Sunday, 2 March 2014

The new experts on "written communication" according to Liz Truss

In September 2013, Minister Liz Truss said:

"1 in 4 children is leaving primary school without a firm grasp of spelling, punctuation and grammar. The new test encourages schools to focus on these basics.

British businesses are very clear - written communication has never been more important. Children need to be able to spell well and write proper sentences to get on in life."


1. "British businesses" may or may not be expert on all sorts of things, but why should we think that they are experts on the relative importance (over time) of 'written communication"?

2. If children need to be able to spell well and write "proper sentences", where is the evidence that doing tests in spelling, punctuation and grammar at 11, is the way to do it? Where is the evidence that the kinds of decontextualised lists and exercises and tests being used to train children to do the SPaG test, help children with their "written communication"?