26 March 2008

Perpetuating poor standards

The danger of making school attendance compulsory up to the age of 18 is not simply the infringement of the rights of the individual involved, it is also the associated disadvantages for those at school who do actually want to be there. Teachers have often said to me that it's not until you get to A-level that you can be certain that the majority of the class will have any desire to work at all - by compelling everyone to be there you remove even that small relief.
To see how this might look, read this from an inner-city London teacher:
Frustrated starts to cry. 'I just can't take it anymore Miss. It isn't fair. They shout and scream at the teacher all of the time and I can't hear myself think!'
I frown. 'Who shouts? When? Whose lesson have you come out of?'
As Frustrated sobs quietly, Bolder explains that in all three of their Science lessons: Biology, Chemistry and Physics, there are 3 boys who cause havoc in their lessons. She explains that they are so loud that poor Frustrated cannot learn. Somehow Bolder manages to block them out. They shout at all three of their teachers and they laugh at, and mock the rest of the class.
Frustrated shouts. 'I've asked if I can work in the library but they say that isn't allowed. I'm not going back there Miss. I just can't. We have our GCSE exams only weeks away and they act like we're in primary school! They don't care what they get. But I do. Why do I have to put up with this?'
At the moment, at least Frustrated will get some chance to concentrate for her A-levels.
By Timj

5 March 2008

Another shambles in the making?

"Some consortia suggested they were finding it especially difficult to get employers involved while the content of the Diplomas was not known, as partnerships were themselves unclear about employers’ potential contribution; employers understandably want to know precisely what is being asked of them and when. However, only the Level 3 Diploma requires sector-specific work experience; at Levels 1 and 2 work-related learning is focused on employability and need not be work experience related to a particular sector. Partnerships therefore have some flexibility in setting up a sufficient amount and range of work-related learning and work experience"

Para 79 from this

H/T Wat Tyler