‘Blame culture’ in education must end says Portsmouth MP

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THE MP for Portsmouth South has said blame culture in education must end – otherwise boys’ learning will continue to fall behind that of girls.

Flick Drummond told MPs in a debate on boys’ education performance that, in her constituency, 73 per cent met the standard for language development last year, compared to 87 per cent of girls.

She said: ‘Falling behind at the early stage puts children at a disadvantage, so interventions need to be put in place early.

‘We need to stop the blame culture in which higher education blames secondary schools and secondary schools blame primary schools, which in turn blame early years and the parents.

‘We need to look at education as a whole, which is why I am so pleased that higher education is back in the Department for Education.’

Mrs Drummond praised the Portsmouth Education Business Partnership, which was proving effective in working with pupils one-to-one to improve results.

But, she said, more needed to be done to tailor learning for boys. ‘There should be no difference in what girls and boys learn, but there is a difference in how they learn,’ she said.

‘According to the OECD report, boys are eight per cent more likely to regard school as a waste of time.

‘Boys learn in short phases and need more breaks. They need to be able to move around more than girls.

‘Thirty-five minutes has been identified as the best length of lesson for boys, so they need short, specific, focused activities.’