the destruction of the UK education system, as a prelude to privatisation.

Letter to Daily Express:

The item mentioning the boy, who threw dilute acid at classmates, because he was bored, is typical of the consequence of policy, followed by successive Governments.
When Police numbers were cut, there were complaints about truants shoplifting and being rowdy.
Measures were instituted to combat truancy and force disaffected youngster’s back into the classroom. Teacher’s suddenly became Child minders / warders.
At the same time, Mr. Blair decided to insist that the streets be cleared of youngster’s by setting extra homework, contrary to the Ofsted findings of the time, which had said that homework offered little benefit to those pupils, who were not inclined towards it.
In order to keep the young offenders and the disaffected in school and working, a policy was instituted of watering down the syllabus (making it more approachable by low achievers) and making lessons more interesting.
Suddenly the best teachers were those who could keep children entertained.
Except in schools were there was streaming, lesson content became irrelevant in terms of exam success and the pressure was on to enable improved exam results, without any depth of learning required.
The recent stories about pupil violence and examiner corruption are a direct consequence of these policies.
The fact that we now have little in the way of manufacturing employment suggests that the majority of pupils would benefit from an education system that didn’t pretend to offer an academic syllabus for everyone.
We need to do away with meaningless paper qualifications and move towards life skills training, where education (encouraging pupils to seek knowledge) is part of that process but where the emphasis is on what will be useful to citizens to enable them to become more self-reliant e.g. woodwork, plumbing basics, car maintenance, Home economics etc.
┬áThose, capable of academic success shouldn’t be excluded from these skills but could opt for additional, relevant courses, once they’d selected a vocation, somewhat along the lines of the American model. Those, who show sociopathic tendencies could possibly benefit from special academies, where they can be mentored, away from the mainstream, avoiding the deleterious effect that their presence has on class management.
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