This is another blog article which was previously posted at the Subrosa blog and it is reproduced here with permissions.
A New Year and an old topic, education. I can’t keep away from it. Mrs TT is a teacher and I am a great supporter of meaningful education, which is appropriate for the needs of our young people and our country.
Education itself actually causes many of the problems we have to face on a daily basis, be it education itself, or any other of the hundreds of other topics which take up our leaders and politicians time. Our leaders and politicians come either from independent schools or a comprehensive education background, which is fair enough as long as this does not also encourage elitism and division.
Then, far too many of them go to Oxbridge and are taught the same subjects in the same classes and come out with the same degrees. Sure they put a left or right spin on it but it boils down to the same thing. Very few of them have run a business, far too many of them have gone into marketing or the softer side of the business world. Armed with Oxbridge theories and precious little experience they attempt to run the world by becoming politicians and then leaders.
If we want a great education system in Scotland and the UK we really need to start at the beginning again. The Curriculum for Excellence looks good on paper but it seems unlikely to succeed at least at secondary level, the jury is still out. Maybe it could work and work well but there are a number of flaws; teacher training, council education departments, central government and teacher career paths.
Teacher training has been hijacked for political reasons. A level playing field for all pupils/students is never going to work, a lack of competition for pupils/students is never going to work and dumbing down the content of courses cheats every single person in our nation.
Education, if it is about anything at all, is about to ensuring that EVERY pupil/student achieves their full potential. The current system does not allow this to happen. A teacher cannot give enough time to each pupil/student to ensure that this is the case. The system then is WRONG. The system has to reflect the core aim “that EVERY pupil/student achieves their full potential”.
To achieve this “every student teacher has to achieve their full potential” and again the system of student teaching has to change to achieve this.
It would be difficult for the political left or right to argue against this. Obviously they would but this provides a further significant change to that part of the process. There is no place for politicisation in any area of education.
It would be difficult for the different religions to argue against this. Obviously they would but this provides a further significant change to that part of the process. There is no place for religion in any area of education.
This then would have an impact on the local council education department. The easiest way to achieve this is to reduce the size and influence of the local education department down to the lowest possible level to support schools.
In reducing the Education Department down to a much smaller size, significantly more resources could be provided directly to schools for schools to decide on what is best for their requirements. This would also require a different relationship with central government and the development of a much improved funding model used to invest in every individual pupil/student, student teacher, teacher and school.
A centralisation of teaching resources could then be developed and shared nationally to stop continual wheel re-invention and duplication whilst promoting best practice in line with the aim of every school and every teacher to ensure EVERY pupil/student achieves their full potential.
This would then require a different type of management to be introduced to schools. This along with other steps required to achieve the first five aims listed below will, be the subject of next weeks post and possible at least one further post to follow. Meantime please feel free to comment.
Identified aims –
- EVERY pupil/student should achieve their full potential;
- EVERY student teacher should achieve their full potential;
- There is NO PLACE for politicisation within education;
- There is No PLACE for religion in any area of education;
- REDUCE the size and influence of local education department to the lowest possible level required to support schools.