Yet more negative news about progress in UK schools
England is being overtaken by other leading nations because progress on literacy has stalled, says chief schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw.
Reading standards have not improved since 2005, he told BBC Two’s Newsnight.
Speaking ahead of a speech on Thursday, in which he will call for targets for 11-year-olds to be raised, he said: “Our standards should be higher.”
Teaching unions say big improvements have been made in the past two decades.
They have accused Ofsted and the government of “playing fast and loose with international data”.
Sir Michael, who took over the chief inspector’s role in January, told Newsnight: “Standards in literacy and reading went up between 1995 and 2005.
There are concerns that since then progress has flatlined.
Maybe if the Government stopped bombarding schools with new initiatives and moving the goalposts every few years, teachers and pupils might be in with a chance.
If you look at the data objectively you can see that progress has been made but sadly it seems that there has been an embargo on positive news about education in this country at the moment. All this negativity is incredibly damaging; teachers are demoralised, quite rightly feeling that all their hard work is being publicly dismissed whereas families feel that their children’s achievements are undermined or that their children are not being taught properly.
Research on the way that the Canadian Government treats its education system shows how much more effective positivity and constructive criticism is in raising standards.
Maybe it is time for the English Government to take a leaf out of their book.