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Thursday, 1 July, 1999, 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK
Literacy hour 'burden'
literacy
NASUWT members have called for a review of the strategy
By Adrian Dalingwater in Eastbourne

Teachers are being overloaded by the government's attempts to improve the reading and writing skills of children in English primary schools, a union conference has been told.

Unions 99
Delegates at the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) conference in Eastbourne unanimously backed a motion calling for a review of the national literacy strategy, introduced last year by ministers.

The motion also called on the union to support any of its members who feel "overloaded" by the strategy and refuse to take on extra work.

Return to 'three Rs'

The literacy strategy involves an emphasis on traditional teaching methods, as well as school staff dedicating an hour a day - the 'literacy hour' - to the teaching of basic reading and writing skills in ways set out by central government.

It is part of the government's drive to ensure that 80% of 11-year-olds are achieving the reading and writing standards expected of their age group by 2002.

Ministers also want to see 75% of 11-year-olds reaching the benchmark for their age in number skills by the same date, and are planning to implement a numeracy strategy - including a 'numeracy hour' - from this September.

The NASUWT motion condemned what it describes as "the government's failure to recognise the bureaucratic burden placed upon primary teachers in the implementation of the literacy strategy".

It added that such problems will be exacerbated by the implementation of the numeracy strategy.

See also:

16 Mar 99 | UK Education
26 Jan 99 | UK Education
25 Mar 99 | UK Education
18 Mar 99 | UK Education
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