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Children arrive at school incapable of learning

(405 Posts)
Brycie Wed 24-Oct-12 07:24:50 I wonder what people think of this. Is this child abuse?

What kind of intervention can be offered? On a school thread the other day one poster was talking about how long it can take to teach a child to ask to be excused for the toilet. It seems nuts not to start intervention earlier. Can these children in danger be identified for special programmes from say age 2? How can a programme be created which "discriminates" against children from better organised families to prevent the Surestart problem (ie being overtaken by the enthusiastic parents who don't really need it as much). There must be lots of social workers here who have an opinion but other people too.

Brycie Wed 24-Oct-12 07:27:44

Although I can't post again until tonight I am nto a journalist or researcher of any description! I appreciate it might look like that but I'm not. I want to see what people think about it.

Brycie Wed 24-Oct-12 07:28:50

Also this isn't news to me in the sense that I've read about it before so I'm not exactly shocked but I'm aghast every time I hear more about it, if that makes sense.

Bonsoir Wed 24-Oct-12 07:35:48

In France and Belgium all children attend école maternelle (pre-school) for three years before entering primary school. One of the primary purposes of école maternelle is to iron out the differences between children so that they all arrive at primary school with the language, social, emotional and cognitive skills needed to sit down and learn.

LittenTree Wed 24-Oct-12 07:45:06

Unfortunately 'the damage' is done way before these DC arrive in kindergarten. Hence Surestart.

And sadly, the 'answer' would be politically deeply unpalatable, involving the active discouragement of the conception/birth of unplanned, unwanted babies into chaotic households.

Ronaldo Wed 24-Oct-12 07:52:11

Well the first step to identifying them would be to admit who they are and what kind of backgrounds they come from wouldnt it? What are the common features of these childrens home backgrounds (what is " chaotic"?). Is it related to other "social problems" or something else?

A blanket of nursery care isnt the way forward. My gut reaction ( probably not welcome) is pre schools might be part of the problem. I do not know of many DC who dont go to these things. My DS did not do sure start nor pre school but he was clean and well socialisedand was able to read and write. I have to admit though one reason I took him out of school was the lack of such skills in other children there.

OddBoots Wed 24-Oct-12 07:52:27

It is quite scary to see the brain scan images of pre-school children from different backgrounds, there are physical and very obvious differences between those in a stimulating environment and those whose needs are neglected. I don't know how we can overcome that.

Brycie Wed 24-Oct-12 07:53:34

Thank you Bonsoir and Litten - what do you mean by active discouragement? Would that not affect poor families who in no way treat their children with such neglect?

Surely that would be so politically sensitive, that you might as well have the less politically sensitive idea of the ecole maternelle exclusively for selected children, with compliance requirements for the parents?

Brycie Wed 24-Oct-12 07:54:17

Oh thanks all, this is going to be interesting and I have to go to work. How annoying.

wordfactory Wed 24-Oct-12 07:55:40

I really don't know what the answer is OP.

But this is one of the main factors why I've become increasingly convinced (sadly) that schools cannot act as a social leveller. Or certainly not in their current guise.

I think I, like many people, believed that the route to greater social mobility was through education, but now having my own family and seeing them grow, spending a lot of time observing schools up close (as a parent, governor and volunteer) I am no longer convinced that it is possible for schools to do what we would like them to do vis a vis social mobility.

Bonsoir Wed 24-Oct-12 07:56:10

I think it is always going to be politically difficult to try to identify children from inadequate homes and force them, and them alone, to attend some kind of special pre-school. There is also much to be said for early social mixing of children, before the disparities are too great.

lisad123 Wed 24-Oct-12 07:58:28

I think your a jurno hmm sorry your pushing for opinions and broad statements make me think your a jurno, plus any normal parent wouldn't think to post "I'm not a jurno honest"

wordfactory Wed 24-Oct-12 08:00:16

I've seen Op discussing social mobility in edcation on other probably not a journo.

Anyway, who cares? Hugely interesting and important topic no?

OddBoots Wed 24-Oct-12 08:00:38

From the coming September around 20% of 2 year olds will be able to get funding for 15 hours of early years care/education, the criteria used are those used to decide free school meals. From the following September it is aimed for 40% to be offered this funding but there in no criteria yet, I think the consultations are still ongoing. Does anyone here have any ideas how we would decide the children in the greatest need using objective criteria?

OddBoots Wed 24-Oct-12 08:01:10

15 hours per week during term time, I should have said - sorry.

Bonsoir Wed 24-Oct-12 08:02:10

Probably French style early FT crèche (2 months) followed by école maternelle is about as much early intervention by the state in the upbringing of children that is realistic (plus of course very bossy paediatricians).

But the UK is a long, long way off that model.

EdithWeston Wed 24-Oct-12 08:02:28

I think that DM or even a respectable outlet run a story if th kn somewhere every autumn.

Certainly there are children who arrive woefully lacking in skills, but the demonised creeping increase is less certain.

New Labour began the family intervention project, designed to tackle this (and other things) in 2007, and Gordon Brown was claiming 5,000 successes by 2009. This is one bit that is pretty much untouched by cuts (250000 families currently targeted). Unfortunately, this type of article suggests that the approach isn't working. But of course it would be politically difficult to change course.

dysfunctionalme Wed 24-Oct-12 08:05:19

Ronaldo My gut reaction ( probably not welcome) is pre schools might be part of the problem. I do not know of many DC who dont go to these things. My DS did not do sure start nor pre school but he was clean and well socialisedand was able to read and write. I have to admit though one reason I took him out of school was the lack of such skills in other children there.

I don't really understand your comment. Do you think children who attend pre school are dirty and unsocialised?

TheHumancatapult Wed 24-Oct-12 08:05:26

Funny ds3 would fit that and I had judgemental comments . Forgetting that my older 3 had no issues at all . I had been arguing something not right and I was proved right ds3 has Sn

And tbh there is very few kids going to school in nappies ones that are tend have Sn and as more are ms yes you do see it more nothing to do with home lives

EdithWeston Wed 24-Oct-12 08:08:30

Here's some interesting reading from TES forums abou a similar item nearly a year ago.

TheHumancatapult Wed 24-Oct-12 08:08:53

Meh preschool ds3 waseant to have extra help and they used member of staff who had no trainjng so ds3 learnt nothing did what ever he wanted

OddBoots Wed 24-Oct-12 08:10:47

Interesting story at the same time as this one which suggests that the government is shuffling money about to try to make it look like it is offering more support while actually making underhand cuts.

wordfactory Wed 24-Oct-12 08:12:25

The human there are of course issues of undiagnosed SN.

However, there are NT DC who arrive at school unable to eat with cutlery, barely able to speak etc

It is very difficult when there are other DC arriving at school able or at least very ready to learn. The balance is out of kilter from the beginning. And those DC have a very tough time catching up to their peers.

wordfactory Wed 24-Oct-12 08:13:54

Bonsoir can I ask what social mobility is like in France, given the huge amount of early intervention? Does it have the desired effect?

EdithWeston Wed 24-Oct-12 08:15:19

The last TES link as to 2011 and language readiness.

This one is 2009, so squarely Labour and nappies again. So the difficulties on arrival at school are not a direct cuts issue.

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