Monday, June 17, 2013

"Over the summer, your child could fall two months behind other classmates!"

Last year I wrote a sceptical (and rather repetitive) post about summer schools, which have turned out to be a large part of Nick Clegg's much-heralded pupil premium:
I am sure that summer schools could be good for children. And as Baden-Powell showed, if you get things right, children will come running. 
But, as the it stands at the moment, the Pupil Premium seems to promise a world in which middle-class children in good schools go on holiday while working-class children in bad schools go to summer school. 
As a Liberal (and as a former poor child) that is not a world I find particularly attractive.
I need not have worried about the class angle. Today in leafy Market Harborough I saw a poster advertising a tutoring service under the slogan "STOP THE SUMMER SLIDE". It went on: "Over the summer, your child could fall 2 months behind other classmates! We can help..."

There is research suggesting that children from poorer homes can fall behind over the summer, but what we see here is a generalised anxiety. The danger is a sort of educational arms race that will see children who are doing perfectly well under current arrangements denied a proper summer holiday.


asquith said...

Not a bad one, that. Have you read this, or anything else by the author?

Jonathan Calder said...

I like his idea of "slow parenting", but then I have a weakness for left wingers who sound right wing - Neil Postman, Christopher Lasch...