The parents of the child with the pencil grip as shown drives over 150 miles to get help! The mother writes:
“My daughter attends primary school in Wanstead, London, and I sadly understand that her case is not untypical. She has never had any support with writing at school, and has now, in year 6, developed a problem with her grip. We spoke to the school and her class teacher said that she knew nothing about left handedness, and that my daughter had neat handwriting and she should expect that it hurts to write as they write more in year 6. The teacher said it hurt her hand after marking books.
After a dismissal from the teacher after two minutes, we took matters into our own hand and visited a specialist in Worcestershire. He corrected Alice’s grip in 15 minutes.”
During repeated correspondence with ministers at The Department of Education, the following fallback has been used “The Teachers’ Standards require teachers to adapt their teaching to address the needs of all their pupils, whatever those needs may be”. If teachers are unable to identify the specific needs of the child, they are not going to take any action..
Hardly surprising that this teacher did nothing as “she knew nothing about left-handedness”. The teacher is not to blame – there is nothing in Initial Teacher Training on left-handedness nor in the Teacher Assessment Framework.
Is this fair on the child? Absolutley NOT! (And potentially over 1,000,000 left-handed children but the Dof E hasn’t got any idea how many left-handed children there are!)
Can this situation be easily sorted? It absolutely CAN! Simple training as part of ITT and CPD.
And it’s WIN for the child, WIN for the school and WIN for the country!
So, apathetic or discriminatory? Or both?