Partially from the department of “we told you so”

BBC NEWS | Education | Blair backs individual learning

Gifted pupils in England are to receive extra support, in a government move to create a more “personalised” education.

Why only the gifties?

For “key transition points”, such as the end of primary and the beginning of secondary school, there should be tutor groups with smaller numbers of pupils, to support their maths and English.

because we can’t afford to do this common sense thing for all subjects, for all pupils, at all points of their education. Unless you’re a home educator, of course, when the idea of “key transition points” is meaningless.

The review also suggests ways in which a more diverse range of providers and greater competition could be used to give a wider choice to families looking for a school place.

Except home ed, which is dangerous, uncontrolled, bad and wrong, apparently.

It says it should be easier to set up a small school – which could then be expanded if it proved successful.

What if it’s success is due to it’s small size?

And it says that further education colleges should be more responsive to employers’ needs.

Grrr, grrr, employers controlling education, grr.

The review suggests that public services should make use of “user satisfaction surveys” – a proposal rejected by the leader of the National Union of Teachers, Steve Sinnott, as “skewed towards the fantasy world of eBay and Amazon style league tables”.

And we all know how badly amazon and ebay are doing… hang on…

You know what, we damn well should have these: at present, the responsiveness of schools to their pupils is third hand (via the DfES, government, then nominally through elections to parents). Why shouldn’t schools have feedback directly from parents? both this comment and:

Head teachers’ leader, John Dunford, said that schools backed the goal of personalised learning and recognised the importance of engaging with parents.

But in terms of “user satisfaction surveys” – Dr Dunford rejected the idea that parents should be allowed to publish damaging views and individual criticisms on a public website.

both show the fear of teaching organisations of public scrutiny. The occassional OFSTED inspection should be enough for us ignorant masses, don’t look at the man behind the curtain.

Doesn’t this show the levels of insanity in the system today, when schools inspection is at arms length and anonymized, but home education must be subject to increased, direct intervention for the sake of the children….

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5 thoughts on “Partially from the department of “we told you so”

  1. I appreciate you posting these posts. Being so far from the UK right now, and having kids of school age I like to keep abreast of this stuff. Education is one of those areas that I feel pretty strongly about, but I have issues with most education systems in the secondary/high school area. That’s where I had most of my problems, not with learning, but with remaining interested. I’ve tried college a couple of times and I just can’t handle the horrid instruction systems that are used. Since reading Howard Gardner’s books on the concept of multiple intelligences, I’ve become much more keenly aware of how I learn and operate best, and it’s NOT in a classroom. If anything, I’m a prime candidate for home schooling. I remember reading a great article from the turn of the century discussing education merely as a vehicle to control the populace to operate in industry. I’ll need to see if I can find it for you.

    1. Someone recently turned up a great article on how modern education systems are based on… Ancient Sparta. Via C91th Prussia, admittedly, but… wow.

      1. Have you been keeping up with Battlestar Galactica 3rd season? I know you’re over the water, but there was a very particular episode that made me think of you when a particular issue came up because I had a feeling it was something that you’d have input on. It ties into what you just said about Sparta in sorts.

      2. Ah. You need to catch up then, because it’s heating up towards the last 2 episodes of this season.

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