Plain English campaign news articles

Plain English Campaign awards for MPs

We invite all MPs and their staff to send us their nominations for the best (clearest) and worst (most ridden with gobbledygook) documents that they have seen this year in Parliament. A shortlist of nominations will be announced on Monday 17 November, in the Jubilee Room, Westminster, and the authors of the winning documents will be presented with an award at the Plain English Awards on Tuesday 9 December.

Read more: Plain English Campaign awards for MPs

The Plain English Awards 2008

The Plain English Awards 2008 have now been announced. The press release showing the award winners is available as a PDF document (50 KB). You can also download a copy of the awards ceremony programme (PDF, 48KB).

Read more: The Plain English Awards 2008

The Independent calls for an end to gobbledygook language on food

Follow this link to see an article written by Brian Farmer in The Independent on 21 December 2008.

Plain English Campaign fully supports clear and honest communications because they help people to make informed decisions.
Plain English Campaign has been fighting for clearer communications in food labelling since 1999.

Read more: The Independent calls for an end to gobbledygook language on food

New Plain English Campaign Website

As you can see, we have recently moved to a new web page design. We apologise for any temporary errors that occur whilst we are updating, but hope that you will like the new design and improved features.

Read more: New Plain English Campaign Website

Barking mad? Marking mad!

Plain English Campaign has highlighted the poorly-marked Standard Assessment Tests (SATS) released by a Lancashire head teacher as an example of the plummeting literacy standards in schools. Janis Burden, of Moss Side Primary in Chorley, revealed that an essay littered with spelling and grammatical errors had received a higher mark than another, more literate one.

The campaign’s media advisor, Steve Jenner, said: “The marking of English SATs has been a standing joke in the teaching profession for years. Many teachers see the SATs, their administration, preparation and marking as a national scandal. They are often badly marked and returned late to schools. Teenagers who haven’t passed their A-levels have been employed to mark papers. This means that results are often called into question by the schools, and parents don’t have a reliable indication of how well their child has actually done.”

The SATs marking system has already run into serious problems, with MPs and senior teachers expressing concerns about the company appointed by the government to mark the tests. Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, has refused to apologise for the debacle.

Steve Jenner added “We congratulate Janis Burden on taking a stand. To award higher marks to papers containing lots of mistakes is frankly ridiculous. It is time for ministers to take action to make sure this sort of thing stops. We need to have a real debate about the best way to teach our children how to read and write. And SAT markers should have the relevant subject knowledge and expertise.”

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