An educational musing
February 7, 2015 2 Comments
Since I was contacted with regard to my general views on education I thought I would share my response:
I cannot speak for the whole of the Labour Party, but I can tell you where I stand on education.
I guess I am a little old fashioned but ultimately I want an education that works for everyone. This means, in my humble opinion, universal comprehensive education.
I do not think that selection works, and I think all children should be in schools together. This does not mean I want to scrap streaming by ability, although for some subjects this is not relevant anyway.
I like the idea of parents supporting their local schools. This is good for children as this would encourage them to walk (exercise), and would encourage sociableness. Living near one’s school mates has to help in encouraging kids off their sofas, away from keyboards, and actually being out and about and more active.
It would also help end the traffic nightmare that is the daily school run.
I want education paid for out of general taxation, although I think we have to also accept that some element of tuition fee is required. I will be pushing for a drop though.
I am unhappy with school league tables. I think assessment is fine and should be used to measure success within a school – pitting one school against another is wrong.
I support the Anti-Academy Alliance. Schools should not become businesses, nor should they be the plaything of the rich, or those with an agenda.
I am no educator, and my formal education ended we I reached sixteen. Yet, I liked it when the exam system was changed to take more account of coursework because I could see that not everyone was suited to examinations, and an off-day for those who were could also see failure when success was within reach.
I like breakfast clubs and free school meals. I do not like playing fields being sold off. I like to have goals that maximise attendance at universities. I like financial incentives that encourage poorer families to stick with formal education. I do not like that apprenticeships and vocational courses being seen as second-rate.
I also think that business and enterprise should be encouraged. Businesses must have faith in the education system, and this system must ensure their clientele is fit for purpose as regards to the world of work.