On the bizarre return of Janet and John

7th September 2007 at 01:00
As education seems to be run these days using the "being seen to be doing something" method (never mind if it is any good or not), the suggestion that children be galvanised to improve their reading skills by the reintroduction of Janet and John is a truly bizarre idea.

Leaving aside the stereotypical characters, the stultifying text, the lack of phonetic material, the formulaic and drab illustrations and father's pipe smoking, gardening persona, there doesn't seem to me much mileage for the child brought up on computer graphics and modern stories. Indeed, children's reading material has never been more rich in content and presentation.

Perhaps it needs revamping so that the new leading characters will be "Sharon and Wayne", although for those who may have fond memories of the original, "Run, Sharon, Run" doesn't have the same ring and probably means Wayne has more on his mind than John ever dreamed of.

Tony Roberts

Retired headteacher, Preston

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a TES/ TESS subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


Get Tes online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to Tes online and the Tes app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off Tes Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the Tes online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order today