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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:34 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-16789215

I expect most people will agree this is a good thing, especially Amber, she has a bee in her bonnet about horse care :wink:(sorry Amber I couldn't resist that when I read this article :lol: ) ....although taking this slightly further, on the Jeremy Vine show today one of the topics was what was the point of studying English, History, other Humanities or Arts subjects etc. at University - because there is no explicit career mapped out. So where do we draw the line ? Should our children only study Science and Maths ? :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:26 pm 
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I was listening to the Jeremy Vine show today and there was mention of the student who got a degree in art but his dad said he couldn't even get a job as a cleaner :( (not that I am suggesting that there is anything wrong with cleaning of course).

I also got the impression from the show that, if you studied art, it meant that you couldn't be bothered to get out of bed in the morning! By the time I got to work it made me feel quite sad to think that people can be judged just by what they happen to study.

Not everyone wants to be a doctor or a lawyer.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:47 pm 
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Moonlight - I agree a world where everyone does the same is very boring.
It's just really disappointing that all the time we have people telling us what's best. :(


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:12 am 
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Looking for help wrote:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-16789215
I expect most people will agree this is a good thing, especially Amber, she has a bee in her bonnet about horse care :wink:(sorry Amber I couldn't resist that when I read this article :

Well as you know LFH my remarks about horse care were made tongue firmly in cheek - I am all for horses being cared for (just not by me because things with hooves freak me out a bit). Indeed I am all for nails being cared for too, and golf courses, but I do part company with the mindset which decided some of these worthy caring things were worth 4, 5 or even 6 GCSEs each. All that has happened with yesterday's announcement - just when we were thinking that we might get through a day without a new education policy- is that the number of these types of courses has been drastically reduced and they will be worth only one GCSE each. Not much to object to there, surely ?

The wider debate about specialisation is one we have had before wrt languages though...I recall you were in favour of dropping them quite early? The thing is that our young people are in a system where only certain subjects are 'measured' at primary school, so the value of the non-measured bits soon starts to look lower. The curriculum becomes 'divided' into things which are worth doing, like Maths, Science and English, and things which are a bit of fun and nice to have, like Music, Art and other humanities. The gradual erosion of a wider curriculum is in my view something we should be kicking and screaming against...the start of the latest push to it started in the 1990s with the Literacy and Numeracy hours, devised as a knee jerk reaction to those unfavourable PISA statistics. This squeezed other subjects and in fact Science performance fell for a while too. The 'opting out' of part of the non-compulsory curriculum when children hit 14 (even earlier in some schools :shock: ), something not seen in many other countries, further devalues non-compulsory subjects. The desire to 'beat the world' in education focuses only on those bits of education which the 'world' measures, namely, Maths, Science and native language. I think one can assume that while competing with other nations on statistics is the driver, the less quantifiable and arguably more enriching aspects of our curriculum will continue to be chipped away at, perhaps to the point where they become optional 'extras' which you pay for out of school times. While teachers have no voice in what actually happens in schools, and politicians and their expensive advisors look for cheap and eye catching ways to 'improve' education, I don't see this trend being reversed.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Hello, just browsing round the site and came across this. I'd like to point out that there is no explicit career mapped out with a Science or Maths degree either, in most cases you need to gain an additional postgraduate qualification to consider yourself on some sort of career path.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:20 pm 
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Quote:
in most cases you need to gain an additional postgraduate qualification


Oh, bother, I'd better get one quick!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
I think you're right, Saffron, I guess though not with Engineering or Medicine, although there may still be work based training to do.

In response to Amber, yes I see no need to continue with a MFL if it is too hard - I have 3 children who studied French for 5 years, and it has been of no benefit. One mixed up a cake and a castle in their French oral, another couldn't remember the word for milk, and the third almost left the school premises rather than report for the oral, and after all this, pain and anguish - C. Not worth the time and the effort.

That said, I am in favour of people good at languages taking them to higher levels, as I am with Art, Music and anything really. It would be a very poor society if we were all scientists and mathematicians.

I'm also not sure that removing vocational qualifications from league table statistics is particularly great either, for those students who really struggle with mainstream subjects. After all schools are there not just for the really bright, they are there for those who struggle as well, and schools need to be measured on how they provide for all students, not just the clever ones.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:58 pm 
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I feel very sorry for those young people currently enrolled on the aforementioned courses who have now had their self esteem and prospects
smashed.

There will always be a place for quality vocational courses as well as academic subjects.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:44 pm 
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Saffron wrote:
Hello, just browsing round the site and came across this. I'd like to point out that there is no explicit career mapped out with a Science or Maths degree either, in most cases you need to gain an additional postgraduate qualification to consider yourself on some sort of career path.


Ok I was exaggerating, it just seemed like that to me when I considered the science and maths graduates that I knew...

I found this - http://www.prospects.ac.uk/assets/asset ... D_2011.pdf - a document entitled What do graduates do? and it makes for very interesting reading. It seems that roughly a third of science graduates go onto postgraduate studies. And of the 40-50% in employment - they end up in lots of different types of jobs. Overall 8.5% of graduates were unemployed (2011 study) and it made little difference if you had an English degree or a Physics degree. Also it seems there are a lot of highly qualified people working in retail, catering, and as waiting and bar staff regardless of their degree qualification!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:23 pm 
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asdguest wrote:
There will always be a place for quality vocational courses as well as academic subjects.


A polytechnic? :wink:


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