BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Education  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Boys still struggle with writing
Writing
Writing has been a longstanding problem
The success of the literacy hour in primary schools is still held back by boys' difficulties with learning to write.

The Education Secretary Estelle Morris said that the systematic effort to raise literacy standards had made England a pioneer that other countries would follow.

But she warned that 11-year -old boys were "under-achieving massively" with their writing.

Writing has been a longstanding problem area for the target-chasing ambitions of the government.

As early as July 1999, the Office for Standards in Education warned that "writing is relatively neglected" in the literacy strategy.

The then school standards minister, Estelle Morris, had promised to "address these concerns by providing additional training in the teaching of writing".

Extra staffing

Boys have improved their test results for writing since the introduction of the literacy hour in 1998 - but they are still below the ability levels of girls.

The proportion of boys achieving the expected levels for writing at the age of 11 in 2001 was 50%, compared with 65% for girls.

The scores for reading were much higher - with 78% for boys and 85% for girls.

The education secretary said that the biggest challenge was now in finding ways to "reach the kids we've not yet reached".

"We need to work harder at trying to understand why some groups are still under-achieving."

"Do we really have a great knowledge and understanding of why boys are under-achieving massively in writing?"

The drive to improve literacy levels has also meant that many more staff are used in the primary classroom.

A survey of head teachers published by the Department for Education says that 98% of primary schools are using classroom assistants in delivering the literacy hour.

And 89% of heads reported that assistants made a positive contribution to the quality of literacy teaching.

See also:

05 Jul 99 | UK Education
28 Nov 00 | UK Education
20 Sep 00 | UK Education
Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes