Tuesday 24 April 2018

One in seven pupils taught English and maths poorly

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

STANDARDS in schools will be compared in a radical plan unveiled yesterday by Education Minister Mary Coughlan.

The move follows a shocking report that maths and English teaching in one in seven primary schools classes is not up to scratch.

Under the new proposals, a school's performance in national assessments of English and maths could be measured against unidentified, similar schools.

Shortcomings in almost 15pc of the nation's primary school classrooms were discovered when Department of Education inspectors arrived unannounced in more than 450 primary schools in the past year.

While more than 80pc of lessons were satisfactory or better, some 15pc of English and maths lessons were unsatisfactory.

The inspectors' Incidental Inspections Findings report was one of two dealing with literacy and numeracy in primary schools launched yesterday.

The results of a national assessment of almost 8,000 pupils in maths and reading were also presented by the Educational Research Centre at St Patrick's teacher-training college, Dublin.

The assessment of second-class and sixth-class pupils revealed weaknesses in comprehension of English and poor performance in areas of maths.

The minister has proposed a reform package in a draft national plan to improve literacy and numeracy in schools.

Her plan would involve students completing standardised tests in primary school and in second year in post-primary.

Irish National Teachers' Organisation general secretary Sheila Nunan said teaching approaches were often due to a lack of resources.

"It's impossible to implement the curriculum as planned in overcrowded, under-resourced classes."

Irish Independent

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