Primary school English: Are literacy targets too low?

With league tables showing that 100,000 children left primary school last year without the expected literacy levels and news that nearly 15% of adults lack basic understanding of the English language; it is clear to see that something needs to be done to improve the state of literacy in British schools.


A report by Ofsted published this week has revealed that, during the past four years, there has been no overall improvement in the levels of literacy held by primary school pupils. Not only have literacy levels failed to improve but thousands of schools have also fallen below the literacy standards expected of them. This has lead to concerns being expressed about the link between a poor grasp of English when pupils leave primary school and teenagers not achieving a good grade at G.C.S.E level.


These concerns follow on from information which shows that 45% of pupils who just manage to reach the expected literacy level shortly before leaving primary school do not achieve a grade C or above in G.C.S.E English. If even children who reach the primary school literacy targets are failing to achieve good grades at G.C.S.E, surely the expected levels are too low and schools need to bring their students up to a higher standard in order to better prepare them for secondary education.


Head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, is claiming that the benchmark for literacy in primary schools has been set too low and that schools need to be more ambitious if Britain is to go about solving the growing literacy problems facing society. He believes that English is the most crucial subject at school and too many pupils fall behind with English early on in their academic life.


It is unfair on pupils if they are not being given the support and information needed to gain a good understanding of English. Schools need to teach children to a level which allows them to thrive throughout life as well as succeed at exams. At Tutors4GCSE we believe that every child should be inspired to reach their full potential and be taught in away which helps them to gain a wider understanding of the subject to be able to achieve academic success. No time is too early or late to start trying to increase your child’s literacy skills – we provide tuition to pupils at all levels either one-to-one or in small groups.


Contact us for more information on how we can help boost literacy for your children.

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One response to “Primary school English: Are literacy targets too low?”

  1. tutors4gcse says:

    If you don’t think that text language is an issue, what is influencing the literacy skills of our Primary School children? What do you think could be done to improve their skills?

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