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August 31, 2003

This, the top story (about anything) at the Telegraph site today, is interesting:

Children are starting school less well prepared than ever because parents are failing to raise their youngsters properly, according to the Government's Chief Inspector of Schools.

In an interview with The Telegraph, David Bell, the head of Ofsted, said that too many children were receiving a "disrupted and dishevelled" upbringing. As a result the verbal and behavioural skills of the nation's five-year-olds were at an all-time low, causing severe difficulties for schools.

Mr Bell said that one of the key causes was the failure of parents to impose proper discipline at home, which led to poor behaviour in class.

Another serious concern was the tendency to sit children in front of the television, rather than talking and playing with them. This meant that many were unable to speak properly when they started school.
"It is difficult to get hard statistical evidence on what is happening across the country," said Mr Bell, "but if you talk to a lot of primary head teachers, as I do, they will say that youngsters appear less well prepared for school than they have ever been before.

"For many young people school is the most stable part of what can be quite disrupted and dishevelled lives. This should worry us because if children don't all start at broadly the same point, we should not be surprised if the gap widens as they go through the education system."

I have the feeling that the word "dishevelled" is going to get quoted a lot.

One of the things I'm learning about blogging is: if all you have to say about an article is that it is interesting, then leave it at that. Don't comment just for the sake of it, or you're liable to end up with a rather unwieldy posting consisting of something else stitched onto the original quote, which not many will want to plough through.

So: that (the quote above, before the irrelevant essay bit) is interesting.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 12:00 PM
Category: BloggingParents and children
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