The Press Association (via the Mail) is reporting warnings from Sir Michael Wilshaw that the good work done by primary schools is being “lost” when they enter secondary education, causing “an enormous waste of talent”.
…He said he had “great cause for concern” about the transition from primary to secondary education and warned it was “particularly damaging” for the most able pupils from poorer backgrounds.
In the first of a series of monthly commentaries, Sir Michael said: ” My inspectors tell me that much of the good, structured work done in primary schools on understanding and using correct grammar, both when writing and when speaking, is lost when pupils enter the secondary phase.
“Worse still, the rigour with which spelling, punctuation and grammar is being taught at primary stage is often not developed sufficiently at secondary stage, especially in the foundation subjects like history and geography.
“This slows down all children, but is particularly damaging for the most able pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds who disproportionately fail to fulfil their earlier potential when they come to sit their GCSE examinations.”
…he pointed to figures in 2014 which showed around 5,000 disadvantaged pupils, who attained the highest levels at the end of Key Stage Two, had failed to achieve a grade B in English and mathematics at the age of 16.
“This is little short of a tragedy for the young people concerned and an enormous waste of talent for our country,” he said.
Sir Michael said he would offer his “full support” to plans to introduce resit tests for Year Seven pupils who do not achieve the expected standards for 11-year-olds…
UPDATE: Sir Michael’s commentary is now available in full from Ofsted: HMCI’s monthly commentary: October 2015
See also: Wilshaw: ‘Nobody can argue against the benefits of phonics’
Is Sir Michael right to suggest there are issues with the transition between primaries and secondaries?
What about the suggestion that much of the good work being done in primaries – especially in terms of spelling and grammar – is being lost when children enter secondary schools?
Please share your insights and reactions in the comments or via Twitter…
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