No, I’m not talking about one of pouting and posing Rihanna’s hits but rather this curious tale the BBC has put out this morning that some children are going to nursery school without knowing what their name is. I admit this does seem bizarre and I accept Frank Field brought the topic up in the first place but the item they ran does suggest that this actually is the case. So far, so good. The BBC were quick off the mark to get the Headmaster of the school concerned to explain that these kids who do not recognise their own name are “white” children – whatever that is meant to suggest. A pre-emptive strike lest any of us bring up the impact of immigration, I wonder?
Jean Gross, the government’s communication champion for children, agreed that anecdotally “we do have a problem” and teachers were increasingly concerned that it was “getting worse”. She told Sarah Montague that hidden speech difficulties were sometimes to blame, but other times children were not getting “wide, rich dialogue” from their families, partly because parents “don’t know how” to talk to their young ones.
Hang on. HOW have we arrived at the point where some parents do not know how to talk to their children to the degree that the kids cannot even recognise their name? Has the breakdown of the traditional family unit – cheered on by the anything goes BBC – had any impact on this? I suspect that there is a lot more to this story than the BBC seeks to portray and wonder what your views might be?