Our Education system is broken, can it be repaired?
The UK has an education system that appears to be broken. Is it able to continue as it is or does it need to be redesigned taking influence from europe.
The British education system was once the envy of many countries. Is this still the case for a system that appears to be failing our children! What other options are available to us? Do we need to look elsewhere for reform and inspiration?
An Education System that is failing
As parents, choosing the schools that our children attend is one of the hardest decisions that we have to make. We are potentially determining their educational path for the rest of their lives. We are determining the opportunities that will be available to them and the culture, friends, and obstacles that they encounter.
Our education system can’t really be that bad, can it? GCSE grades continue to rise steadily across the UK, even amidst claims that the exams are getting easier. Exam regulators have been quick to state that exam pass rates don’t increase greatly because exam standards are kept the same across the board.
With reports that GCSE exams are getting easier, are we not taking away from all the hard work that our children put in. The endless hours of revising and coursework. The stress and worry they endure. Not to mention the extra hours that school staff gives up to ensure that each of our children reaches their full potential.
In the past few years, there have been claims that many children are leaving primary school unable to read. But is this the fault of schools or parents? Teaching a child to read should surely, for the most part, be the parents’ responsibility and not that of our oversubscribed schools and overworked teaching staff.
Other options available in education systems
There are other options available to us as parents. Some are not practical for many parents but there are some that show promise.
Homeschooling is an option that is available in the UK. I have to be honest, in my opinion, I do not agree with homeschooling and believe that children need to be in a school environment with their peers. This helps them with their social skills and gives them the opportunity to experience activities that they would not be able to if homeschooled. But I do have mum friends who either are or intend to take this route with their own children and I admire their dedication to their children’s education.
Another option is the Montessori approach. In these classrooms, you will find children of mixed ages learning through concepts and the use of natural materials. It is very much a child-centered education system based on observations of the children. Designed to encourage children to follow their instincts and interact with the environment around them.
Looking to Europe
Our education system requires some serious reform and reorganisation. But where do we look for this inspiration, it has to be to Europe, specifically Finland. They have one of the top education systems in Europe. A system where children have no formal education until the age of 7. Children attend preschool, kindergarten, and daycare that is free to those on low income and heavily subsidised for others.
The Finnish education system is based on learning through play. This is an aspect that British schools have tried to replicate in the form of the Foundation Phase for younger school children. Creativity and a ‘joy of learning’ are at the heart of their curriculum and they are not ashamed of this at all. Teachers are well trained and respected by both parents and politicians alike. There is no OFSTED-school inspection but instead, they use a system of self-assessment.
Broken or not?
To say that our education system is failing seems to be an exaggeration of the truth. Yes, our education system has problems, faults, and issues. But at the end of the day, we as parents should be taking responsibility for teaching our children the basic building blocks such as reading, numbers, and writing. However, it appears this may not be the case.
Does our education need a change of pace and to be brought into this new decade, of course it does. We need something fresh and different that helps create a generation of free thinkers and entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to make mistakes and fail. This I believe is the only way that we as a country will be able to succeed in this world!!!