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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 June 2007, 05:00 GMT 06:00 UK
Slower pupils get one-on-one help
Primary pupils
The announcement is a move towards more personalised learning
Thousands of pupils in England will get one-to-one tuition as the government announces a pilot scheme to track pupils at risk of falling behind.

The two-year project will be run in 484 primary and secondary schools to trial new ways of assessing pupils' progress.

The scheme also aims to stimulate the undemanding, "invisible" child who may escape the teacher's attention.

The pilot involves a range of schools, including single-sex and mixed schools, middle schools, grammars and academies.

Under the scheme, thousands of children who are making slow progress will receive short "bursts" of 10 hours of extra one-to-one tuition in English and/or maths.

The government estimates 21,500 pupils will receive tuition in English and 21,500 will get extra help with maths.

Schools will have specific targets to help more children to move up two ability levels within a key stage.

'Tracking by teachers'

Education Secretary Alan Johnson said: "I want to make sure that no child falls behind or gets stuck at any stage and I am backing teachers up with extra resources to test out these new approaches.

Parents need to understand how their child is progressing
Education Secretary Alan Johnson

"We think that good tracking by teachers, confirmed by shorter, more frequent tests, will help schools to personalise each child's learning.

"This will motivate all pupils to move on and up by recognising what they have achieved and showing them where they have to go next - just as a child who passes their Grade One on the recorder feels excited to move on to playing harder tunes."

Mr Johnson said teachers' day-to-day judgements about the children in their classes should be better interwoven with externally marked and set tests.

And he said teachers and schools deserved more credit when they had helped a child to improve.

"Parents need to understand how their child is progressing," he said.

"I want a system which gives timely information to parents, demonstrates simply whether a child is making good enough progress at every stage of their education, and which motivates children to achieve more in every lesson."

'Great progress'

The scheme was announced as the Department for Education and Skills published a report called Making Great Progress, which outlines how 20 schools in England are making "excellent progress" with pupils between the ages of seven and 11 years.

The report says regular tracking of children's progress is one of the most effective ways primary schools can help pupils achieve the best they can.

The study of the 20 schools found strong, enthusiastic leaders created a culture where learning was valued and "boffins" were not bullied.

And it found teachers in these schools assumed every child - whatever their background, race or gender - had the ability to succeed.

Schools Minister Jim Knight said: "Today's report shows that good schools which make excellent progress have a culture which celebrates learning; they expect success from every child, whatever their background.

"The attitudes and experience of teachers and heads are just as important as the tools they use to help children achieve.

"They carefully identify children who show early promise, who have untapped potential, or who are in danger of stalling or slowing down."

Extra help for struggling pupils
07 Jan 07 |  Education
Struggling pupils get extra help
17 Oct 05 |  Education

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