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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:14 am 
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Agreed - totally fed up with politicians unable to leave things alone for 5 minutes


Couldn’t agree more. As Amber says, Gove will have moved on long before this has an impact but our children’s generation must not only be the most tested but also the ones who have had to endure the most changes to the ‘system’. It’s depressing for us parents, goodness knows what our children think!

Our children already have to specialise much too early imo, and this will only increase the chances of that happening.

I think it should be compulsory for an Education Secretary to have a minimum of 2 children, in state education and preferably with experience of both primary and secondary schooling :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:43 am 
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Rob Clark wrote:
Couldn’t agree more. As Amber says, Gove will have moved on long before this has an impact but our children’s generation must not only be the most tested but also the ones who have had to endure the most changes to the ‘system’. It’s depressing for us parents, goodness knows what our children think!
Actually children are pretty resilient and take what is thrown at them. I think it is the country which suffers most for all this nonsense - our education system is fast becoming discredited in the eyes of serious academics and educationalists.
Rob Clark wrote:
[
Our children already have to specialise much too early imo, and this will only increase the chances of that happening.
:
Agree x10. But this is ingrained in our culture, and children and their parents expect to be able to opt out of certain subjects at 14. This is actually most unusual if not unique in the world, but you try taking away that 'right' at your peril - mumsnet on the streets!
Rob Clark wrote:
I think it should be compulsory for an Education Secretary to have a minimum of 2 children, in state education and preferably with experience of both primary and secondary schooling :lol:
Ah, now though that idea would be popular on the forum I am sure, there I don't agree with you. A lot of the pressures on children in this country have come about because parents believe their children are so bright and precocious that they 'need' to be in school at 4 doing lots of formal learning. That is the root of the trouble, if trouble there is, in the education system, not just in my opinion but in the opinion of many who know much more than I do. I would prefer to see experienced teachers, child psychologists and pedagogues having input, rather than parents, unless they were parents of children with special needs, who are marginalised quite disgracefully atm.

Many parents, or at least the type who would end up in politics, tend to prefer formal methods, lots of homework, a feeling that children are being 'stretched' and 'challenged', setting, etc regardless of whether any of this is appropriate in a particular setting or context. Very little of the really good educational research going on worldwide ever filters into English education practice (Welsh a bit better, Scottish a tiny bit better); I am not sure having more 'parent power' would move things in the right direction.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:10 pm 
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I think you’ve slightly missed my point Amber – or perhaps I just didn’t make it very well :D

I simply meant that given we are always going to have an Education Secretary and given that he or she is always likely to be a political appointment, I would prefer to have one who has children in the same boat as the majority of the population ie state education.

The Education Secretary is still going to be tinkering with the system so he can be seen to be ‘doing something’, but might be marginally more sympathetic if his decisions directly impacted on his own children… That’s all.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:17 pm 
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Rob Clark wrote:
I think you’ve slightly missed my point Amber – or perhaps I just didn’t make it very well :D
I am sure you did - it is just a bit of a bugbear of mine, that's all.
He does have two young children, of course, but by the time young Beatrice and William Gove are doing their OGCSECSEs, Daddy will be able to blame someone else for it. And actually, I think he might well be bearing them in mind when he is thinking of how nice it would be to have some hard exams to do - no doubt they, too, are precociously bright and need stretching and challenging in their top sets at school. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Just listening to the man talking about 'world class exams' sends shudders down my spine. McKinseyspeak. Be very afraid.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
As a Scottish person, I simply do not understand this two tier system, to my knowledge we never had one there - just grades A down to G maybe.
I am absolutely appalled at the prospect that some teacher could decide that my child was good enough or not good enough for the 'O' Level - it's bad enough choosing in most areas to sit or not sit an 11+ but to have this forced upon you at 14 is absolutely appalling.
As somebody else said, we've already got two tiers....Foundation and Higher, and a new set of exams coming in for the next year 10s - surely the govt has better things to be spending its money on at the moment.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:04 pm 
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I think the problem is that we have 2 tiers at the moment but they would be better described as "appalling" and "marginally less appalling"


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:08 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
And do you really think that this govt will change anything by making the exams different, or calling them O Levels instead of GCSEs?
I wouldn't have thought so....


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:28 pm 
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Location: Finchley - Barnet
Amber wrote:
We have a two tier system already with Foundation and Higher level GCSEs.
!


Very correctly argued. I find it shocking that in some schools a proportion of pupils are placed into lower sets where they are destined to take the Foundaton GCSE and can achived no more than a grade of C!!! This is a world exclusive in low expectations and a clear abuse of human rights by locking people into abilities as of the age of 14. In fact neither myself nor my son were aware of this foundation level until now that he has finished his GCSE exams as there has never been any mention of foundation level in the grammar he attends - all subjects were taught at a higher level, and with the exception of social sciences and history linearly. We saw some past papers a few days ago on the foundation level in Maths and Physics and were appaled!!

All pupils should be taught from the the same (demanding) syllabus through one exam by a single subject board and leave the full range of grades speak for themselves (by reflecting ability) at the end of a linear two year GCSE.

_________________
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:19 am 
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The "tiers" start at age 5 in some schools - pretty fixed groups of below average, average and above average ability children as judged in some way by the school. The work is differentiated so it affects what your child is taught. Sometimes children are in the wrong groups ------- as could happen with any system whatever it is ------- so some children end up with unnecessary gaps.

Is it possible to have the perfect system?


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