Struggling pupils promised one-to-one tuition

Author: By Richard Garner, Education editor

Retired teachers will be wooed back to the classroom on a promise of £25 an hour to help deliver the tuition. In all, the Teaching and Development Agency, the body responsible for teacher recruitment, plans to hire up to 100,000 personal “tutors” to deliver the pledge. These will include retired and former teachers as well as serving teachers ready to do extra coaching. Typically, a struggling child will get 10 hours of one-to-one coaching to help them to master the three R’s.

Graham Holley, the agency’s chief executive, said: “One-to-one tutors will help to ensure that the right support is in place for all children who need it, regardless of class or social background.”

The move is one of a series of pledges in the charter designed to ensure better standards in a White Paper to be published by the Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, on Tuesday.

However, teachers’ leaders are worried that the pledges could lead to litigation from parents if schools fail to deliver for reasons entirely beyond their control ? such as budget cuts.

Details of the pledge were revealed as it emerged that the Government is planning to scrap the costly national literacy and numeracy strategies, which aim to tell teachers how they should deliver maths and English lessons. Mr Balls is planning to give teachers more flexibility as to how they should deliver the national curriculum from 2011, although the daily literacy hour and maths lesson will remain in force.

The strategies, produced by the private company Capita, cost around £150m a year to deliver, and their scrapping was welcomed by the Conservatives, whose Schools spokesman, Michael Gove, is anxious to give teachers more freedom from central control.

Teachers’ leaders also welcomed the move. Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “This will end a period of centralism in education delivery.”

Tuesday’s White Paper will also give the green light for the introduction of new report cards for every school, based on those used in New York schools. Under them, every school will be awarded a grade from A to F, based on their exam scores, the added value they give to a pupil’s education and how they contribute to pupils’ wellbeing.

Mr Balls has said he would like to see the report cards replacing school performance league tables as the measure most used by parents to select a school for their children. However, the tables will not be abolished.

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