The BBC reports that Conservative MP Peter Luff has written to David Laws to ask that left-handed children have statutory protection in school as, he says, government guidance is not being followed and this is having a detrimental effect on their education:
n his letter, Sir Peter said: “I remain deeply concerned that proper provision for left-handed pupils is not in included in the statutory guidance of the new national curriculum.
“I have heard various stories of schools that do not follow this practice at all, and as a result left-handed pupils suffer.”
In an earlier speech on the issue in the Commons, Sir Peter said: “Children who have difficulty with their writing, their colouring or their cutting out, because they have been encouraged to regard themselves as right-handed, will try to avoid the activities that cause them difficulty, leading directly to slow development and under-achievement.
“Teachers need to be trained to recognise the symptoms of left-handedness, respond to them positively and help those children to use their left hands.
I find it incredible that in this day and age, left handed kids are being encouraged to use their right hands.
The reason this caught my eye was simply because of the 14 year old left hander in my house who, when asked for an opinion, made two points:
- If teachers are going to do seating plans, can they please make sure that the left handed children are seated at the left side of the table. If you don’t, you and up with arm clashing if a left-hander is put on a right-hander’s right hand side.
- Some left handed scissors would be nice.
If left-handed kids are falling behind because of easily avoided problems, then that’s completely unforgivable. But I’m not sure statutory protection is the right way to go. Many parents with children with special needs have to fight to get what the law entitles their children to. What actually needs to happen on the ground to make sure that children’s needs are met? Is it a change of culture, additional resource or both?