Hunt: ‘Academy a shining light’

Wednesday 24th July 2019 5:00 am
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Jeremy Hunt meets pupils at South Farnham School ()

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TORY leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt has held up South Farnham School’s early intervention as a model for eradicating illiteracy in Britain’s schools.

The MP for South West Surrey paid a visit to the Menin Way school earlier this month, and later spoke of his conversation with South Farnham academy head Sir Andrew Carter during a hustings event at the Farnham Maltings.

He told Tory members: “I asked Sir Andrew how he does it at South Farnham, and it’s very straightforward.

“He tests the children when they arrive in reception, to find out which children are going to struggle to learn how to read.

“Of course, most children can’t read when they arrive at school. But the children who have trouble learning to read are usually the ones whose parents don’t read to them.

“So he identifies those children early, and then in every class, he singles out three or four people who get extra attention right from the moment they arrive at that school.

“It’s picked up at the age of four – not when they’re doing their SATS test at 11, when it’s too late. That is the kind of system that we need to have across the country.”

Mr Hunt also fielded questions on a variety of topics from pupils during his visit to the school, including what he would do if he became Prime Minister and how he would handle Brexit.

Pupils also forced a confession that he was “really bad at sport”, and pressed him hard on environmental issues, such as pollution and plastics.

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