Back in 2011 I wrote a piece Here
about classroom disturbance in the UK's secondary schools, and the effect it had on those pupils who wished to learn and advance.
My thoughts were, and still are, that a two-road system is so much better. Academic schools for those who are desirous and capable of taking and passing exams, and more trade/skills based schools for those who wish to find employment on leaving school.
Pre Harold Wilson (a 1960's left-wing English Prime Minister) this was indeed the case. Secondary Modern schools taught the majority of children, and Grammar Schools fast-tracked those who wished to go on to college or university. It was a system which worked well.
Wilson changed all this and dumped all children of differing talents together; high achievers and low achievers all in the same classroom. (On his plus side I must add that Wilson did establish The Open University; at least he got one thing right!)
OK, this may sound all very PC and Socialist, but those who wished to learn were often held back by those who wished to just fool about and cause disruption. It is estimated that brighter children are losing an average of an hour a day's teaching through classroom disturbance.
I'm pleased to see that a recent Ofsted report has now come to the same conclusion as myself. Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) is the UK's non-ministerial Government Department for all things educational.
So, now that they've woken up at long last, what will they do about it. Probably nothing; a return to pre-Wilson days will take decades, meanwhile thousands of children who showed huge promise at their Primary Schools are now being failed by their Secondary Schools.... and all because of some ridiculous left-wing social experiment.
I am probably not the best person to lecture government big-wigs, but I think it's ALWAYS better to aim for the Highest Common Denominator rather than the Lowest. They've tried 'dumbing down'; it didn't work. Social experiment is all well and good, but playing with children's futures is not.
How very true.ReplyDelete
We import the tradesmen now from Eastern Europe, day release is a redundant term and the technical college has been renamed University of Leisure Pursuits with degrees in dance, games and Xbox studies. The Sec Mod and the Grammar School are dead along with the dreaded 11 plus, and the teachers are all products of the comprehensive system anyway and can't put a sentence together. Stop complaining and enjoy. Ring the Polish builder, he even works on Sundays. We can all sleep while they work for us, no need fir an education, just have babies.ReplyDelete
I've just heard on the news that the government is to plough billions into 'education for the mentally ill', or somesuch. It would be nice if they did the same for the 'not mentally ill'.Delete
Sadly, if I want a decent building job done here; I employ a Brit.
As a retired Comprehensive teacher Cro, I would make the following comments:ReplyDelete
Many of those children who 'fooled about' did so because either a) the teacher was incapable of teaching so called mixed ability (a disaster) or b) there was an in built embarrassment at being unable to cope with the level of work set or c) the teacher was ex Grammar School and had never before worked with so called less able children.
I have always felt that children who wished to learn in an academic environment should be taught in a separate school from those who wished to leave school and embark on a trade. Sadly trade apprenticeships were also abolished. I can't support the return of the grammart school enough It doesn't belittle children who don't make it to that kind of school - there was a way of transferring at 13 too and it gives children whose interest lies in learning skills a much better start.
I believe that apprenticeships are on the up. Maybe we're eventually understanding the folly of having abolished all such things. At least Ofsted seems to be so.Delete
They aren't apprenticeships as we knew them. They advertise six month apprenticeships or less, not six year ones.Delete
My two eldest grandchildren have both suffered at their Devon secondary school. There was insufficient Maths staff for the A level course. My granddaughter taught herself for the last two terms. She passed into her second choice uni. The GCSE student had to return to school during the holidays because the English teacher failed to keep up with the course.ReplyDelete
We have the solution here in Oz. Give every girl who has a baby a " baby bonus" ! Yes pay all the 14 year olds $4000 to leave school and produce children. They won't need an education as the govt will continue to support them as long as they continue to pop out babies. A visit to the big city shopping centres in some areas will show you the result of this policy being crowded with pregnant teenage mothers with a baby in their pram and one at foot ! Those who choose to go on to uni, study and move on to be worthwhile , tax paying members of society often choose not to have any children - or only one- as the high taxes they pay support the yobbos and illegal immigrants but make it hard for them to take time away from their careers to bring up their families. We'll soon be a country with the major section being uneducated, TV watching yobbos !ReplyDelete
The UK has much the same system, without the $4000. They call themselves 'celebs', as they all appear on TV for about 10 seconds.Delete
Cro! I agree completely.ReplyDelete
the stark difference in our house hold shows the difference that the school you attend makes. I went to a Comp where they only cared that you turned up and the Mr went to a Independent school.
You only need to look at the schools in China, to see that high expectations bring high results.
And yet the number of places in the grammar schools was limited, so all those who passed the 11 plus couldn't get in. The vicar's kids and the headmaster's kids got the places. Tough luck to any one else.ReplyDelete
I suppose that's the same with any elitist educational establishment.Delete
P.C. and Socialist?! I don't think that OFSTED would agree with you about that.ReplyDelete
I thought it was that lot who invented PC; although it's often attributed to The Oxford Union.Delete
Cro, public education has it's issues no matter where you live. Home schooling has increased tremendously here in the states. That movement started about 30 years ago in my area. It was illegal at that time to teach your own kids but a huge outcry caused my state of Nebraska to change the laws and since then the movement as thrived and grown. Some of the highest scores of achievements have been from those children that have been home schooled. When I attended high school, it was just a given that anyone that graduated would go to college. I have seen the squandering of parents funds by kids that should have been in a trade school and not higher education so I'm also a firm believer that some do not need high education in the scholastic but are better suited to be trained as tradesmen. We will always need skilled electricians, plumbers, or construction workers. I believe to match skills and talents with careers would be a tremendous step forward in work force contentment. I am a product of that thinking. I only received an associate degree in electronics and went on to work a 41 year career that I couldn't wait to get to work every day. I never felt any less than a highly educated scholastic person because my abilities fit perfect in what I did for a living. It's really the way it should be.ReplyDelete
Have great scholastic/trade school day.
I don't know if it's the same in the States, but tradesmen over here earn a bloody fortune! Not to be sniffed at.Delete
I know the "liberal arts" academia mindset so prevalent here in the North East US has done me no favors. The expectation from all around, including parents, was that one would go to high school and that was merely a vehicle to get you in to College/University. Dad was most disappointed that his north east Ivie-League-Alma-matter would not accept me. For a myriad of reasons I struggled from the start in the traditional academic setting and in the choices made available in my circumstances provided no trades options and they were down right disparaged. Looking back on it, had the option of trades training been available I really think I would have gravitated there much earlier than I did, and be better prepared and consequently more successful in the long run. But I was not even aware that was a possibility, as in a world of pointy headed academics that choice was abjectly sinful.ReplyDelete
Those with money in the States, send their kids to private schools. Those without, go to public schools. Sadly, the teachers spend much time with the 'problem' kids. And, my pre-school grandaughter go suspended from school for spitting back at another child. They have gotten ridiculous in their rules. Much of the school's money/funds go to the administrators and not the classrooms. Our school system is really messed up over here.ReplyDelete
I agree with you entirely. Nations need to be governed by the brightest , not plodders churned out by a comprehensive system. The roll on effect of this is disastrous for any country. You have very mediocre minds in charge. Eager to secure their positions anyone who is brighter than they are is seen as a threat so as a result we have a mediocre status quo.ReplyDelete
There should be scholarships for all bright children to have a fully funded education. I was fortunate enough to receive two; one for a graduate degree and another for a post graduate degree. Here in Oz, even the private schools grant scholarships because they do not want a school population of fee paying dullards.
Military states, police states, and dullard states, are all disastrous. Long live learning, and long live high standards.Delete