What is a pen license?
A pen license gives the owner permission to use a pen instead of a pencil when undertaking writing tasks in class.
When is a child awarded a pen license?
A pen license is a non-compulsory recognition of achievement, given at the teacher's discretion, when they assess the child's handwriting to be of a certain standard. Children generally transition from using pencil to pen at the end of KS1, or the beginning of KS2.
Factors influencing the decision of when to award a pen license may include:
- holding the pencil correctly
- writing on a line
- the correct size of letters
- the correction formation of letters
- the correct joining of letters
Teachers are likely to assess this over a number of weeks, rather than in a one-off handwriting test.
Why handwriting is important
The National Curriculum states that children should have: fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting'.
Children who can write legibly and with some speed are better able to record their thoughts and ideas - the more automatic and effortless handwriting is, the better.