15 December 2007

Call To Lower School Leaving Age!

Rather than the educational conscription proposed by the government that myself and the others [such as Fabian Tassano, Surreptitious Evil, and Devil's Kitchen] who write this group blog are constantly arguing against, it has now been suggested that children should have the opportunity to leave school at 14 - by the head of the UK's biggest education authority, no less.

His point is that, very simply, some children are not academically gifted and are not suited to classroom teaching and learning - and as such would benefit far more from apprenticeships.

Some 14-year-olds will probably be better off in some kind of apprenticeship...
That's how they will get success...
[W]e need to cater for the range of people and the range of jobs we all have in society.
The response of the NUT that the earnings of those who stay on and get qualifications is "much higher" than those who have "simply left school very early and gone on to do some very specific training." Yes, it may well be. But those who leave school at 14 will not be the kind of people who benefit from classroom learning or those who are likely to be suited to do the jobs that require high qualifications. They are the people essential to our society - plumbers, electricians, builders etc. - without whom our modern society is screwed. That the NUT believe that qualifications are essential and required in order to live a useful and productive life betrays their love of the testing regime.

Not everyone can have high qualifications and great high paid jobs. And not everyone is suited to them. It's a simple fact of life.

However, at the very least, children shouldn't be allowed to leave school at 14 unless they have an apprenticeship to go to. I'm not entirely convinced by the idea that children should be able to leave school so early, but it is certainly far better than forcing them to stay there for longer. At least they then have the choice to make, the choice which this government seems determined to take away from 16-18 year olds.


This post is cross posted at my blog.

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