While the Education Secretary, Michael Gove has been pondering his next cock-up, the think-tank Demos has just produced a report, ‘The Forgotten Half’, which says that secondary schools are focusing on brighter children and are neglecting pupils with ‘vocational aspirations’. It claims this affects half young people in secondary education.
“The education system needs to be less focused on pushing young people through the hoops of assessment that lead on to higher education, and more on equipping them with the skills to enter and progress through the labour market”
Isn’t the truth of the matter that our education system is not fit for purpose? Doesn’t it say that our ‘one size fits all’ approach is wrong? Why are we still wedded to an education formula which was designed to meet the needs of the industrial revolution? Isn’t it true that we are failing children because those in the educational establishment are stuck in an elitist mind set?
Why does it take a report from a think-tank to point out what has been so blindingly obvious for decades? Why do we continue to fail our children by not providing them with an education system that allows them to recognise and develop their talents? Why do we tolerate a system that thoughtlessly disregards their dreams and aspirations? How can we be so stupid as to squander the nation’s priceless human capital with such carelessness?
That we are failing half the children in secondary education is a national disgrace. This lack of proper attention is perpetuating our unequal society. It is costly carelessness. We need a radical overhaul of our education system. We must demand a system that meets the needs of our time and gives every child an education that best suits their individual talents – whatever it costs.