Left-handed children suffer ‘developmental delays’, says MP

MP claims left-handed children are being let down by the education system, which doesn't do enough to encourage pupils to stick to using their dominant hand

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An MP has written to Education Minister David Laws asking for left-handed children to be guaranteed the special teaching he says they need.

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Sir Peter Luff MP, who is himself left-handed, claims teachers are not doing enough to help left-handed pupils and this is causing ‘developmental delays’.

“I remain deeply concerned,” Sir Peter writes, “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 House of Commons, Sir Peter explained: “Left-handed 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 left-handedness, respond to it positively and help those children to use their left hands.

“Left-handed children who try to use their right hand will often cope, but that is all they will do. They will not excel as they might have done, and their development is delayed.”

So what does the Department of Education say to that? “We trust teachers to use their knowledge and expertise to cater to the needs of all of their pupils,” a spokesperson said.

What do you think? Do you have a left-handed child? Do you think they feel pressure to use their right hand at nursery or school? Please do tell!

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