Is the current education system producing well rounded individuals equipped with the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions, contribute to society, challenge themselves, be successful, happy and confident and continue a lifelong learning journey?
Or is it concerned with rating highly in the league tables, getting good results from OFSTED inspections, retention and achievement, Health and Safety, balancing the books etc. etc.?
Unfortunately, I believe it is the second one! Current education systems are being pulled in two directions – keeping one eye on the ever changing targets and policies set by Government – and one eye on the learning experience of the learners.
It is sad but often the case that it is the former that gets the most attention. To be sustainable and attract the best funding a good OFSTED report is vital. This leads to establishments focusing on ways to meet the targets and as is so often the case with the government they make targets based around performance and cost cutting as they are easy to measure.
One important point, education does not (or at least should not) start and finish in the classroom. Parents, guardians, family and society must all play their part.
What I suggest is making the current voluntary 11+ exam compulsory. I know we have been down this route before but, expecting each learner to achieve their potential in the current system is not possible. There is too wide a gap in potential and ability within each class. There will always be those not being stretched enough and others not getting the help and support they need.
Those passing the 11+ will be given the opportunity to be stretched far more than is currently possible with teachers able to keep them engaged. Those who do not pass will also be able to be stretched to meet their potential and again the teacher will be able to focus on their needs keeping them engaged. Learners that are engaged in lessons are far less likely to misbehave.
Teaching methods can be tailored to best meet the learning styles of learners. Those with Special Educational Needs will be met far better with specialist teachers and facilities. Splitting learners into 3 groups does not require 3 different schools, just divide the current schools into 3 sections to enable the teaching materials etc. to be specific to the learners needs.
I believe this could help with behaviour, equality and diversity, achievement, attendance and teacher recruitment.
As for the Government, they need to alter the targets and policies. They should be based around the needs of the learners. OFSTED should have a revamp to become, what I believe was always the aim, a support service for educational establishments. Of course all establishments will need to meet certain criteria but instead of running around scared of a visit from OFSTED they should be able to focus on the learners with the knowledge that help is available should it be required.
Everyone has different learning styles and the current one size fits all is not fit for purpose and A* – C grades GCSE are not the only results that matter.
What do you think?
Well I have put forward a few ideas. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments
Thanks for reading and all the best.