Parents 'failing to get children ready for school'
Poor parenting is to blame for a rise in the number of children starting school unfit for the demands of compulsory education, according to a senior government official.
Dr Elizabeth Sidwell, the Schools Commissioner, said growing numbers of infants were unable to cope with lessons because of a lack of support in the home.
She called for the creation of a “five-a-day” guide to give parents step-by-step advice on how to raise their sons and daughters.
Families should be told to get their children up in the morning, give them breakfast, get them to school, engage in proper conversation and read together on a daily basis, she said.
Dr Sidwell also suggested that too many pupils were being let down by weak primary schools who fail to ensure enough children leave at 11 with a proper grasp of English and maths.
In a speech, she said private schools should help “sort out” underperforming primaries by sponsoring state-funded academies for pupils aged under-11.
The comments come amid continuing concerns over standards of state education in England.
Last year, 1,310 primaries fell short of Government targets in the three-Rs and 150 have been below basic benchmarks for at least five years.
Pupil performance is also strongly linked to household income. More than half of 11-year-olds eligible for free school meals failed to reach good standards in the basics last year compared with three-in-10 of their wealthier classmates.
Read more ... (Daily Telegraph - 8 May)