Well the English Baccalaureate has been unveiled and it looks like we are going back (as the abbreviated version Bac suggests) to something similar to the old O level and this was after the discussion of abolishing the A level.
This could be just a rant on my part but I want to focus on the long term aspect of education and what they focus is for this reorganisation is attempting to create or correct.
The idea of a race to the bottom created by the examination boards maybe a good point however I see pupils working much harder in the schools than I ever remember doing whilst I was at school and maybe this is why I am so good at playing guitar because I had time to practice! My concern in all of this is why become educated? What is it that we are striving for? If the answer to this is to get a job then I would argue that the jobs market is changing so fast with jobs disappearing or morphing into something else with new disciplines appearing in areas that two or three years ago did not exist how can you prepare? If the idea is to broaden the mind and to learn to use your brain power in a focus yet flexible way then the education system has lost its direction and the ‘new’ examinations will also fail dismally.
Teachers in schools work harder than many other professions putting in extra hours unpaid as a normal part of the regime and as for the head of Ofsted to make the comment that teachers should go the extra mile probably makes most teachers so angry that they would like to take Mr Wilshaw and shove the Ofsted reports where the sun does not shine and maybe make that go the extra foot.
I have never involved myself teaching in the classroom for one very good reason it’s a thankless task and more about box ticking than teaching but I see enough of it and I know enough teachers to know the score.
What is the answer to this question? Well children are clever enough to do well whatever the system and if they are encouraged to have an open mind and become passionate about learning they will be able to outperform their contemporaries who may be far more privileged than they. Flexibility of mind is the answer, keep learning and to paraphrase Winston Churchill “Never stop learning, never, never stop learning”.
Play in a band for three days with the experts and detress!