English got 'too much' attention

PRIMARY teachers were already spending more than the recommended time on English before the introduction of the National Literacy Strategy, according to a new survey.

Nine out of 10 primary schools were spending at least five hours a week on English last autumn, according to an annual survey of 311 headteachers carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

That works out at around 190 hours a year, compared to the post-Dearing national curriculum recommendation of 180.

In nearly a third of schools, the English co-ordinator had no non-contact time to carry out his or her role. Very few headteachers valued the time their co-ordinators spent on in-service and external courses, and the survey's authors suggest this time could instead be used to provide more direct support for colleagues.

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