Quality not quantity is the way to improve education standards

July 31, 2007 12:10 PM

Geraldine Everett, chairman of the Professional Association of Teachers, told the PAT annual conference in Harrogate:

“Here is a Government that has toyed with the idea of lowering the voting age to 16 in order to promote a greater sense of citizenship among our young people. Yet it proposes to extend compulsory education or training to 18, to compel the already disaffected to, in their perception, prolong the agony,”

She is absolutely right.  The argument that the basic skills that schools need to provide to all pupils cannot be taught within the extensive time they are already allowed is an admission of unnacceptable failure.  With 11 years of full-time work almost all students should be capable of at least a grade D yet a quarter of pupils do not meet even this low standard.  Britain has the second highest level of low-skilled 25-34 year olds in the OECD.


More bad education won't improve matters.  An end to political management of the education system might.

Geraldine Everett, chairman of the Professional Association of Teachers, told the PAT annual conference in Harrogate:

“Here is a Government that has toyed with the idea of lowering the voting age to 16 in order to promote a greater sense of citizenship among our young people. Yet it proposes to extend compulsory education or training to 18, to compel the already disaffected to, in their perception, prolong the agony,”

She is absolutely right.  The argument that the basic skills that schools need to provide to all pupils cannot be taught within the extensive time they are already allowed is an admission of unnacceptable failure.  With 11 years of full-time work almost all students should be capable of at least a grade D yet a quarter of pupils do not meet even this low standard.  Britain has the second highest level of low-skilled 25-34 year olds in the OECD.


More bad education won't improve matters.  An end to political management of the education system might.

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