Posted by: lucylastic | February 26, 2008

We don’t need no education………..

I hated my secondary school.  Holt Hill Convent FCJ (Faithful Companions of Jesus) in Birkenhead.  It was very much my parent’s choice of school, (I wanted to go to the local, (secular) Grammar, but wasn’t allowed, as they insisted on a Catholic education.  It still rankles some 30 years on that by the time my younger sister reached secondary school age, (6 years behind me) that she did indeed go to the local grammar school………but I digress.  My point today is about the Government and it’s school and university policy – why do they insist on mucking it around so much?  I may not have liked my school – but it sent me out into the world with the ability to read, write and count pretty well, an appreciation of classic and contemporary English literature, a grounding across all the sciences, as well as some language skills other than English and a desire to win at almost any cost.  To complement this basket of competence, I was also able to debate, to craft an argument, to act and to recite poetry.  All of which have served me jolly well in a career in Market Research and Marketing.  In contrast, today’s schools don’t encourage competition (in case little Jonny feels bad about losing and his self esteem is damaged) and everyone is a winner.  Sports day’s where everyone gets a certificate for ‘taking part’ are commonplace and the annual ‘holiday’ production has a cast of thousands – irrespective of talent or ability – as no one can be left out.  Our youngsters have little or no respect for teachers, helpers, dinner ladies or any other individuals they may encounter. On top of that, they seem unable to answer any question with more than a ‘dunno’ or, if you’re very lucky, a ‘whatever’.  Nevertheless, the Government keeps trying to entice them into higher education and get us as parents to pay more and more for the privilege.  Now that pass rates and take-up of places have been shown not to have changed in 5 years, despite an injection of several millions into University coffers for ‘retention programmes’, Whitehall is off on another tack.  Pass the financial burden onto industry – an inspired idea.  NOT.

For the minority that still have any interest into going to university they will soon be facing ‘courses designed and developed by employers to meet specific business needs – this is fine in theory I guess – but these things take time to develop and even longer to change – surely, by the time a few years worth of students have made their way through the (vastly simplified) curriculum – think any time access to courses, on-line completion and ‘a choice of learning levels’ – the world’s economies and business models will have changed and the offerings out of date?  Am I the only one who thinks that the ‘three R’s’ are at the heart of any education and that a well-rounded individual can learn all their life?  Never mind old dogs and new tricks, it’s only the old dogs that would even recognise the saying!!!




  1. Hi Lucy
    I fully agree with what you say. I have a Teen going through Secondary Ed just now and it is so bizarre. They seem to be ‘nursed’ along.. there is no ‘bite’ to them.
    I have a parents evening coming up & will be asking a few choice questions (& I know my teen will be cringing lol)

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