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Wolford6

Education / Michael Gove

75 posts in this topic

Last week a young woman in front of me in the queue in the butchers was asking for directions on how to get to 'a big building called the White Something'

We suggested what we could but she had little else to give us a clue, and nothing written down

Finally we worked out it was a pub in a village 3 miles away, so I walked her to the bus station and put her on a bus that went past the door

She was in the wrong town, didnt know the name of the right town or how to get there or the name of her potential employer. Nothing like being prepared for an interview...

That's Hilary Clinton for you!

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New thread started to accomodate off topic posts from the Ed Miliband thread.

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I would like to comment on the GCSE,s and FULL MARKS to Gove for raising the standards under the last mob my 4 year old could have passed:)

My daughter last year managed 6 A,s and and a B and 3 of them were + in decent subjects as well english/spanish/history etc,i only hope that they now mean something:)

CM

 

Erm, does anyone want to tell him?

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Erm, does anyone want to tell him?

I'm just amazed they got GCSE papers in Moscow.

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I'm amazed you are amazed, for it is true!

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I'm amazed you are amazed, for it is true!

Amazing!

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Whenever issues like grammar and spelling come up people are always very quick to criticise teachers, parents, governments etc but nobody ever mentions the huge changes in society that we've seen over the last generation. The fact is that our children have very different experiences than we did growing up and I was born only 29 years ago. We have to accept the effect that technology has had on standards of grammar and spelling. Children read less, write less and place a far lower importance on these things. They spend the majority of their free time using some form of technology be it computers, consoles, TV's etc. What did we do in comparison growing up? We played outside, we created games and we interacted. We also read a lot more. The importance of these things cannot be understated. Anybody that has ever taught children, especially those that struggle, will tell you that there is very little that can be learned if it is only practised for a few hours a week.

 

I'm not a huge fan of Gove, his Primary history curriculum is absolutely shocking but he isn't all bad. Rather than simply criticise teachers he has at least acknowledged that a large number of children are arriving unready for school. Far too many people overemphasise the effect that the education system can have. The sad reality is that the intelligence of a child has far more to do with their home life than with their school. I've said this before but in pretty much every class I've ever taught, the bright kids were from stable homes with working parents that were actively involved in their child's education. The kids that struggle almost always come from difficult homes where they have been brought up badly or the parents struggled as children themselves. There is not a teacher in the country that could create a Level 5 writer or mathematician out of some of the children that I have met. I've taught a girl that couldn't count to 15 by the time she was 8; I've taught a boy the same age that couldn't hold a conversation. Most children arrive at school aged 5 with this knowledge.

 

It's far too easy to blame the education system and sadly always comes from people with literally no understanding of the realities of school life. I've only taught for 4 years, so came to it later and I couldn't believe how different it was than I expected. Schools are often incredibly professional, teachers are heavily targetted and forced to justify on a regular basis why children haven't been moved on. Those children that have not moved on then take part in daily catch up sessions to make up the gap. There is constant scrutiny of what is working, what isn't and which children are not moving on.

 

I'm lucky because I taught in Northern Ireland for a year where things are far more traditional than they are over here. It is an education system that is far more like the one that most on here would be familiar. Much of their teaching is instruction and work from books with homework 4 times a week. Their kids were no brighter or less intelligent than ours but they did have a much less rounded education and would perform worse in critical thinking. In fact one of the brightest kids I ever met came from one of the worst schools I went in.  I also went in a school (all boys) that was easily the worst I've ever seen. I taught year 6 for a month and was giving them year 3 work but they still really struggled. The school simply wouldn't exist in England, Ofsted would have seen it closed down long ago.

 

At the end of Year 1 there is a phonics test that was introduced in 2011. Recently we had a staff meeting where they looked at all the statistics and it broke down the results into racial origin. This is a good indicator because many of these groups have cultural differences but all use the same education system with the same teachers and methods. They analysed the percentage of children that pass. Perhaps unsurprisingly Indian children performed best with 61% passing and Chinese children were not far behind on 60%. Only 49% of White British children passed. Worst of all, only 17% of travellers passed. There is far more to it than the quality of teaching.

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I agree! He's obviously doing a good job when he has so called teachers up in arms! The problems in education fall at the feet of the teacher of this nation, but its always someone elses fault! The vast majority, I'm sure, are good people. The loud, vocal, opinionated large minority are a disgrace to their profession, and imo responsible, in part, for many of the social problems in this country!

 

What an utterly bizzare opinion.

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This is just it.

 

The government created a national curriculum to make sure that all schools taught more or less the same things. This was "a good thing".

 

Then a later government decided that the national curriculum didn't work and thus allowed some schools to opt out of it. This was "a good thing".

 

All schools must follow the national curriculum which is vital and necessary except for those schools who don't follow it for vital and necessary reasons.

 

It's worth pointing out that the current Education Secretary is a huge fan of the National Curriculum, to the extent that he has personally rewritten some of it with little or no outside help.   But he only wants it used in some of the schools.  For some reason his pet Academies and Free Schools do not have to use it, presumably because they can be trusted to buy the educational products sold by his personal donors  because they are run by his personal donors who are coining it in independently run schools regulated by the free market.

 

As you point out, all schools must follow the national curriculum which is vital and necessary except for those schools who don't follow it for vital and necessary reasons.

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I agree! He's obviously doing a good job when he has so called teachers up in arms!

 

What an odd view on life.   That's just not how real people actually work.

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Education is too important to be left just to teachers.   It is, however, far too important to be left just to politicians - of whatever leaning. 

 

It is also to me not just about the "what" but about the "how"

   

 

What young Maximus posts in his #35 does ring true. In my (limited) experience, modern yoof is far more self confident and worldly wise than it was in my day (!) but there does seem to be a lower general level of numeracy and literacy and for me these are vital capabilities that require a lot of attention. A kid that can't manipulate numbers is at a huge disadvantage these days and instead of saying  maths is not his forte as it were, the best contribution  would be to really focus on working with those kids.

 

So..numeracy, literacy, communications.

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Education is too important to be left just to teachers.   It is, however, far too important to be left just to politicians - of whatever leaning. 

 

It is also to me not just about the "what" but about the "how"

   

 

What young Maximus posts in his #35 does ring true. In my (limited) experience, modern yoof is far more self confident and worldly wise than it was in my day (!) but there does seem to be a lower general level of numeracy and literacy and for me these are vital capabilities that require a lot of attention. A kid that can't manipulate numbers is at a huge disadvantage these days and instead of saying  maths is not his forte as it were, the best contribution  would be to really focus on working with those kids.

 

So..numeracy, literacy, communications.

 

It's been a while since I was called young! I used to get embarrassed by the parents who said I looked too young to teach their kids, now I'd happily take it!

 

Children are massively different than they were a long time ago and self-confidence has a lot to do with it. The sad fact is that they just don't respect literacy and numeracy skills in the way that we did. How often do you genuinely see somebody adding or multiplying numbers without the aid of technology? Yet we tell our children that it is the be all and end all. Outside of school kids just don't use written calculation skills anything like as often as we did.

 

It's perhaps better indicated through literacy. Spelling is worse than ever but kids genuinely aren't that bothered if they spell it wrong, it's a little embarrassing but it's hardly life or death, especially if you can read it. This is probably multiplied for grammar. I'll admit I've been picked up on grammar before and genuinely not seen where they were coming from. I didn't see why I couldn't start or end a sentence with a certain word, it just seemed nitpicky rather than having any actual value.  Children have the self-confidence to view it in this way, it's very much a 'what's the point?' opinion and in some ways they have a point. History is another good example, if they have no interest in it, what use is knowing when Henry the VIII was born and what he did with his wives? Especially in a society that is obsessed with money and fame at any cost; priorities are different for children today.

 

That's not to say of course that there is nothing that education can do, it obviously has a place. In my biased opinion it does more than most ever realise but there are things I think we get wrong. Take calculations, children are baffled by a variety of methods to teach the same thing in Primary school. The logic is that each will find the one that works for them but in reality it confuses more than it helps. I believe in teaching them one method that they are confident at and introducing others only to children that can't use one.  It's worth pointing out that this sort of thing is very much down to government interference.

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Can I just say, as someone who is a handful of years into their working life, that it doesn't matter how old you are, I've worked with plenty of thick people who are twice my age and plenty of people who are a similar age to myself and clever.

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It's perhaps better indicated through literacy. Spelling is worse than ever but kids genuinely aren't that bothered if they spell it wrong, it's a little embarrassing but it's hardly life or death, especially if you can read it. This is probably multiplied for grammar. I'll admit I've been picked up on grammar before and genuinely not seen where they were coming from. I didn't see why I couldn't start or end a sentence with a certain word, it just seemed nitpicky rather than having any actual value.  Children have the self-confidence to view it in this way, it's very much a 'what's the point?' opinion and in some ways they have a point. History is another good example, if they have no interest in it, what use is knowing when Henry the VIII was born and what he did with his wives? Especially in a society that is obsessed with money and fame at any cost; priorities are different for children today.

 

I agree with everything you have said in this post and the previous one. However, here for me lies the crux of the problem. The kids priorities are different nowadays but the reality of adult life hasn't changed. In order to get a good job and be successful within that career, you still need good literacy and numeracy skills and a broad education base. In order for the country to be economically competitive, we still need a well educated population with literacy and numeracy skills at the core. We are falling so far behind other nations in regards to education standards, it has a negative effect on this country attracting investment and forcing business to look elsewhere. I think Gove is correct in attempting to solve this issue.

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Can I just say, as someone who is a handful of years into their working life, that it doesn't matter how old you are, I've worked with plenty of thick people who are twice my age and plenty of people who are a similar age to myself and clever.

 

So what you're saying is: people are people?

 

I find this hard to believe.

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So what you're saying is: people are people?

 

I find this hard to believe.

Ee tha knows lad it wern't like tha in mah day, if it weren't for t'Latin I'da not passed t'pit ponies darn t'ginnel, I'da just stood behind gerrin covad in 'oss muck.

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Surely you mean: Ee tha sciat puer eam wern't similis tha Mah in diem si non esset t'Latin I'da non transivit t'pit mannis SUMMUS t'ginnel, I'da iustus stetit post gerrin in covad 'oss illuvie. :jester:

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Ahem Grammar school.

 

But unfortunately the Tories do not support Grammar schools.

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SPOT ON Gove IMHO is doing a brilliant job that will sadly be all reversed if that champagne socialist Miliband wins the next election.

We need also to bring back grammer schools ASAP which means the likes of myself can save thousands of pounds in school fees for which my wife and i have no choice but to pay to ring fence our children from attending a state school in London (To get your kids into a decent one like Latymer in West London your name has to be Tony Blair:(((

CM

 

The removal of the grammar schools was an awful decision, which has drastically reduced social mobility in this country.

 

Ahem Grammar school.

 

But unfortunately the Tories do not support Grammar schools.

 

Beat me to it! :tongue:

 

I spotted this on the BBC website this morning. No offence to the teachers on this forum but I think she is way off the mark when she talks about English schools being the envy across the world.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22558756

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The removal of the grammar schools was an awful decision, which has drastically reduced social mobility in this country.

 

I didn't go to a grammar school. I'm from a working class background. I sat the eleven plus in 1958.  Most of those in my class at primary school who passed were from better off families than mine.  Most of those who didn't were from similar backgrounds to me.  It's a fallacy to say that the old grammar schools encouraged social mobility, all they did was make a superior education available free to those in the past (before the Butler education act) would have had to pay fees.  The exam at eleven, before the Butler act was called "the scholarship" and those who passed could go to the grammar school, provided their parents were able to afford a contribution to their education. All the grammar schools did was perpetuate the class system.  Both of my children went to comprehensive school.  Both of them went to university, they can speak, and write good english and they are numerate.

The downside of the grammar school system was the Secondary Modern. I went to one of these shools.  In the top stream it was basically a pale imitation of a grammar school education. Except of course we learned from textbooks that were getting on for forty years old. In classrooms that were falling down and in some cases wooden huts.  No money was spent on our school premises - the bulk of  the education money locally was spent on the grammar school - presumably  because those on the education committee's kids were at the the grammar school.  I'm afraid I have something of a chip on my shoulder about grammar schools.  But then given my experience that's hardly surprising.

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I didn't go to a grammar school. I'm from a working class background. I sat the eleven plus in 1958.  Most of those in my class at primary school who passed were from better off families than mine.  Most of those who didn't were from similar backgrounds to me.  It's a fallacy to say that the old grammar schools encouraged social mobility, all they did was make a superior education available free to those in the past (before the Butler education act) would have had to pay fees.  The exam at eleven, before the Butler act was called "the scholarship" and those who passed could go to the grammar school, provided their parents were able to afford a contribution to their education. All the grammar schools did was perpetuate the class system.  Both of my children went to comprehensive school.  Both of them went to university, they can speak, and write good english and they are numerate.

The downside of the grammar school system was the Secondary Modern. I went to one of these shools.  In the top stream it was basically a pale imitation of a grammar school education. Except of course we learned from textbooks that were getting on for forty years old. In classrooms that were falling down and in some cases wooden huts.  No money was spent on our school premises - the bulk of  the education money locally was spent on the grammar school - presumably  because those on the education committee's kids were at the the grammar school.  I'm afraid I have something of a chip on my shoulder about grammar schools.  But then given my experience that's hardly surprising.

 

You are right about the disparity of funding between the Grammar Schools and the Secondary Moderns. In principle, there is nothing particularly wrong with providing a child with the education to which he/she is best suited, but both types of school need proper funding. The Secondary Moderns didn't get it.

 

Not everyone is suited to a Grammar School education, just as not everyone is suited to a degree-level education, but everyone should have an education that is best-suited to their abilities and aspirations. I wish I could wave a wand and make that happen.

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They actually do appreciate it. I'm not an ogre and berating people is not my default position; I only resort to it in exasperation when advising has no effect. I've never had anyone walk out (though there have been tears) and I've only ever sacked one ... for continually not turning up. The rest have carried on until they went to college or got a job, and quite often they then ask if a friend can take their place.

Even now, they ring me up and ask if they can give my name as a reference.

I'm not pretending that my attitude would have been any different from theirs if I'd had the same education as them, but I didn't. We were imbued with a sense of discipline and plain speaking was the norm.

So you are of the opinion that public humiliation is a progressive managment style. I suppose you think that this is way to get the best out of your staff.

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So you are of the opinion that public humiliation is a progressive managment style. I suppose you think that this is way to get the best out of your staff.

 

 

How is it public, when only the two of us are present?

 

The people who work for me are part-timers; I would hope that, if they were actually "staff" they might  actually take an interest in the work.

 

I speak having endured a frustrating morning where the girl who works for me has listened to half of what I asked her do, instead of all of it. I asked her to cut some documents from one file, and  collate them to form another.  Then to add certain identified photographs from another file to the new file and then print them all off.

 

Before she started, I asked her if she knew what she was doing. 'Oh yes' was the answer ... then of course she cocked it up; none of the three files had the correct stuff in it. It took me half an hour to sort out a job that I could have done myself in ten minutes. While I did this, it was an ideal opportunity for her to do some texting on her phone.

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How is it public, when only the two of us are present?

The people who work for me are part-timers; I would hope that, if they were actually "staff" they might actually take an interest in the work.

I speak having endured a frustrating morning where the girl who works for me has listened to half of what I asked her do, instead of all of it. I asked her to cut some documents from one file, and collate them to form another. Then to add certain identified photographs from another file to the new file and then print them all off.

Before she started, I asked her if she knew what she was doing. 'Oh yes' was the answer ... then of course she cocked it up; none of the three files had the correct stuff in it. It took me half an hour to sort out a job that I could have done myself in ten minutes. While I did this, it was an ideal opportunity for her to do some texting on her phone.

I'd be interested to know just how old this "girl" is?

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Can I just say, as someone who is a handful of years into their working life, that it doesn't matter how old you are, I've worked with plenty of thick people who are twice my age and plenty of people who are a similar age to myself and clever.

Completely agree - some of the most stupid and inept people I have encountered are from the same generation and education system as those most critical of the current system. There is a tendency for nostalgia about education, however I can confidently state that my numeracy, spelling, grammar, creative thinking and communication skills far exceed those of my parents.

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