Parents have voiced their concerns that left-handed children are not being given the correct guidance on how to develop a good handwriting technique by their schools.
Despite assurances made by the Teacher Training Agency over a decade ago, it appears that teachers still receive no formal training in the basic essential differences in left-handed writing technique and many are completely unaware that one in 10 of their students are struggling unnecessarily with mastering this essential skill, simply because of the hand they write with.
The issue has been highlighted by members of The Left-Handers Club giving feedback to a recent article on this issue published in the LHC Newsletter.
Being left-handed does not, in itself, make handwriting difficult, but it does require different techniques for pen grip, posture and paper positioning to those of a right-hander.
Lauren Milsom, expert on handedness and author of “Your Left-Handed Child”, confirms that attempting to write using the same techniques and positioning as right-handed children leads to a number of problems for left-handers including:
- Cramped hand grip,
- Poor pen control,
- Bad posture
- Slow laboured letter formation
- Smudged writing
As Ms. Milsom points out: “All of these difficulties can be avoided if the left-handed child is properly positioned at the desk and in the classroom, and shown some simple, specific techniques for left-handed writing.”
“The important issue here is that because the teaching of a left-handed writing style is not a requirement of the national teaching curriculum it has not been included either in initial teacher training or inset training of qualified teachers.
“The majority of primary school teachers are unaware that the issues exist, often assuming the struggling child may have learning difficulties or co-ordination problems and have no knowledge of the required techniques to assist left-handed writing.”
The overwhelming response to the recent Left Handers Club article on this and the constant demand for writing aids and advice for left-handed children from specialist supplier AnythingLeftHanded.co.uk has prompted the LHC to re-launch its campaign for left-handed writing techniques to be formally included in all teacher training, and appropriate handwriting tuition given to all left-handed children in UK schools.
The Rights of Left-Handed Writers Campaign will be launched on Left-Handers Day on Monday, initially harnessing the power of parents to highlight the issues directly with their children’s schools via a Teachers Survey on what guidance is currently provided for left-handed writers.