Wednesday, 26 September 2012 4:05 PM
Commenting on the Deputy Prime Minister’s commitment to provide funding for intensive catch up classes, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“Funding for intensive catch up tuition in secondary schools is a welcome move. Every teacher knows that there are children in their classes who could benefit from extra help at critical times in their school lives. It will also be a significant move towards replicating the advantages currently experienced by those in private education.
“There must, however, be enough teachers in schools to be able to fulfil this promise. The previous Government’s additional tuition pledge floundered because of a shortage of teachers. It is proven that interventions led by qualified teachers are more effective than those led by support staff.
“The Government should also consider looking at the removal of Key Stage 2 SATs as this is the reason why some primary children have fallen through the net in the past. Schools have felt forced to meet floor targets by pushing the average pupils to Level 4 and have not always had the resources, despite hard work and the best intentions, to sufficiently support pupils requiring additional help in basic skills who may never reach Level 4. It should be recognised as a failing of the system rather than of primary schools or individual pupils.
“It must be clear that this is new and additional money. If not it will go the way of Pupil Premium funding whereby schools already struggling due to cut budgets will simply have to use the new money to plug gaps in other areas of provision.”
For further information contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706/ 07879480061