Mar 17Liked by UsForThem

Thank you for this beautiful and truthful letter. It speaks for itself and doesn't need context, evidence, data and solutions at this stage (as called for by mr Wallace). First recognition. It speaks enough for those with ears to hear and eyes to see.

Yes our educational system is broken indeed and lacks sufficient insight into the needs of the growing child. The science is there, it is available but not looked for by those in power. This is terribly sad.


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Mar 19Liked by UsForThem

This title sounds good! the basic failure made in education is there in the word "education" itself i always reckon... ie that education is conceived as a matter of feeding (data... facts etc etc) TO, when in fact it should be seen that it is bringing the person OUT.... ie allowing the person inside to flow out or flower. Etymology of the word To Educate is ... "to allow to flow out from within."

(i have not read the article yet, but certainly like the sentiment in the title!)

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My teacher training in the late 1960s was for child-centered education, working with the simple value that: I see and I remember, I hear and I forget, I do and I understand. The only thing that was missing was a greater variety of educational publications to help in the classroom. I spent my evenings thinking about the needs of each child in my class and preparing work to suit each one of them.

The move to tick box justification that you were obeying government led nonsense, the demoralisation of the teacher, and the punitive rather than positive actions taken by the government have resulted in school with no passion; teachers who only survive four or five years in the job and confused, depressed children.

By the end of my teaching career I was working all evening to fill in boxes: making long term, medium term and short term plans and writing bi-weekly plans for children needing extra help; this for each of thirteen subjects and three year groups in the same class ( all with different attainment targets to tick off).

The plans were of no use to me, they were to keep inspectors happy. I still have the old HMI guidelines. They were sensible and human.

I am most concerned for all that is happening in education right now, especially as my local MP ( who cares not a fig for her own constituency) is now Secretary of State for Education!

Add to that, the right to be a parent and to know what's best for your child is taken away too.

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What about the steady encroachment of inappropriate sexploitation lessons,now included apparently, in the curriculum?

Reports of the very young being 'taught' about gender theory, masturbation and the delights of anal sex, along with drag queen visits?

The lengthy school closures, followed by the strikes, have compounded the crisis in our education systems, while the Scottish curriculum appears to have succumbed entirely to wokus pokus.

A local business owner told me recently that her 15 year old daughter hates her school and will leave in the summer; her mother hopes that she will find work as a care assistant while she decides on her future.

Many more young people must be confronting similarly uncertain and poorly paid prospects.

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As an American, this idea troubles me:

"It means central government handing back the control over the education system to teachers and local authorities, providing teachers with independent, good-quality, up-to-date teacher training and giving them the autonomy to teach in a child-centred way – without being controlled by Ofsted, working on behalf of whichever government is in power."

If you look at how this actually played out in the United States - we had massive school closures in some areas and open schools in others. Myriad lawsuits followed. School sports disrupted in some places and proceeding in others. Mask mandates in some areas and bans in others. This was hyper-regionalization did not work out well for children on the west coast- schools closed for over a year in California, 18 months in Washington State, while they were open in Florida and semi-closed in NYC. I think it is a bad idea to give local control to districts, and ideally there is a competent and child-centered leader at the national level with the highest level of accountability. Take a look at what is happening RIGHT NOW in Ohio - the local board of education has decided teachers are too tired to work five days a week and the school week is being reduced to four. https://nypost.com/2023/03/17/ohio-school-district-adopts-4-day-school-week/ This is unacceptable. Local control will work well for some and very poorly for others. - Natalya

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I agree that government interference and an overly officious and politicised inspection regime are the problems. I don't agree with giving local authorities more power but I do agree control should be given back to individual schools.

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The article lacks a clear introduction and context. It starts abruptly with statistics from the Department for Education without providing any background information or context.

The article jumps from one issue to another without clear transitions, making it hard for the reader to follow.

The article presents opinions and anecdotes without providing sufficient evidence or data to support the claims made.

The article contains several grammar and punctuation errors, including missing commas, incorrect verb tenses, and misspelled words.

The article makes sweeping statements about the education system without acknowledging any of the positive aspects or the complexities of the issue.

The article does not provide any solutions or actionable steps to address the problems it presents.

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Thanks for this wonderful article! As adults, we have to recognize and attend to children´s needs and wishes and never forget how rude in many aspects traditional education´s sistem was with us

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