How would you change our Education System? Watch

tyroncs
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Out of interest here and I know it is a general topic, but there is a lot of issues with our education system. To name one example in History from Y7-9 everything seemed to be based on learning about the era and understanding it, but in GCSE it seems to be shifted towards learning how to do certain questions and writing essays.

I think grammar schools across the country would be good as well, and perhaps the introduction of some sort of complusory politics education in schools? More speaking focused language education would be good also, with a focus away from just French and Spanish. Thoughts on these and other ideas?
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tengentoppa
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I'd want more academically selective state schools.

That aside, I would try and stop the government interfering too much in education and let teachers do what they think works.
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Arkasia
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We should teach students why to think, not how. We should ensure our teachers are capable professionals in their fields, not a random stranger picked out of a crowd who happens to know a bit about a subject. We should make sure students work because they want to learn, not because they want to pass an exam.

We should also ensure that students are fully and easily capable to choose vocational qualifications if they are not suited to academia, and we should remove all stigma that STEM is some kind of master race. Along with this, we should encourage the development of modern foreign languages, whilst English is one of the main diplomatic languages, our laziness is atrocious when it comes to neglecting the same intent to learn the languages of our national neighbours and trading partners.

On the flipside, we should ensure that students who do not care about learning are both removed from an environment that affects other students, and are supported so that the root cause of their apathy can be discerned and, hopefully, combated.

Moreover, we NEED to remove the idea that education is a commodity, and not a right. Once the government learns that they gain little by placing a price on the education of our young, the people who will run the country in 30 years, they will realize the damage caused when only a minority can afford nursery, appropriate levels of education, and university, and those that cannot then have to rely on a farcical system of loan-taking and debt-repayment (although a lot of the time, the debts are never repaid).
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RF_PineMarten
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I would like to phase out most faith schools by gradually withdrawing government funding if they refuse to become secular. I just think it segregates too much and I don't like the "us and them" mentality it can sometimes foster. That's only a minor annoyance though.

I think we should teach about politics from year 5 until GCSEs - things like how parliament makes laws, how elections and voting systems work, bias in newspapers, political ideologies, etc.

I also think we should teach more about the peer review process and how to spot bad science or possibly misleading articles about science - data can sometimes be manipulated or cherry picked, especially if newspapers get hold of it. That way most people will leave school with at least a basic understanding of how the media can misrepresent scientific stuff, and are therefore less likely to be taken in by it.
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EllieC130
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(Original post by RFowler)
I would like to phase out most faith schools by gradually withdrawing government funding if they refuse to become secular. I just think it segregates too much and I don't like the "us and them" mentality it can sometimes foster. That's only a minor annoyance though.

I think we should teach about politics from year 5 until GCSEs - things like how parliament makes laws, how elections and voting systems work, bias in newspapers, political ideologies, etc.

I also think we should teach more about the peer review process and how to spot bad science or possibly misleading articles about science - data can sometimes be manipulated or cherry picked, especially if newspapers get hold of it. That way most people will leave school with at least a basic understanding of how the media can misrepresent scientific stuff, and are therefore less likely to be taken in by it.
Agree with this especially; we learn it a bit in year 7 and 8 but other than that I don't' know bugger all about how this country works.
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DJKL
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Okay:

1. Change one size fits all, it does not.
2. Change learning pathways so education may be more a mix of academic and practical skills.
3. Pupils all to continue with Maths and English, but introduce ( as used to be the case in Scotland) a distinct subject, arithmetic, covering addition/subtraction/multiplication/division/ fractions/ percentages/ area/ volume/ weights/measurement etc with more of the problem solving type questions that featured( 2 trains going at different speeds towards each other, if given speeds and distance apart at start calculate where the ambulances need to head)
4. Timetable so that all children for say two/three days continue in the same school, but at a certain age those not interested in a more academic pathway attend elsewhere to say do car mechanics (can teach some physics/ maths with this) machine shop skills, carpentry, joinery, hairdressing etc.
5. Unlike old secondary moderns there is no one time split of pathway, children can change options (subject to attainment) and opt to do more or less more academic/more practical.
6. As space to have facilities may be an issue cluster school buildings in groups to deal with timetabling. (possibly more difficult in rural areas)

So pupil A spends Monday/Tuesday doing core English/Maths/ Arithmetic/PE/IT skills and Wednesday to Friday with, Science, History, Economics, Art

So pupil B spends Monday/ Tuesday doing same core subjects, Wednesday-Friday car mechanics, applied mechanics, machine shop skills, general science.

There is a fair bit of physics that can be taught using say car mechanics, electrical systems, hydraulics, fluid mechanics etc.

The UK education system lets down a lot of children, formal education is not the answer for everyone.

I would also possibly try a pre university/ FE year, less exam based, where pupils are more encouraged with speaking skills, debating skills, life skills (finance, budgeting, understanding HP, banking, insurance, structure of government and better understanding of state services etc)

Above is a work in progress not a finished agenda, there are no doubt myriad practical issues, but I have always been struck by children not having really strong arithmetic skills, because they could not cope with maths and gave up on their studies re Maths; not everyone needs Maths but nearly everyone needs arithmetic.

p.s. no calculators for arithmetic exam, pen and paper only.
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Robertus
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Reintroduce the grammar school system and a compulsory 11+ exam for all students; top achievers are all guaranteed spots at a free and state-funded grammar school.

Reform non-grammar secondary schools to offer high quality academic education to those who desire it alongside vocational routes. Keep both options open to all. Raise standards of these schools through voluntary partnership with local private/public schools.

Keep education up to 18 compulsory. Those seeking an academic path can attend a sixth form or sixth form college; those seeking a vocational path can attend other colleges for BTECs/apprenticeships and such.

Make a serious effort to lower university fees as much as is feasible; make them free again, if affordable. If free university education for all is not possible, secure it for high-value vocational degrees such as Medicine and Engineering.

Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities should hold more outreach events at state schools - and not just grammar schools, either. Part of the reason not as many state school kids reach the upper echelons of higher education is because of a lack of confidence or awareness. If the top institutions connect with high achievers right across the board - in private, grammar and comprehensive schools - perhaps this can be changed. As it stands, the top public schools (Eton, Westminster, Harrow and such) have the utmost access to Oxbridge, while the private and grammar schools in general send more students there by virtue of having more Oxbridge/top university graduates in their teaching staff.
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Fanatical Geek
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It's always an interesting topic this one, because it can be hard to change one thing without damaging something else.

I don't think grammar schools are the answer, as they create a 'separating the wheat from the chaff' mentality that I don't think is really fair.

I think the (arguably) easiest improvement to make is from a logistical area: try and make all the background work teachers do (reports and such) as efficient as possible, so that teachers can spend more time preparing for, or actually teaching.


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alapa
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Allow the choice to take up an apprenticeship in year 11 for those students whose talents and ambitions are focused in a vocational area. GCSEs should be optional to pupils who take this route.
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missfats
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NO FAITH SCHOOLS.
Philosophy and theology should be compulsory covering all major religion's and 2 optional smaller religions aswell and compulsory unit on the non religious/atheism.
This allows children to be more open minded about the varying arguments and viewpoints of different ideologies and people.

We should adopt American style school system with current qualifications.
Junior school - year 7-8
Middle school - year 9-11
High school - year 12-13.
Maths and English should be compulsory up until year 12 but will not take exams for them.
A levels and apprenticeship's are offered.

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jambojim97
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Higher education is a mess.

Scrap the 50% target, change to something like 10%. Get rid of all the ex-polys which offer mickey-mouse courses and con people out of £27000 which they can never pay back. Keep the prestigious universities and reduce the number of students. Reserve university for the academically gifted only, who will actually benefit - everyone else should learn a trade or skill that will make them bucks.

Keep all good STEM courses.
As for arts degrees...
1. Keep traditional academic courses (history, politics, economics, languages, law) and increase their contact hours.
2. Make sure all arts courses give students the opportunity to have a placement year and make sure all unis have good careers services. This will mean that arts students will develop useful transferable skills and gain work experience relevant to a pre-defined career path. (it's not WHAT you learn, it's HOW you learn)

The reduced number of students will mean that, like before Blair phucked the system, university will be much less costly (both STEM and arts) and people who actually want to study will not be stigmatised. Furthermore, university will no longer be seen as an investment which costs money. Finally, the value of the degree will be restored to its former glory.
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B-FJL3
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Refreshing to see people are not attacking public (i.e. fee-paying) schools for once. They excel at what they do and provide an excellent all-round education - Labour attempts to strip them of their charitable status or punish them financially in other ways are outrageous. That being said I think many of them have forgotten to some extent the spirit in which they were founded and need to be less concerned about luxurious facilities to attract rich foreign students. It used to be a running joke that ex-public school pupils had no fear of prison because their boarding school had been worse!

Grammar schools I would support wholeheartedly. Yes, being selective is tough but how do you think life goes when you're applying for jobs/promotions? You need to be cruel to be kind, but that doesn't mean leaving the rest on the dungheap.

No need for excessive concentration on STEM subjects to the detriment of others. All education is intrinsically valuable in of itself regardless of how "useful" it is. I would rather have slightly more competitive sports and PE and some politician with the balls to buy back playing fields. Obesity is a problem that is best tackled early on.

There are definitely too many universities - some kind of reduction in their numbers would enable us to make tuition free again without sacrificing on quality.

Teachers should stop trying to do what is popular or what the kids want. Old fashioned rote-learning of dates, Kings & Queens, times tables, spelling of English or foreign languages, etc... is actually a pretty good way to learn and to give people better memories. In some of the temp work I've done I've come across people in their 60s/70s who could put me to shame on their knowledge of British history/geography despite the fact they'd never gone to university and I was studying history. It was down to someone having the wit to make them do the boring basics and learn the dates. It's teaching a valuable lesson - sometimes things in life are boring but it's worth knuckling down and doing the work to get the rewards on the other side.

Final point - WTF is up with people hating faith schools? Has anyone who is making these comments actually been to one? The "us & them" mentality was certainly not something I ever encountered at the Methodist school I went to. Neither did they try and indoctrinate me into the faith- indeed I am agnostic to this day. On the other hand if anyone was going to convert me it would have been the school chaplain who was both the most open-minded and most hilarious teacher there.

Christianity has a long and honourable record of providing excellent education (incidentally most public schools are religious to some degree) both in the form of schools and of the universities they founded, and, despite misguided modern atheist views, encouraging free thinking and debate. Even if they end up indoctrinating children into being religious what exactly is the danger atheists fear so much? Being religious does not make you irrational - there are plenty of rational, intelligent and religious scientists. The result is turning out citizens who believe in loving thy neighbour, not killing and doing good deeds for those less well-off than themselves - hardly a disaster.

Faith schools are only a problem when they are of the extremist variety - unfortunately most of those appearing in the news are Muslim but I'm sure there are problematic Christian ones too. However this makes me think the problem is a clash of cultures rather than the fault of religion.
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DJKL
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(Original post by alapa)
Allow the choice to take up an apprenticeship in year 11 for those students whose talents and ambitions are focused in a vocational area. GCSEs should be optional to pupils who take this route.
To a degree I concur, but core Arithmetic and English should continue throughout the school education system, at least until a level of competence in both can be demonstrated.
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DJKL
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(Original post by B-FJL3)
Refreshing to see people are not attacking public (i.e. fee-paying) schools for once. They excel at what they do and provide an excellent all-round education - Labour attempts to strip them of their charitable status or punish them financially in other ways are outrageous. That being said I think many of them have forgotten to some extent the spirit in which they were founded and need to be less concerned about luxurious facilities to attract rich foreign students. It used to be a running joke that ex-public school pupils had no fear of prison because their boarding school had been worse!

Grammar schools I would support wholeheartedly. Yes, being selective is tough but how do you think life goes when you're applying for jobs/promotions? You need to be cruel to be kind, but that doesn't mean leaving the rest on the dungheap.

No need for excessive concentration on STEM subjects to the detriment of others. All education is intrinsically valuable in of itself regardless of how "useful" it is. I would rather have slightly more competitive sports and PE and some politician with the balls to buy back playing fields. Obesity is a problem that is best tackled early on.

There are definitely too many universities - some kind of reduction in their numbers would enable us to make tuition free again without sacrificing on quality.

Teachers should stop trying to do what is popular or what the kids want. Old fashioned rote-learning of dates, Kings & Queens, times tables, spelling of English or foreign languages, etc... is actually a pretty good way to learn and to give people better memories. In some of the temp work I've done I've come across people in their 60s/70s who could put me to shame on their knowledge of British history/geography despite the fact they'd never gone to university and I was studying history. It was down to someone having the wit to make them do the boring basics and learn the dates. It's teaching a valuable lesson - sometimes things in life are boring but it's worth knuckling down and doing the work to get the rewards on the other side.

Final point - WTF is up with people hating faith schools? Has anyone who is making these comments actually been to one? The "us & them" mentality was certainly not something I ever encountered at the Methodist school I went to. Neither did they try and indoctrinate me into the faith- indeed I am agnostic to this day. On the other hand if anyone was going to convert me it would have been the school chaplain who was both the most open-minded and most hilarious teacher there.

Christianity has a long and honourable record of providing excellent education (incidentally most public schools are religious to some degree) both in the form of schools and of the universities they founded, and, despite misguided modern atheist views, encouraging free thinking and debate. Even if they end up indoctrinating children into being religious what exactly is the danger atheists fear so much? Being religious does not make you irrational - there are plenty of rational, intelligent and religious scientists. The result is turning out citizens who believe in loving thy neighbour, not killing and doing good deeds for those less well-off than themselves - hardly a disaster.

Faith schools are only a problem when they are of the extremist variety - unfortunately most of those appearing in the news are Muslim but I'm sure there are problematic Christian ones too. However this makes me think the problem is a clash of cultures rather than the fault of religion.
Your argument re grammar schools and the world is competitive is a fair point, but I think you need to allow for children developing at different speeds, often children from more affluent backgrounds do have a head start when they enter school and it takes time for them to catch up their peers. Also girls tend to progress faster in earlier years with boys catching up later, so the old style 11 plus is to me not fit for purpose as a once and for all decider. Grammar schools with differential entry points might work,

Re universities, as someone who attended university when only about 10% of the population attended and who on occasion observes graduates arriving in the workplace, I have over the years become less impressed with basic skills like mental arithmetic. Calculators have a great deal to answer for when a graduate cannot work out a ratio or apply a fraction to a number nor readily see that the answer given by their calculator is nonsense, a third of a number cannot be greater than the original number but dividing by a fraction will give a number greater than the original number. (Honest, I have worked with a graduate who could not do basic sums and whose spelling and grammar was woeful)

However such observation probably needs tempered by appreciating that in my twenties I was probably not particularly stunning at work; people do have a habit of looking back through rose tinted glasses.

Whilst I do not like the false hope some current "university"courses give their students I am also not keen that some "elite" institutions benefit whilst other further education establishments wither. A few less lawyers and a few more individuals with some technical knowledge and an ability to use a wrench would be no bad thing IMHO.
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the bear
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there needs to be far more careers advice at schools. the careers teacher should be the highest paid member of staff, with bonuses paid for every student helped to secure a job.
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kpusa1981
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(Original post by missfats)
NO FAITH SCHOOLS.
Philosophy and theology should be compulsory covering all major religion's and 2 optional smaller religions aswell and compulsory unit on the non religious/atheism.
This allows children to be more open minded about the varying arguments and viewpoints of different ideologies and people.

We should adopt American style school system with current qualifications.
Junior school - year 7-8 ( i.e. age around 11 to 13)
Middle school - year 9-11(i.e. age around 13 to 16)
High school - year 12-13. (i.e. age 16-18)
Maths and English should be compulsory up until year 12 but will not take exams for them.
A levels and apprenticeship's are offered.

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Middle school/ Junior High School 5 to 8th grade or 6 to 8th grade, 5 to 8th grade or 7th to 9th grade.
Senior High School/High School Usually 9th to 12th grade, sometimes 10th to 12th, some places 7th to 12th grade.
so adjusting to the British System Somewhat:
Lower Secondary School- Year 5 to Year 8 (i.e. age around 9 to 13)
Senior Secondary School- Year 9 to Year 11(i.e. age around 13 to 16)
Sixth From -Year 12 and Year 13 (i.e. age 16 to 18)
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Rakas21
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Bring back the assisted schools scheme to allow the top performing 10% access to private school at each key stage - only apply to pupils with a parent earning less than £30k.
Allow the next best performing 20% (10-30%) to access grammar schools (existing schools can apply for grammar school licenses) - only apply to pupils with a parent earning less than £30k.

Scrap the national curriculum for year 9 onward and replace it with the requirement to offer only the English Bac and an hours PE per day (nothing mandatory beyond the English Bac and PE should move towards a focus on competitive individual sports)
- English Bac to contain English, Foreign language (choice of Spanish or Mandarin), Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology (all individual), Politics, Economics and Computer Science

Shorten the summer holiday by two weeks and extend the Christmas Holiday by two weeks.

Change GCSE and A level grades such that only the top 5% get A* grades and the next 45% is divided between A, B and C grades. Anybody getting 50-75% at GCSE will receive a 'Pass' grade. Anybody getting below 50% at A level will fail. University grades will require a minimum threshold of 50% (below that and you fail). All GCSE and A level resits will be capped at a C grade and may only be taken once (don't try the first time, tough crap).

Tuition fees will not be paid to courses in which 50% of graduates do not gain full time employment within 6 months.

Ofsted may no longer negatively view a school on the basis of a lack of diversity.
Muslim faith schools will be prohibited.

Households in which two parents earn over £30k per year will be required to not only enroll their children in a nursery but also provide proof that their children are being privately tutored at least twice per week.
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RF_PineMarten
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Change GCSE and A level grades such that only the top 5% get A* grades and the next 45% is divided between A, B and C grades. Anybody getting 50-75% at GCSE will receive a 'Pass' grade. Anybody getting below 50% at A level will fail. University grades will require a minimum threshold of 50% (below that and you fail). All GCSE and A levels will be capped at a C grade and may only be taken once (don't try the first time, tough crap).

Tuition fees will not be paid to courses in which 50% of graduates do not gain full time employment within 6 months.

Ofsted may no longer negatively view a school on the basis of a lack of diversity.
Muslim faith schools will be prohibited.

Households in which two parents earn over £30k per year will be required to not only enroll their children in a nursery but also provide proof that their children are being privately tutored at least twice per week.
Not sure what you mean by the bit in bold, do you mean resist should be capped at a C?

Do you not think that it's a bit discriminatory to only ban muslim faith schools but not others? Why not restrictions on faith schools in general?

The last point is just unnecessary. You do not need private tutoring to do well in school. Good pupils/students do work outside of school anyway but partly on their own terms e.g. revision, reading around the topic, and that's how people get As an A*s when it comes to A Levels. Compulsory private tutoring is a bit too excessive.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by RFowler)
Not sure what you mean by the bit in bold, do you mean resist should be capped at a C?

Do you not think that it's a bit discriminatory to only ban muslim faith schools but not others? Why not restrictions on faith schools in general?

The last point is just unnecessary. You do not need private tutoring to do well in school. Good pupils/students do work outside of school anyway but partly on their own terms e.g. revision, reading around the topic, and that's how people get As an A*s when it comes to A Levels. Compulsory private tutoring is a bit too excessive.
That should have said resits.

I'd like to ban them all but there's a sufficient number of christian parents that it could be politically damaging for a government to do that.

I don't pupils to just do well, i want them to be the best of best. More than that though i want to change attitudes in parenting without the state having to spend too much money, hopefully be making it mandatory for those parents, we may see such a change in attitude and trickle down effect to slightly poorer parents.
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RF_PineMarten
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(Original post by Rakas21)
I don't pupils to just do well, i want them to be the best of best. More than that though i want to change attitudes in parenting without the state having to spend too much money, hopefully be making it mandatory for those parents, we may see such a change in attitude and trickle down effect to slightly poorer parents.
If current compulsory education doesn't do that, how will compulsory private tutoring make any difference?

You're right that attitudes have a lot to do with it, but I doubt forcing parents to hire private tutors is the way to sort that out. Hiring a tutor is the sort of decision that should be up to the parents, not something that's mandatory, especially if those parents have to spend their own money on it.
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