The Weekend Michael Gray Download 'The Weekend' on iTunes
11 May 2012, 12:03
The MP for South West Bedfordshire's raised concerns loads of teachers aren't correcting children's spelling mistakes for fear of damaging their self-esteem.
Andrew Selous has called for a House of Commons debate on the issue after being contacted by a local mum whose children's school won't make more than three corrections when youngsters get things wrong.
The Conservative MP said it was an "act of false kindness" for teachers not to correct all spelling mistakes as pupils would leave school without the "fundamental'' skills needed in the job market.
Mr Selous has decided not to name the school in his constituency that's involved.
In the letter to Mr Selous, the mother wrote: "I have spent many hours of frustration letter-writing but no-one is able to help or offer support. My children are hard-working but they need to be given the basic building blocks of English.''
Mr Selous said he believed the coalition Government had not issued guidance stipulating children should be marked leniently but thought it was an old policy which schools had been too slow to drop.
A spokesman at the Department for Education said: "There is no Government guidance regarding the correcting of spelling mistakes - this is a matter for schools.
"However, we strongly agree that it is vital that children learn correct spelling and grammar, and we are making a range of changes to emphasise its importance, including a new test at Key Stage 2 which includes spelling, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary, and enhanced importance given to spelling at GCSE.
"Being able to write correctly is essential for adult life. Schools that do not ensure that their pupils can spell and write correctly will be failing them.''