The childcare minister Elizabeth Truss has criticised “chaotic” nurseries for breeding what she claimed were a generation of children with no manners. This is from the Guardian…
The Tory minister said that pre-schools were filled with toddlers “running around with no sense of purpose”, adding that by allowing unruly behaviour in nurseries, children are unable to sit still by the time they get to primary school. She said: “We want children to learn to listen to a teacher, learn to respect an instruction, so that they are ready for school.
“This isn’t about two-year-olds doing academic work – it’s structured play which teaches children to be polite and considerate through activities which the teacher is clearly leading.”
In comments to the Daily Mail, Truss – who has two children – called for a more traditional approach similar to the French system, where graduate level teachers supervise children from as young as two.
“What you notice in French nurseries is just how calm they are. All of their classes are structured and led by teachers. It’s a requirement. Children get into the habit of waiting their turn, of saying hello to the teacher when they come into the room,” she said. “They learn to socialise with each other, pay attention to the teacher and develop good manners, which is not the case in too many nurseries in Britain.”
The comments come as the government is preparing to give tax breaks to working parents to help cover the costs of childcare. The changes, which are set to be introduced in 2015, will offer working couples as much as £1,200 per child.
Truss’s attack on nurseries suggests that improvements need to be made to some schools before the tax breaks are brought in. She added that Ofsted inspectors will be told to mark down nurseries which do not employer better qualified staff and more provide structured learning.
Here’s the original interview in the Mail: A generation of unruly toddlers: Schools Minister says nursery children aren’t taught manners