents and pupils.
Schooling does not begin in classroom – the erroneous view held by some families. It begins at home and a child’s future chances will, to a degree, be shaped by their early years before they even set foot into their primary school.
Yet, while a majority of fathers and mothers take their responsibilities seriously, and undertake activities at home which will boost the learning and awareness of their children, a significant number do not according to a Department for Education poll. It is this lack of parental inter-action which means some youngsters have little recognition of the alphabet, and struggle to write very basic words, when they begin their primary education. The consequence is the pupils concerned struggling to grasp the basics, despite the best efforts of teachers, and then finding the transition to secondary school more daunting when learning, and exams, do intensify.
Yet, while the Government’s new Chat, Play and Read programme sounds laudable in practice, the onus is on Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, needs to answer the following question as part of his politics homework. Has the Government’s scaling back of Labour’s SureStart programme been a factor – and how does he intend to help those parents who don’t have the necessary literacy or numeracy schools to pass on to their own children during these crucial formative years?