Reading for pleasure.

According to Polly Curtis, education editor of The Guardian, it’s taken Ofsted three years to find  that 30% of English lessons are not good enough and that little attempt is made to encourage teenagers to read for pleasure. I’m sure that if you two had been paid what it cost for Ofsted to come up with that information, you would now be considering early retirement

Too many teachers appear to give up on pupils once they fall behind, the report suggests, with white working-class boys most likely to suffer. In some lessons writing tasks had “no purpose other than to keep pupils quiet”, inspectors found.

The report was based on inspectors’ visits to English lessons in 122 primary and 120 secondary schools across England between April 2005 and March 2008. It praises recent developments, including better use of roleplay and drama, and reading in primaries. But test results have hardly improved since 2004.

Inspectors found that “at best” in secondary schools, only year 7s were encouraged to read for their own enjoyment.

Anthony Browne, the new children’s laureate, said: “If children are not encouraged to read for pure pleasure, if they are dragged away from reading books they enjoy – including picture books – and pushed into reading educationally worthy books, then we are in danger of creating a generation of non-readers.”

What I wonder is who has been ultimately responsible for children’s not reading for pure pleasure and being “pushed into reading educationally worthy books”. Nothing to do with Ofsted, I’ll warrant.


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