It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

UK election - Real Policy discussion thread (Education)

page: 1
6
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 05:21 AM
link   
For a site that proclaims to deny ignorance why is nearly everybody focusing on what the MSM wants us to focus on? All the arguments here are just going back and forwards on terror/ brexit/ immigration/ etc. This is exactly what the media want us to do - to deflect from looking at real policy and what it means for the country. I posted this in another thread, but thought it was worth a thread of it's own.

As a school teacher and parent of two teenagers I have an extremely strong Interest and opinion on educational policy. I have watched my profession being torn apart over the last 8 years with 'accountability', performance related pay, initiative after initiative being pushed by people with no background in education, Ebacc, school funding cuts etc etc. This will be a long post, but I hope you take the time to read and understand why the torrie policies are destroying the future of the younger generation. I don't think they are doing it on purpose - I just think their arrogance means that they believe they know better and won't listen to us in the system (it was after all Micheal Gove, the man behind many of the appalling decisions made, that declared during Brexit campaigning that 'people are tired of listening to experts' to justify a point). First I will break down the conservative position on education if (and when) they will win this election.


Here are the key new conservative pledges with my thought as a teacher with 18 years experience in this education system.

1. To help new teachers: "forgiveness on student loan repayments while they are teaching" and dedicated support throughout their careers.

Brilliant - so the profession will be flooded with recent graduates who have no clue what to do with their lives but see teaching as an option to get a job without paying back their student loans. Said teachers will then be miserable in a job that they didn't want to do in the first place, and trapped like a hostage because they are under the threat that the loans will need to be repaid if they want to leave. That will drive up morale and standards I'm sure.

2. A review of school admissions policy, with compulsory lotteries ruled out. "We will be clear at the outset that we will never introduce a mandatory lottery-based school admissions policy."

Not too many thoughts on this one as it is so vague - though I know if my students had to evaluate and review something, but ruled a possible conclusion out before they began they would lose marks.

3.To "improve schools’ accountability at key stage 3."

This, for me, is the most dangerous and worrying statement. More accountability has become a catch all phrase for saying 'we do not trust that teachers are doing their jobs'. This will put more pressure on teachers and schools to prove they are meet targets which will have to be created, and therefore more testing of students to prove those targets are being met. Therefore yet again a narrowing of the curriculum will be needed and another significant portion of children's education will be delivered teaching to a test.

4.EBacc target watered down from 90 per cent of pupils entering by 2020 to 75 per cent by "by the end of the next Parliament", with 90 per cent of pupils by 2025.

The EBacc is a farce - excluding the Arts and Technology subjects is already having a major impact on the narrowing of Education, and breeding the perception that some subjects are are more important than others. So according to this Tory government studying Latin and Ancient Classics (both included in the EBacc) is more important and useful than Art, Drama, Music, Graphics, Resistant Materials, Product Design and electronics (just some of the subjects excluded). Do you want your children to go to a school where they cannot even experience these subjects, let alone opt to get a qualification in them? That is what has begun to happen already - before the compulsory targets even come into force.

5. "A curriculum fund to encourage Britain’s leading cultural and scientific institutions, like the British Museum and others, to help develop knowledge-rich materials for our schools"

Okay - not a terrible idea - but still smacks of not trusting educators to know their own areas of study.

6. "We will work with the Independent Schools Council to ensure that at least 100 leading independent schools become involved in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools in the state system, keeping open the option of changing the tax status of independent schools if progress is not made."

Yup - because only the 'Independent' schools i.e. The posh private schools most of the Tory government went too know best. The few leading the many. And again a target driven system in operation - children are not numbers on a spreadsheet.


And some of the policies we already knew about before today's launch:

7. More grammar schools: "We will lift the ban on the to the establishment of selective schools, subject to conditions, such as allowing pupils to join at other ages as well as eleven."

Again - selective education for the few. Grammar schools do nothing but create wider gaps in social mobility and class divides. But they worked in the 1950's, so they must be right, eh?

8. Building at least 100 new free schools a year, with councils prohibited from creating any new places in schools that have been rated either ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted

Nobody in the education sector wants them. And I mean nobody.

9. Every 11-year-old to know their times tables off by heart

Ooh - how quaint. And more testing.

The Conservative Party have no idea what is going on in our classrooms. They all experienced a privileged schooling and believe what was good for them is good for everyone. It is not.


Something also has to be done about higher education -

More than 9,000 pounds a year in tuition fees is scandalous - it would be still wrong if the students actually got value for their money, but I have talked to a number of my ex-students who get as little as 5-6 hours actual time with university lecturers a week. The rest is research and independent work that is submitted. Where is that money going? To the Universities who are spending it on shiny new buildings to expand the amount of courses/students they can take so that they can get more money. Education should not be a business. Education should be a fundamental right at whatever your age. Selection should be based on ability, motivation and dedication - not on if you can afford it or not.

If I had to pay to go to uni there is every chance I wouldn't have gone and would not be doing what I am doing today. I underperformed in My Alevels and was fairly directionless with what I wanted to do with my life. I was able to access free university tuition where I discovered my passion and drive for a subject I had no access to at school (again - don't get me started on defunding of the Arts by this government). I was able to become a productive and positive influence in society because of a free education system.

How many talented teachers, doctors, scientists actors, musicians, innovators, business leaders, accountants, and people from every profession are we losing every year because they cannot afford to go to college?

Labour may never succeed in turning back the clock to a completely free education system. But by god I will support any party that is willing to try.




posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 05:37 AM
link   

originally posted by: WeAreSound

Labour may never succeed in turning back the clock to a completely free education system. But by god I will support any party that is willing to try.

We have no tuition fees up here in Scotland thanks to the SNP. Maybe you should think about moving north.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 05:41 AM
link   
I think many countries should look at what Finland is doing to be top of the list in world education.

No homework is the first change they made to get them on top.

Education has changed little in the last 100 years, the concepts used are still the same. It does not suit the society we now live in.

P



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 05:44 AM
link   
a reply to: Soloprotocol

This, my friend, is one of the reasons that the SNP is doing brilliantly for protecting the people of Scotland. I have no issues and fully understand why so many made the switch from labour North of the border. I wish all parties could really take a look at what is good for the maximum amount of people like the SNP do. I honestly believe that labour for the first time in a generation are trying to.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 06:23 AM
link   
a reply to: WeAreSound






. . . more pressure on teachers and schools to prove they are meet targets which will have to be created, and therefore more testing of students . . .


thepsychologist.bps.org.uk...

Given the current climate in the UK of increasing the amount of high stakes testing in children, debates around the issue of test anxiety and examination stress are unlikely to go away for the foreseeable future. Although this line of research has a long history, the recent changes in educational policy present a new and interesting challenge for psychology to engage with some of the ‘big’ questions in this area: At what age should we be testing children? Is a lot of testing bad for children?


www.publications.parliament.uk...

. . . "teaching to the test". Essentially, teaching to the test amounts to teachers drilling their pupils in a subject on which they will face a test or examination. In extreme cases, a high proportion of teaching time will be given over to test preparation. The focus of lessons will be narrow . . .

Narrow focus? Teach less to pass a test?


. . . short-term retention of knowledge . . .

And then forget the less that you've been taught? I wish I'd never come across this thread, now I'm feeling stressed.


. . . the quantity of national testing is displacing real learning . . .

I'm almost speechless.


Moreover, repeated testing has a negative effect on children, leading to demotivation, reduced learning potential and lower educational outcomes.



Testing has . . . been linked with children's . . . mental health . . .


Teach them less, then they forget it it, they're demotivated, the educational outcome is lower, and they develop mental and physical health problems as a result of the stress.



To "improve schools’ accountability at key stage 3."

This, for me, is the most dangerous and worrying statement.


Point taken.



edit on 3 6 2017 by Kester because: (no reason given)

edit on 3 6 2017 by Kester because: (no reason given)

edit on 3 6 2017 by Kester because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 06:29 AM
link   

originally posted by: Soloprotocol
We have no tuition fees up here in Scotland thanks to the SNP. Maybe you should think about moving north.


And yet under the SNP education has failed the youth of Scotland. Falling standards, even though spend per head is more then England. The Scots benefit from the Barnet Formula that ensures inequality in public spending per head.

To the OP. You posted this in another thread. So I will give a similar response I gave last time... While I agree with some of what you say, I have to say that as parent I agree with some of the educational reforms. There are too many many mediocre teachers and poorly led schools. Resistance by the reaching profession to hold teachers and schools to account for the quality of delivered education is counter productive, IMHO. Personally, I don't know why people argue against grammar schools where teaching standards are better because the taught are more academic. Too many people want to lower the bar to the poorest performing, because that is easy. Too many hypocritical Labour MPs say it's bad, but have their kids in grammar or public schools.

I also agree the curriculum is getting narrower. A solution would be to reduce the school holidays, thus increase the time children face education. I somehow doubt the teaching profession would agree to reducing the 13 week holidays the teachers benefit from.

As a side note. I have to say I am impressed by the English education system. I live in a rural community and have had good choice amongst some excellent schools, well run and with motivated teachers.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 06:32 AM
link   

originally posted by: WeAreSound
7. More grammar schools: "We will lift the ban on the to the establishment of selective schools, subject to conditions, such as allowing pupils to join at other ages as well as eleven."

Again - selective education for the few. Grammar schools do nothing but create wider gaps in social mobility and class divides. But they worked in the 1950's, so they must be right, eh?


I posted this in another thread but I thought it appropriate to contribute here as you were also involved in that thread:


originally posted by: grainofsand

originally posted by: paraphi
a reply to: WeAreSound

Too many hypocritical Labour MPs say it's bad, but have their kids in grammar or public schools.

I was a hypocrite.
I went to a #ty comprehensive school in south Wales and always thought it was unfair that 'the best' pupils had more funding and resources in grammar schools in England.
Fast forward 20 odd years and the absolute best school in my area for results and behaviour is the local grammar school.
The primary school my son attended didn't even teach the modules for the 11+ exam so I paid for a private tutor.
I'm not rich, the tutor cost no more than a few pints a week at the local pub. Friends of mine whined that it excludes poor people, I know loads of poor people who could cut down on a few packs of cigarettes and beers to easily afford a tutor and reminded them as such.

Anyway, my son won his place at the grammar, and the level of education was fantastic, the depth of understanding in the subjects, the discipline, everything. Comprehensive schools are crap, my son's cousin back in Wales proudly boasted she'd got a science GCSE early aged 15, when my lad asked her questions she didn't even understand some basic concepts, she simply passed lame modules with no real understanding of the subject.

Employers know this, educational establishments know this as well, an A* GCSE from a #ty comprehensive is considered as a C grade from a grammar school. It really is about the depth of understanding and critical thinking.
My lad even had a class called Philosophy, Applied Ethics, and Critical Thinking.

I'll admit, he was probably one of the poorest kids in the grammar school, other parents were airline pilots, surgeons, architects, etc, and if he wasn't a hard nut rugby player it is likely he would have been bullied for being skint.
But like it or not, that grammar school education gave him a fantastic start in life, the networks he created there has opened doors for him. As soon as employers and educational establishments see xxxxx grammar school on his form it puts him higher up the list than xxxxx #ty comprehensive school.

So yes, I'm a hypocrite, I wanted the best for my son, and passing that 11+ put him in a school with the best. No scummy kids being disruptive, no crap module based GCSE's which have shallow depth of understanding of the topic, real education in a fantastic environment.

Labour voters will carry on bleating they are elitist and inaccessable for the poor because of the need for private tutors to get through the 11+, but I say bull#, ask the 'poor' how much they spend on booze and cig's every week.
Many 'poor' just haven't got their priorities right. I have, and my son's future is brighter than mine because I paid for that tutor.

I support grammar schools, and I support segregation of ambitious students from the scummy kids who would drag them down because their scummy parents haven't instilled a wish to succeed in their kids mindset.
Flame away folks, flame away.

edit on 3.6.2017 by grainofsand because: Typo



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 06:45 AM
link   

originally posted by: WeAreSound
How many talented teachers, doctors, scientists actors, musicians, innovators, business leaders, accountants, and people from every profession are we losing every year because they cannot afford to go to college?

Who can't afford it?
The loan isn't paid back until you earn a certain amount, and even then it's on a sliding scale, in instalments.
I didn't go to Uni until I was 30, I only did it to prove a point to smug pricks who made out a degree is like some superior badge of honour. I got a 2:1 BSc in environmental chemistry, and I've never used it, I'm a self employed plasterer.

The loan repayments are # all, I think of it as a tax more than anything. All the bleating about 'can't afford it' is lame bull#. I had a fantastic laugh during my 3 years, I worked part time at the Union bar and the Uni library, had plenty of money, and have never ever worried about the meagre loan repayments.

Just throwing a bit of reality into your whining thread.
edit on 3.6.2017 by grainofsand because: Typo



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 07:31 AM
link   

originally posted by: paraphi

I also agree the curriculum is getting narrower. A solution would be to reduce the school holidays, thus increase the time children face education. I somehow doubt the teaching profession would agree to reducing the 13 week holidays the teachers benefit from.



You made some reasonable points, though I disagree fundamentally with the grammar school argument, but it was with the above quote is where you lose the credibility by trotting out the old adage of too many school holidays and blame us for not wanting to reduce them.

I am just comming to the end of my half term break. This week I have spent two days at work marking, planning and catching up with the admin that was left over from last term. At home I have spent another few hours per day creating resources for the next few weeks. Tomorrow I will spend most of the day on final preparations along with writing end of year reports for my year 7 pupils.

Easter - 2 full days in school running revision sessions, 2 full days preparing coursework for the exam boards and then another 3 or 4 days on general marking and planning.

February half term - 4 full days at work building sets and rehearsing with students for a full school production (not because I have to, but because I want to).

My usual week consists of between 50 to 60 hours of work. I am contracted and paid for 35. I can claim no over time, or choose to take time off whenever I like to make that time back. please do not perpetuate the myth of the teacher's school holidays - no teacher I know turns up for work a 8.00 am and downs tools at 3.30 pm and swans off for 13 weeks a year.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 07:35 AM
link   
a reply to: WeAreSound

Choose a different job if you don't like it.
Two of my mates are secondary school teachers and they are happy enough with all their time off, even take the piss out of the rest of us when we have to work and they don't.

*Edit*
And as a side note, one is a teacher at the grammar school and takes the piss out of our mate who is at the comprehensive school having to work with feral kids.
That's the difference a first class degree makes when looking for work as a teacher.
edit on 3.6.2017 by grainofsand because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 07:52 AM
link   
a reply to: grainofsand


Congratulations - you made the system work for you. Most cannot.

Teaching standards are no better in grammar schools - in fact in my experience it is actually worse, they just have easier students to work with.

Of course overall standards are going to be better - the class sizes are able to be smaller, parents more supportive, home lives more stable, only teaching the most capable of students.

But do you really want to live in a society where we say that only those who can should? A society where we live in a two tier system? If there were no grammar schools then those students who can achieve the highest would be setting the standards for all - they would still achieve, but they could inspire and motivate and model along the way.

And no - I do not believe that we should saddle the next generation with thousands of pounds of debt before they begin their lives, and yes it is putting off many people from going to university - I work with these youngsters every day off my life. Part of my responsibility is to oversee their UCAS applications. You may think that the loan repayments are nothing, but to a student who has nothing to begin with it is everything.

I agree that university is not for everyone - but it should be there as an option for everyone.

I guess you and I have different philosophies on what society should be, my friend, as has been proved in other threads. I do not believe in elitism. I do not think of the world as cynically as you do. However I know from other threads that you have an unmovable view point on the world where everybody that disagrees with you is wrong, so I am not going to try to change your mind.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 08:04 AM
link   
a reply to: grainofsand

I love my job. You do not teach for 18 years if you don't.

Sounds like your teaching friends are the kind of teachers that many of us in the profession despise. And those 'feral kids' can be the most rewarding, infuriating, inspiring, and generally awesome part of the job. They also make me want to tear my own eyes out at points.

I am, however, not going to let you turn this thread into another superficial and pointless argument. If you want to debate the complexities of individual educational policies then feel free to do so.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 08:06 AM
link   
a reply to: WeAreSound

If there was no grammar school in my area then my son would have been dragged down by scummy feral kids in the comprehensive. Exactly what happened to my mates kids.
My mates have complained that the comp is # and I just say should've paid for a tutor then, you could afford it but chose not to. Couple of packs of cig's and a few pints less each week would have paid for the tutor.

And again, why bleat about the student loan repayments? I don't care about them at all, it is a minor tax in my mind and I don't even know how much I owe the UK government, I don't care either.
If someone studies for some crap degree like Humanities and African studies or whatever and only gets a minimum wage job afterwards then they never have to pay it back.

I think you are being a drama queen, and why should kids who want to succeed be dragged down by feral kids from scummy families?
As I said, I'm not rich, and my son was probably the poorest in grammar school, but you know what, I made sacrifices to give him the best start in life.
'Poor' people in the UK need only cut down on cig's and booze to pay for a tutor to get through the 11+ exam, and the more grammar schools there are then the more places are available for kids who want to succeed.

I went to a #ty comprehensive and it was a battle to leave with the GCSE's I knew I needed to progress in life. I even had to lie to mates saying "I'm not coming out tonight because I'm tired" when really I was revising.
Peer status was being disruptive, not achieving academically.

So yes, segregating kids who want to succeed from feral kids is a fantastic way to stop them being dragged down by those who don't.

...oh, and your thoughts about my personal philosophies are off-topic and irrelevant.
edit on 3.6.2017 by grainofsand because: Typo



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 08:47 AM
link   

originally posted by: WeAreSound
You made some reasonable points, though I disagree fundamentally with the grammar school argument, but it was with the above quote is where you lose the credibility by trotting out the old adage of too many school holidays and blame us for not wanting to reduce them.


Touched a raw nerve did I? If you are complaining of long hours et al, then spacing the year more like a "normal" job is just the ticket? It would also allow a wider curriculum to be covered. You make it sound like other people don't work long hours and have stressful jobs.

On grammar schools. If the model delivers excellent education, then why are teachers so opposed to them? Well, not all teachers are opposed to them - for example, those working in grammar schools are undoubtedly happy.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 08:53 AM
link   

originally posted by: paraphi
On grammar schools. If the model delivers excellent education, then why are teachers so opposed to them? Well, not all teachers are opposed to them - for example, those working in grammar schools are undoubtedly happy.


Exactly.
My mate who teaches at the grammar school takes the piss out of our mate who teaches at the comprehensive school.
She got a first class degree and he got a 2:2, he'll never teach at the grammar aside from the odd times if he does supply work and the grammar is desperate.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 10:33 AM
link   

originally posted by: paraphi

Touched a raw nerve did I? If you are complaining of long hours et al, then spacing the year more like a "normal" job is just the ticket? It would also allow a wider curriculum to be covered. You make it sound like other people don't work long hours and have stressful jobs.

On grammar schools. If the model delivers excellent education, then why are teachers so opposed to them? Well, not all teachers are opposed to them - for example, those working in grammar schools are undoubtedly happy.


It was not a complaint. As I have said I love my job, but just making the school year longer is not the answer. That wouldn't give us more time to get things done as it would mean further planning and assessment which would still have to be done out of school hours.
Neither would it broaden the curriculum as curriculum is prescribed by the government - there would still be many of the issues I described in my op - ie the Ebac, too much testing for accountability and totally ridiculous decisions over content such as the new English GCSE syllabus.

The Grammar school system may provide good results, but only for the few. I (along with many teachers who care about education and are in it to help young people learn and achieve) despise the notion that a'good' education should only be for kids from a wealthier background, and that your path for life is set when your 11 years old. Of course many teachers in the grammar system are happy - they do not have to attempt to teach the kids who come to school who have not been fed properly for days, and have got up at 6am to make sure that their younger brother and sister are up and dressed and ready for school because they have parents who are incapable of doing so. They do not see the children who are neglected and come into school and go to the school office where there will be a clean shirt waiting for them because theirs hasn't been washed for a month. They don't have to work out how to differentiate work for a student who has learning disabililities, but is trying to access a mainstream examination system that marginalises them even more. These are the 'feral' kids mentioned by another poster. It is not their fault the world they are born into, and they deserve as much opportunity as every other child.

I have no problems with the streaming of students within education in certain circumstances and areas. I even have no issues with all male, or all female groups/ schools. I do have an issue with a two tier system where your background decides whether you are one of them or us.


As for there are better teachers in the grammar sector - that is utter b*****s - our local grammar is full of teachers who couldn't hack it in a main stream class room. The class of your degree (another point of wisdom brought up in this thread) has nothing to do with what makes a good teacher. The ability to communicate, inspire, motivate, and police within a classroom is not determined by whether you had a first or third class honours degree. Grammar schools are also better at sweeping things under the carpet. Every year we get a handful of students who arrive part way through the school year with some b***** reason give. Inevitably it is because they are not going to get the grades that will make the school look good so the school wipes their hands with them and we take them on (and whatever results they get end up in our statistics) . Just last year I had two students in year 13 who were told they were going to get no higher than an E in their Alevel after studying it for 8 months. I completed the course with them - one ended up with an A, the other a B and they are now both in good universities.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 10:35 AM
link   
Education has only been failing the last 8 years? You are soooo lucky. I got out of the education field 15 years ago in US for the same reasons. My children are home-schooled.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 10:42 AM
link   
a reply to: WeAreSound

No, first class degree teachers get employed at my local grammar school while 2:2 degree teachers get work at the comprehensive school.
And money wasn't an issue for the private tutor to pass the 11+ just a couple of packs less of cig's or a few pints at the local pub.
# parenting is the real problem.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 11:55 AM
link   

originally posted by: WeAreSound
The Grammar school system may provide good results, but only for the few. I (along with many teachers who care about education and are in it to help young people learn and achieve) despise the notion that a'good' education should only be for kids from a wealthier background, and that your path for life is set when your 11 years old.


It is untrue that "good" education is only available to kids from wealthier backgrounds, but is is true that uneducated and ignorant parents tend to have less expectations for their children. Is this a fault of the education system, or of ignorant parents?

It is also true (just look to OFSTED reports) that some schools have poor leadership, poor teaching and poor educational standards and ethos. This is caused by (ahem) the teaching staff. That's got sod all to do with the relative wealth of the parents

One in 20 kids go to grammar schools. The benefit of grammar schools is that they take intelligent kids and focus them on an academic education. The culture and ethos of grammar schools (I won't lie, my son is in one) is positive and supportive towards learning and excellence; so are comprehensives, but not in the same way in my experience. If these one in 20 went to the comprehensive down the road, they may well get a good education, but it may not be fully focussed on their educational needs.

The fact is that education should fulfil the needs of the child. Some kids end up wanting to excel academically, while others do not, while some are totally incapable of doing anything academic. Is it really beneficial for the teachers to force an "average" on all these kids?

Like I said earlier. I don't know why teachers want to inhibit achievement. Could it be that some teachers cannot nurture and grow kids, and are more comfortable with the "average" themselves? I am not trying to bait with this question, because I have seen the impact of poor teaching AND of good teaching.



posted on Jun, 3 2017 @ 12:28 PM
link   
a reply to: paraphi

Different rules and expectations as well.
Phones banned in classes, exceptionally high standards of uniform and behaviour, Saturday detentions in full uniform for being a prick, supported by parents because they don't want their kid expelled and ending up at the # comprehensive school.
Yes, I am so glad I dropped a couple of packs of cig's and pints at the pub to pay for my lad's private 11+ tuition.
All my mates are gutted they didn't do the same, and a millionaire guy I know hates that my son got in the grammar when his didn't, my lad and his were in the same primary school class. His lad is a waster loser now, while mine is earning good money privately renting the house next door to me.
Poverty meh, cut back on the cig's and booze.




top topics



 
6
<<   2 >>

log in

join