Poor UK education standards

lextalionis

Old-Salt
I think I know what you mean.

When I was at school the subject I worried about was Mathematics. Would I get a GCSE grade C? There were quite a few people on the borderline between D and C. However, the school's policy was to make sure everyone got something, but how useful is a grade F or G?

The lower end of the capability distribution did receive a lot of help to try to get them over the G line, and the grade A types got help, but what if those of us who where nearly A-C?

Is that what you are saying?
More or less. I'm not sure it's better to have a grade E/F/G (or 1-3 these days) than nothing at all. The time spent pursuing these less-than-useful grades might be better spent in a form of training or gaining work-experience. I'd rather leave that choice, in those circumstances, to students and parents.

Equality of opportunity means that the bottom 30%-40% have their time wasted when they might better spend their time outside of the GCSE ratrace. It's wasteful of their time and teachers' time and talents. There's no point flogging a dead horse.
 
Equality of opportunity, where it's more or less clear someone is below the standard, wastes precious resources of time, money, etc. It's therefore immoral.
How do you know someone is or isn't below the standard until you test them?
 
I think the education issue boils down to just this:

There are two different kinds of people in the world - those who are interested in learning, and those who aren't.
That assumes all teachers are good at their job, they are not by the way.
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
Assessment, observation, conversation... I'm talking about people who are clearly well-below a standard and for whom it is not realistic to expect them to reach it. Borderline cases are not a waste of time, at least not intentionally, although they run the risk of being. It's against their interests, ultimately, and those whose time they waste.
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
That assumes all teachers are good at their job, they are not by the way.
There are few very bad teachers. It's never been an easy job and the requirements for entering - a degree, postgraduate training, professional qualification (QTS) are on a par with most professions. It's more a calling than a job and I've met few teachers who could really be described as incompetent. I can't, personally, think of a teacher I didn't learn something from.

Most of the struggles could be avoided with better (pupil) discipline and less political interference. Twenty-odd years of hyperaccountability (in tandem with deteriorating behaviour and growing interference) has done little to improve outcomes.
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
In other words, when good people are doing a very hard job, they are likely to fail. You cannot improve the situation by making things harder or sapping their willingness to do it.
 
A good mate of mine was doing intermediate maths GCSE as he was thought to be a bit of a thickie. Then got kicked out for possession at 16, not reported to the police because it would damage the school’s reputation. He got an MPhil from Cambridge, was sponsored for his PHd and is now an academic at Oxford.

turns out the school was awful at diagnosing dyslexia at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds on his (poor) private education
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
A good mate of mine was doing intermediate maths GCSE as he was thought to be a bit of a thickie. Then got kicked out for possession at 16, not reported to the police because it would damage the school’s reputation. He got an MPhil from Cambridge, was sponsored for his PHd and is now an academic at Oxford.

turns out the school was awful at diagnosing dyslexia.
Perhaps, but for every one of him, there are perhaps a thousand who do not make it to the ivory tower.

Have a read of this on dyslexia: Dyslexia may not exist, warn academics
 
Perhaps, but for every one of him, there are perhaps a thousand who do not make it to the ivory tower.

Have a read of this on dyslexia: Dyslexia may not exist, warn academics
maybe so. He proves that given the correct training and guidance, or equality of opportunity, he had the drive to apply himself and make make it, despite being written off at 15
 
morality, now that’s a very interesting word to invoke in a sporting setting. What would be immoral or evil about it?

and let’s look at what the standard is, perhaps there isn’t a standard but a quota, and one could be above the quality line but not above quantity.
Then raise the bar. ABs do something similar. They're not afraid to bench players who are not performing and legacy players are pretty much non existent in the squad.
 

mcphee1948

War Hero
I can't remember many actual teachers who taught me much in secondary school.

Most of my learning came, and has come, from reading books. Which I would've done anyway, once the primary school teachers had taught me to read. For which I thank them.

There are two things I principally remember about secondary school teachers:

An English master made me write two hundred lines; "The verb 'to be' always takes a complement, not an object";

And at the end of my last term at secondary school, a kind of stand-in supply teacher told us all: "Most people are as thick as planks".

This last observation has been the one which I've found to be most true.
 
That assumes all teachers are good at their job, they are not by the way.
A part of that is, like most jobs, experience counts for a lot. All of the teachers that I would class as excellent (and I'm not one of them) have been doing the job for over 10 years and been teaching in the same school for over 5 years.

There really is no substitute for doing a job and getting a bit better each time. When a third of newly qualified teachers quit within 5 years you're going to keep starting from scratch with a sizeable chunk of the workforce.
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
maybe so. He proves that given the correct training and guidance, or equality of opportunity, he had the drive to apply himself and make make it, despite being written off at 15
No, he doesn't. I wasn't arguing that the system, or any system, is or could be perfect.

I am arguing for using limited resources in the best and most efficient way.

Access courses and the Open University have been around for years to help people who were let down, or who let themselves down, or a mixture of both. Great. They do a wonderful and necessary job.

On balance, though, I still think that equality of opportunity, as you conceive it, is horrendously wasteful.
 
No, he doesn't. I wasn't arguing that the system, or any system, is or could be perfect.

I am arguing for using limited resources in the best and most efficient way.

Access courses and the Open University have been around for years to help people who were let down, or who let themselves down, or a mixture of both. Great. They do a wonderful and necessary job.

On balance, though, I still think that equality of opportunity, as you conceive it, is horrendously wasteful.
What waste do you foresee? I see family money making a huge difference on someone’s life chances, like the chap I went to school with who wrote “first name, lunchbox, last name” because he knows his lunchbox spelled his name correctly. He went on to inherit his family’s multi-million pound business. Or the druggie scum that died despite millions of pounds available




I suspect there's a simple reason for this. The upper-limits will be decided by officers, the "real" limits by NCOs. NCOs, being good men, are rather more in touch with reality than ruperts. Officers organise the Army. NCOs manage the chaos and run it.
Interesting thoughts from someone who is an ex-public schoolboy and ex-oxbridge type who hates equality of opportunity.

what are my thoughts of inequality of opportunity as you’re apparently so knowledgable.
 
No, he doesn't. I wasn't arguing that the system, or any system, is or could be perfect.

I am arguing for using limited resources in the best and most efficient way.

Access courses and the Open University have been around for years to help people who were let down, or who let themselves down, or a mixture of both. Great. They do a wonderful and necessary job.

On balance, though, I still think that equality of opportunity, as you conceive it, is horrendously wasteful.
Sometimes you have to earn the opportunity.
 
No, he doesn't. I wasn't arguing that the system, or any system, is or could be perfect.

I am arguing for using limited resources in the best and most efficient way.

Access courses and the Open University have been around for years to help people who were let down, or who let themselves down, or a mixture of both. Great. They do a wonderful and necessary job.

On balance, though, I still think that equality of opportunity, as you conceive it, is horrendously wasteful.
And if my mate is proof, how many thousands of pounds are wasted on thicko public schoolboys vice clever state school children.
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
Money is rarely the sole issue. A family with earned or inherited wealth will usually possess the values, work-ethic and good examples (daddy goes to work rather than drink himself silly) that will help little Johnny/Jilly to pick the right path earlier and be more likely to stick to it. Private/grammar/church schools all do so well because, by and large, the pupils and parents are on that track.

No amount of money and no number of saintly teachers can really help someone to succeed in education if those values are wholly absent. The attitude of "he succeeded and I failed 'cos he had money" is a perfect example of the problem.

What is your problem? I have not said that rich people are better morally, but that values, discipline and respect for achievement are key. Whining about others' success is a needless handicap that I refuse to believe is helpful, correct or acceptable.

And, yes. Opportunity sometimes needs to be earnt.
 
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Money is rarely the sole issue. A family with earned or inherited wealth will usually possess the values, work-ethic and good examples (daddy goes to work rather than drink himself silly) that will help little Johnny/Jilly to pick the right path earlier and be more likely to stick to it. Private/grammar/church schools all do so well because, by and large, the pupils and parents are on that track.

No amount of money and no number of saintly teachers can really help someone to succeed in education if those values are wholly absent. The attitude of "he succeeded and I failed 'cos he had money" is a perfect example of the problem.

What is your problem? I have not said that rich people are better morally, but that values, discipline and respect for achievement are key. Whining about others' success is a needless handicap that I refuse to believe is helpful, correct or acceptable.

And, yes. Opportunity sometimes need to be earnt.
My point is, I know people from council and country estates. I know the quality of them and the life opportunities they have is not the same, regardless of competency.

I don’t think it’s acceptable that such different birth rights offer such different opportunity or excusability of behaviour. Especially when so many on here have allegedly come so far
 
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If these bullies were removed from the school, would the effect on the other pupils have been the same ie cessation of bullying?
Would that not be, passing the problem on rather than curing it ?
 
I took "lower orders" to mean the sub section of society that wilfully rejects both education and useful employment, and not those who are merely not suited to academic study but go onto practical pursuits.

You are referring no doubt to the burgeoning "benefit class" aka untermensch, which in some areas is in its third generation, which seems to have sprung up in the wake of numerous govt's of all shades, who seem to wish to be seen as "caring" in their desire to garner votes from them!
 

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