Five years old is no age for an 'audit'

10th December 2010 at 00:00

Not content with trying to scrap school sports partnerships, Michael Gove now decides that league tables at five are the new tablet from his educational "Sinai".

Leave aside the fact that it was understood that the Foundation Stage Profile (FSP) - even given that its number of tick boxes, rivalling the last census - was not to be used for target setting or any other arcane data collection exercise, it beggars belief that no-one in the department has told The Gove anything about child development.

Entering school at five, or earlier, many children have not reached the maturation point that allows for formal learning and its measurement. Add this fact to poor pre-school facilities, inadequate home background or their actual birthday, and such data is meaningless.

Trying to jack up their FSP results will only appeal to the few schools who like being at the top of the league tables but to all the others it is another example of system triumphing over educational sense.

Presumably, despite his much-vaunted reading CV, Michael Gove thinks that Pestalozzi is a make of coffee machine, Froebel works for Audi and Montessori is a brand of handbag.

God help our children.

Tony Roberts, NAHT Lancashire branch secretary, Preston.

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