Are Blair’s children better educated than previous generations?

28 August 2009

So the first set of GCSE results have come through of children entirely educated under New Labour. Has Blair’s mantra of ‘education, education, education’ worked?

I think not. The GCSE results are just now trust-worthy; they are effectively rigged. Proper analyses, such as the OECD rankings, where countries are compared for their pupils’ attainment in reading, writing, arithmetic, reveal Britain slipping down the international league tables. This is because the exams have been ‘dumbed down’, stuffed full of coursework, and full of tick-box questions. Our pupils have sadly become used to being spoon-fed, expecting great results to be handed to them on a plate.

I appeared on Newsnight last night talking about this, with Fiona Millar and David Willets. The show was a bit lack-lustre really, full of turgid policy analyses, but I think I livened it up with some comments that were revelant, the most important being that we need ‘good teachers’ in the system, many of more of them, not the robotic, Dalek-like creatures that are being spat out at the moment, teachers who teach the objectives, but don’t have the passion or subject knowledge required to motivate children…

Fiona Millar began a proper argument, but it was chopped off by a newsflash about Afghanistan.

1 comment

  1. Hello Sir,
    I tend to agree with your argument about teachers who lack passion for their subject. It seems that teachers’ innate initiative has been doused by the mediocrity of the New Labour addage of ‘Success for all’. This can be generalised and understood when considering that at Sports Days today (in the past an event to encourage youngsters to succeed and praise differences as being natural) there are now no winners, or losers. The culture of everyone getting a medal can only lead to a wholey weakened society burgeoning with distinct underachievers, who wait to be paid their dues whilst exerting minimal effort.
    Unfortunately there is no quick solution to this problem. Maybe children should be taught the philosophy of learning to broaden their minds rather than a checklist of hollow achievements.

    from Tom Ritchie

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