Today we were told that we were to receive "The first ever Children’s Plan" Is this a 5 year one left over from the Soviet Union we wondered? Will Marxist songs and invigorating exercise be essential ingredients, as a government backed play strategy is part of it? Apparently it goes alongside the 10 year strategy for young people which we already enjoy.
We discovered that at the core of the plan will be a switch from age testing to stage testing. Unfortunately the printed text from this incompetent Minister had that phrase the wrong way round, saying he would switch from stage to age testing. Although the first time he read it out he got it right, at a subsequent attempt he reverted to the wrong version in the House.
We learned that teaching English to all pupils was central to the task. The printed Statement itself offered:
Sentences without verbs
More sentences starting with "And" and "But"
A highlight was the conclusion that new primary schools should be co-located with the "police, social care, advice and welfare services…". When I asked him if he really thought a police station on the same site as a primary school would make the school more attractive to parents he looked puzzled as he did not seem to realise co-locating police with children at school could
mean siting the police station at the school.
We are promised extra money to ensure graduates involved with early stage learning, and to offer masters level qualifications to new teachers.
It all sounded like a further attack on the excellent private nurseries run by caring adults with some flair for looking after and enthusing young children.