Children whose knowledge isn’t up to scratch when they start school should be tested so the funding they require can be measured, a new report on child poverty says.
Children in poverty “do not leave their daily life circumstances at the school gate”, says John O’Neill, author of the latest report from independent charity The Child Poverty Action Group.
I agree. But considering the primary teachers union is against even national standards, I can’t imagine they’d ever go along with testing all five year olds. But I say it is essential you do know their capacity when they start school.
Teachers could already identify students with learning problems – the challenge was getting the funding to help fix it, Post Primary Teachers’ Association president Angela Roberts said.
“The thing we like about decile funding is that it acknowledges some schools require greater resources than others.”
But taking a step back and reassessing how much it cost to educate a child and then adding in all their other needs would be a better funding system, she said. “Funding is about the needs of a kid, not the location of a school.”
I agree. The decile system is a blunt tool. It would be preferable to individually assess each pupil, and have funding dependent on what their needs are.