Nearly half the 11-year-olds on free school meals cannot read or add up properly by the time they leave primary school, according to figures released yesterday.And before you say ‘Oh, but wait, what’s the chances that this refers to immigrants with poor English?’, they are waaaaaay ahead of you:
Children on free school meals are far less likely to reach the required standard in national curriculum tests than those for whom English is a second language.Pretty damning, no?
And the teachers are in full ‘damage limitation’ mode. It’s not their teaching skills that are to blame, oh no:
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said that a key reason could be that many of those from ethnic minority backgrounds came from cultures that valued education more.It could be. It could well be…
But then, not all ‘ethnic minority’ cultures are equal in that respect, are they?
The Schools minister is clear where blame lies:
"These figures reveal that our education system is letting down half of all 10 and 11-year-old boys who qualify for free school meals," said Schools minister Nick Gibb.Are you sure it’s entirely their fault? Should not education start in the home, with the parents?