HC Deb 14 January 1999 vol 323 cc436-7
9. Mr. Peter Luff (Mid-Worcestershire)

What assessment he has made of the educational and training value of the video, "Left-Handed Children; A Guide for Teachers and Parents", produced in consultation with his Department and the Teacher Training Agency; and if he will make a statement. [64044]

The Minister for School Standards (Ms Estelle Morris)

The video can play a part in raising teachers' awareness of the particular issues surrounding left-handed children. I hope that it will be of use both for the initial training and the continuing professional development of teachers.

Mr. Luff

I thank the Minister for another constructive answer on this important but previously overlooked problem. I am glad that she agrees that the video produced by Mark Stewart and the Left-Handers Club of Great Britain and generously sponsored by the Post Office can play a part in improving teachers' awareness of this important issue. I am sure that she welcomes the fact that the Teacher Training Agency is sending the video to all providers of initial teacher training. What can be done to ensure that teachers in nursery, first and primary schools are made aware of its existence and get a copy, and ensure that teachers and governors sit down and watch it?

Ms Morris

The hon. Gentleman is right that much progress has been made in acknowledging that the left-handedness of children is a factor in the educational development of some of them. I am pleased that he welcomes the fact that the Teacher Training Agency has agreed to fund distribution of the video to initial teacher training providers. Beyond that, it is for others to make it clear that the video is available. Ultimately, the allocation of resources for purchasing videos and other things is up to head teachers and governing bodies.

Mr. Michael J. Foster (Worcester)

Will the Minister join me in congratulating Mr. Richard Buttle, the head teacher of Redhill primary school, his staff and the children, who took part in making the video? Does she agree that this exemplifies the high standards of teaching in that school and in Worcestershire as a whole?

Ms Morris

I am happy to do so and to confirm that the Teacher Training Agency has informed me that the video is of good quality. I extend my congratulations and thanks to all involved.

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