Friday, March 23, 2007

School Leaving Age Going Up

I can't help but think that this distracts attention from our biggest problem which is the complete lack of discipline in many schools which makes it impossible to teach.

Do we seriously imagine that anything planned for 2015 is really going to happen?

You may have heard me wittering the above on 'Five Live' yesterday. I felt a bit sorry for the other teacher who had clearly been sent by his Head with orders to say as many good things about his school as possible.

17 comments:

jerym said...

usual political bullshit.Education until they are eighteen. good on quantity but very vague on quality but looks very good in a simple comparison with other countries. How many fully literate educationally well prepared kids are clamouring in vain for further education at sixteen in this country? They either ca`nt wait to get out of school or are semi literate because of inadequacies and lack of proper discipline in primary school.Those who genuinely want to go and have ability are offered mickey mouse degrees because they are considerably easier than physics,chemistry,mathematics etc.,and the pass rate will look good. Never mind the quality look at the numbers.The obvious solution to most of the problems in schools and also society is good grounding in infant and primary education, this is the foundation of the system and the only way that the vicious circle of bad parenting producing problem children who grow up to be bad parents ad infinitum can be tackled.The problem with this is that results will only become apparent after at least a generation which is far to long for our leaders who by then will either have their snouts in the E.U. trough,strutting around the lords or making a fortune in the U.S.of A telling very rich men how he helped his friend save the world.

billy said...

"They either ca`nt wait to get out of school or are semi literate because of inadequacies and lack of proper discipline in primary school"

A bit of a broad sweep isn't it? This is all 16 year olds is it?
Calm down.

Anonymous said...

I remember a short while ago when hidden camera footage of children misbehaving in a class became a big national news story,and the question of discipline in schools was briefly relevant.I say briefly,because of course the usual suspects were wheeled out on the media and the story quickly became the infringement of the childrens human rights,i.e. the right not to be secretly filmed.This was a brilliant diversionary tactic,as the question of discipline and the lack of it was quickly swept under the carpet and conveniently forgotten.

lilyofthefield said...

You were on Five Live and never said? I'd have listened in if I'd known. This government and no forthcoming one can do a damn thing about the breakdown in discipline and nor does it intend to, in any pissing-off-the-parents-about-their-crap-parenting kind of way. But they CAN use the smoke and mirrors of making kids stay in school for two years longer to distract us from it. So they have.

My last school was a middling sort of comp with a not-bad sixth-form - mix of genuine A-level ability students and natural (proper) University hopefuls, plus the usual selection of kids only there for the EMA or because they couldn't think of anything else, or it was less demanding than Tesco. Most of the latter dropped out, as do most of the kids who wouldn't hack sixth form so get sent on various FE courses.

All I want to know is what we are supposed to do with kids who have had the option of dropping out removed. Do we dumb down a KS5 course even further so they can "access" it and find it more "relevant"? Because they won't need to get any A*-Cs to get into sixth-form if it's compulsory, they won't need to resit lousy Maths and English GCSEs anymore either. Or maybe we could bring in a new (heart sink) course especially targeted at kids who didn't like the first 11 years and are not particularly enchanted with being made to do another two. A vocational course maybe? You know, like they used to run in FE, the ones these kids didn't opt for or stick at in the first place?

I'm also not quite sure where we can put them. My present school was under-roll for quite a long time and threatened with closure annually, but then those nice asylum seekers and refugees were made to send their kids there and now it's bursting at the seams; offices are being knocked through to make new classrooms as it is. Quite where we'll stick the bulging new sixth-form is a bit of a mystery. One which I doubt has penetrated the ministerial grey matter.

Anonymous said...

I like the way Brown said he was giving people a "right" to education until 18.

Clearly, in his language, a right to do something means you are to be forced to do it.

jerym said...

You are a "silly billy" are`nt you? Of course I did`nt mean all 16 year olds. I`ll calm down if you will start thinking up.

Tom Welsh said...

"I like the way Brown said he was giving people a "right" to education until 18.

"Clearly, in his language, a right to do something means you are to be forced to do it".

anon, the way these jokers are going reminds me ever more strongly of the old joke. "In Russia, everything is forbidden. In Germany, everything is forbidden unless it is permitted. In Britain, everything is permitted unless it is forbidden. And In Italy, everything is permitted whether it is forbidden or not".

Soon, if we go on this way, Britain will be a country (or a small collection of countries ranging from Scotland to Rutland) where everything is forbidden unless it is compulsory.

But then, what do you expect of a Stalinist government? I just wonder who the fools are who elected it.

Tom Welsh said...

Another thought: forcing everyone to stay in full-time education until they are 18 is a great way to put yet another layer of lipstick on the unemployment figures.

Anonymous said...

Frank - which show and what time were you on? It is possible to "Listen Again" by going to BBC Radio. I have ploughed my way through 2 hours of the Breakfast Show but there is Matthew Bannister and Simon Mayo to go. That's a lot of hours of repetition to go through!!!

billy said...

jerym said...
You are a "silly billy" are`nt you? Of course I did`nt mean all 16 year olds. I`ll calm down if you will start thinking up.

10:08

Dear jerym,

I would be a lot more impressed with your 'up thinking' if you knew how to use the apostrophe.

Perhaps you hould have been kept at school.

jerym said...

Do`nt be pedantic Billy,I`m sure you can do better than that.I left a catholic grammar school at the age of sixteen in 1951 with one O LEVEL in geography! after a very patchy education which put more emphasis on the the state of my immortal soul than the use of the apostrophe but I eventually recovered to be able to carry on a reasonably intelligent conversation with people who have obviously managed to gain a more respectable position in society than me, a retired unqualified ex-plumber. You gorra laff

Anonymous said...

God help us if the Government forces all the chavs and hoodies (that most teachers are jubilant to see the back of at the end of yr 11) to "stay on in education". Have they thought that through?????? Most schools are bursting at the seems already, where aer they going to be taught? Furthermore, if the educational system were functioning as it should, ie teaching them to read and write in the first place, there wouldn't be the "need" to keep them on. Quantity (more years) can't replace quality. Just another sad measure to doctor the unemployment statistics.....and they get paid to do it, too, which is really sad. if they had to pay for their education, they would value it more. Instead, they get pocket money shoved at them for mere physical persence. What message is that giving them regarding work ethics?

Tom Welsh said...

"Most schools are bursting at the seems already, where aer they going to be taught?"

Good question. From what we have learned so far, perhaps a concrete holding pen surrounded by barbed wire fences and machine-gun emplacements.

Jennyta said...

I am fed up with people criticising primary education. Primary teachers are the ones who have endured over 20 years of unremitting change in education and have had the constant challenge of making it all relevant to the children. The nub of the problem is the lack of parenting skills so prevalent in society today. Don't blame us - we are doing/have done our best!

jerym said...

In any criticism of primary education I`m sure that the vast majority of people understand what the teachers have to put up with."twenty years of unremitting change",ridiculously large classes,the problem children of problem parents,interfering "experts" who know all about it except how to do it,reports and assesments for those above to pass on to those above them,health and safety directives, etc., etc., etc.,Instead of manipulating A level results and encouraging the creation of mickey mouse degree courses government should be putting serious amounts of money into infant and primary education at the chalk face and bring class size down to a level closer to that enjoyed by their own privately educated children,cut the ridiculous amount of paperwork,stop arseing about with the curriculum,allow teachers the necessary authority to be in charge and enable them to get on with their job which is teaching.

billy said...

jerym said...
I eventually recovered to be able to carry on a reasonably intelligent conversation with people who have obviously managed to gain a more respectable position in society than me....
You gorra laff
10:12

That puts you in a very similar situation to my father who also fondly believes he is able to have a reasonably intelligent conversation, bless him.
'Laff'...... or weep.

jerym said...

Dont` know who said it Billy,probably Mark Twain but he said that when he was eighteen he thought his father a fool but when he reached twenty one he was surprised at what the old man had learned in three years.