Tuesday, 12 November 2013

All Aboard The Home Education Merry Go Round

Looks like it's time to awaken from the peaceful slumber of the past couple of years and jump aboard the home education merry go round again. 

News of hush hush meetings, secretariats, closed doors, and secret three-esque groups along with DEAR Mr Sheerman (please feel the sarcasm, it's positively cascading waterfall like from that upper case dear) throwing down such twitter gauntlets can only mean one thing: the peace between the wars is over. Gloves are off.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Bothered by GCSEs

Here's a thing that has been bothering me for a little while now. GCSEs. No, I don't mean that whether my children decide to take them or not is bothering me, that's not the issue at all.

What bothers me is this.

Way back in the annals of history, my year was the first to take GCSEs. The teachers were at pains to inform us that there were now almost no failures when it came to exams - everyone could manage to get a grade of some degree. I will be honest, I have no idea what the GCSE grading system is like now, but frankly, when I got a D for art, I considered it a fail mark. I'm not sure that the members of my year who received E and F grades felt proud of their achievements, I know I wouldn't have.

If you look at minimum entry qualifications these days they almost always ask for AT LEAST a grade C GCSE in English and Maths.

So how is it acceptable for us, as a county with improving grades or a country with declining results, to crow about GCSE results when almost HALF of the country's children are not even achieving a C grade? Turn the figures around for a moment:

The national picture is that 41.4% (very nearly half) of the children in this country are failing their GCSEs.

Does this give you confidence in the education system that is costing you and me an ever increasing % of our hard earned income?

Are you happy to send your child out into a system for the better part of their young lives - what is it now, 15 years that children are *encouraged* into state *learning environments*? (If they start preschool at 3 and leave school at 18 as seems to be the norm now.) For almost half of them to come out the other end as failures, in terms of GCSEs?

That people have the audacity to question the validity and efficacy of home education when THIS is the alternative absolutely defies belief!