Sunday, 2 September 2007

Keep failing pupils back a year

The BBC reports that David Cameron, the Tory leader, is proposing that failing students should repeat the last year of primary school. He said the move could form part of a "genuine schools revolution" improving literacy, numeracy and discipline.

But Schools Minister Jim Knight said the proposals for pupils to repeat a year would only stigmatise children who needed extra help. "They would also increase class sizes and make it impossible for teachers and parents to plan ahead," he said. "We need to intervene early rather than holding kids back."

And a government spokeswoman said Mr Cameron's claim that 43% of children leave primary school unable to read, write and count properly was "quite wrong". The Tory leader's intervention came as Schools Secretary Ed Balls urged schools to concentrate on the basics. He admitted government reforms had "not delivered for every child".

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