What we each do as individuals to challenge the current education system and bring about change?
Here’s a start:
I am writing to express my frustration with the quality of education in my local school/schools.
I don’t wish to criticise the headteacher and staff, my problem is with the nature of the education system. Because of the way in which schools are judged – still primarily through exam results and various progress measures – the staff are under constant pressure to get the best scores possible out of the students. This turns school into little more than an exam factory, with the pressure building the closer you get to SATs, GCSEs and A-Levels – name your high stakes test. These exams themselves are far too narrow and fail to give a comprehensive picture of what children can achieve.
In primary schools I understand that you are still planning to introduce tests in maths and English for four-year-olds in 2021 in the first six weeks of school. If you know any four-year-olds, you will realise that this idea is as damaging as it is pointless and will disadvantage children from already disadvantaged backgrounds by labelling them from the very start of school. These tests will add to the existing battery of testing: phonics in year 1, SATS in Year 2, the multiplication check in Year 4 and SATs in Year 6.
Because of the accountability pressures schools all to often end up teaching to the test, meaning that vital areas such as art, music, sport – and even science in primary – are squeezed out of the curriculum. This is simply too narrow and not ambitious enough for our children.
I am very interested in alternative, broader models of education that develop deeper skills and knowledge, matter more to students and measure their achievements and capabilities in a more sophisticated way. I would vote for a party that offered this vision.
I would be only too happy to discuss these ideas with you further.