London

'Third' of London primary pupils have reading problems

More than a third of children leave state primary schools in London with reading difficulties, a report claims.

The essay by the Centre for Policy Studies blamed a culture of allowing a "child-led" approach to teaching instead of structured learning.

Teachers were encouraged not to interrupt youngsters and children were not pressured to learn something if they did not want to, it revealed.

London's mayor commissioned the study - called 'So why can't they read?'

Mirroring the Boris Johnson's policy, it claimed the child-led approach was neither "stimulating nor challenging" and was affecting children's reading abilities.

Author Miriam Gross said: "Very young children simply haven't got the tools or the knowledge to benefit from it or to make sensible choices.

"Disciplined learning and enjoyment are not mutually exclusive."

She argued children should learn to read using structured teaching methods like synthetic phonics - whereby repetition is used to teach children the sounds needed to form words.

She goes on to say that despite repeated attempts by governments to encourage these methods the child-led approach persists in many primary schools.

"They do other methods because they think phonics are boring", she claimed.

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