Deputy headteacher in writing debate to help fight its decline
A DEPUTY headteacher has backed calls for handwriting specialists in schools to help prevent the decline in the skill.
Charlotte Clowes, who works at St Alban’s Primary School, also urged parents to help their children develop their handwriting as youngsters admit to an increasing reliance on text messages and instant messaging.
Mrs Clowes was responding to a new study highlighting the tumbling interest in writing among teenagers.
The research revealed that half of 13-19 year olds have never written a thank you letter, 83 per cent have not written a love letter and a quarter have never even written a birthday or Christmas card.
After a debate in London with industry experts, Mrs Clowes said: “I wouldn’t say that we encourage computers over handwriting and I don’t think the writing is on the wall for handwriting.
“However, I think some teachers would welcome, and perhaps benefit, from increased continuous professional development and a more consistent approach across their school to ensure we pick up children who are struggling as early as we can.
“All areas of literacy need to support each other as they benefit so many different areas.
“If we can’t write with fluency, it’s a barrier to learning.
“Schools don’t tend to have handwriting specialists but it’s a great idea. This could be part of the literacy co-ordinators role.
“We need to embed writing skills in everything we teach across a broad and balanced curriculum.
“It is important that teachers and ideally parents give children the opportunity to develop the gross motor skills from which they can develop fine motor skills such as handwriting in school.”
●● Charlotte Clowes is deputy headteacher at St Alban’s Primary School in Macclesfield
●● Macclesfield Sugarcrafters at the exhibition in Blackpool