Much is made in HMCI's Annual Report ( TES February 6) of the relatively poor performance of eleven-year-olds (especially but not only boys) in writing compared with in reading.
There are doubtless many contributory factors involved but one in particular seems to have been neglected in discussion of the problem.
It may well be that the expectations enshrined in level 4 for writing are either far more demanding than in the equivalent level for reading or are simply out of touch with what can reasonably be expected of the very large majority of eleven-year-olds.
In other words the "problem" of writing may be of the government's own devising.
Those expectations at level 4 in writing need to be revisited - not by DfES alone nor by QCA but by some group that has the confidence of the teaching profession.
In that way who knows the problems of differential attainment in writing may become a thing of the past.
Professor Colin Richards