The LSN Midsummer Quiz

Janet Downs's picture
Five quotations – but who said them?

1‘…under the previous Labour Government one in three of our young people were leaving primary school unable to read and write. That is a shocking statistic.’

2‘Survey after survey has revealed disturbing historical ignorance, with one teenager in five believing Winston Churchill was a fictional character while 58 per cent think Sherlock Holmes was real.

3‘…the Government should stop exaggerating the success of academies …Academisation is not always successful nor is it the only proven alternative for a struggling school.’

4‘Left-wing critics of free schools and academies are constantly harping on about the fact that they're allowed to hire "unqualified" staff, by which they mean teachers who don't have the union-approved bit of paper.’

5The government is ‘liberating teachers from the dead hand of the local authorities and these failed orthodoxies that have suffocated teachers’.

The Answers. One point for each one answered correctly.

1Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. The UK Statistics Authority censured her incorrect use of literacy and numeracy figures and asked her to ‘reconsider’ her comments.

2Michael Gove when he was Education Secretary. He attracted ridicule when it was discovered these included surveys from Premier Inn and UKTV Gold done for PR purposes.

3The Education Select Committee shortly before the election (see here, page 64). The new Government ignores this advice to the extent it intends to force ‘failing’, ‘underperforming’ or ‘coasting’ schools to become academies despite less formal methods being more effective (and cheaper).

4Journalist and free school founder Toby Young (see here). Nonsense – Qualified Teacher Status is actually a Department for Education requirement for employment as a teacher in non-academy schools.

5No, I didn’t make this up. It is not a parody of DfE speak. The words were spoken by Schools Minister Nick Gibb and appeared in the Times last Saturday (6 June, behind paywall).

How did you do? I’ve no doubt you all got full marks especially if you are a regular LSN reader.
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Barry Wise's picture
Mon, 08/06/2015 - 15:55


I know the UK Statistics Authority censured her, but Morgan was not so very out of line with the Labour government she is criticising.

The Moser Report, commissioned and published by David Blunkett, defined 'functional illiteracy' as 'less literacy than is expected of an 11 year old child".*

That would make anyone with less than the "expected" level 4 functionally illiterate.Daft perhaps, but it ain't just Morgan.

*1.3 The following facts help to bring home the scale of the problem.
Some 7 million adults in England - one in five adults - if given the alphabetical index to the Yellow Pages, cannot locate the page reference for plumbers. That is an example of functional illiteracy. It means that one in five adults has less literacy than is expected of an 11-year-old child.
Moser Report Summary

Janet Downs's picture
Tue, 09/06/2015 - 09:55

Barry - you're confusing 'functional literacy' with 'illiteracy' ie an inability to read and write. Morgan used the description 'unable to read and write'.

But, as the UK Statistics Watchdog pointed out, a child with Level 3 CAN read and write.

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