On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

10th February 2012 at 00:00

This week: just about everyone

Today we welcome just about everyone to the naughty step: the pub ranter, the right-wing MP, the Daily Mail commentator, the chief executive of a major multinational and many members of the general public. Their crime is criticising schools and teachers without having the first idea about them.

Who sent us over the edge? Susan Calman (pictured), the guest comedian on Radio 4's The News Quiz is who. Last Friday, in the middle of a jokey answer, Ms Calman went on a rant, to enthusiastic applause. "We in the United Kingdom have some of the worst rates of literacy we've ever had, particularly among young women, and Michael Gove ... should make sure everyone leaves school able to read or write. At that point we might have better rates of employment and respect among young people."

Helpful, eh? Not really. What would have been helpful is some research. If Ms Calman had bothered, she would have found that children leaving primary schools last year had better results for literacy than ever before (81 per cent hit level 4). And in the 2009 Pisa rankings for reading, England performed above average (25th) for Western industrialised countries.

The problem is that just about everyone would agree with Ms Calman. They would, of course, be wrong.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland 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

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now