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General Chat Thread, New O-Level in General; Originally Posted by localzuk The others got CSEs, or went into apprenticeships... Not in my mother's day they didn't There ...
  1. #16

    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The others got CSEs, or went into apprenticeships...
    Not in my mother's day they didn't

    There was a time a when O Levels existed for those that could... and CSEs had not been invented.

    Those that could went to grammar school and took O Level. Those that couldn't went to secondary modern and hoped for the best mostly becoming blue collar workers. Unfortunately we don't have much industry left now.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I'm certain this whole GCSE vs O-Level debate is the wrong debate to be having; we're putting the cart before the horse. I'm personally not convinced that the current system, as a whole, is fit for purpose. But then I'm not a 100% certain what the purpose of the current system actually is. And that's the place to start. The proposed change is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction mixed with a bad dose of Tory ideology.

    What we need is a proper national debate on the future of our education system. We need to agree, as a nation, the focus and purpose of the system. Ask the stake holders directly - teachers, pupils, parents and employers - "What do you want out of the system?" and "why are we sending our young to school?". Answer those questions and you can start the process of building a system from the ground up that actually suites the nations requirements, whatever they be.

    13 years from 5 to 18 is compulsory education and it's totally free for anyone who doesn't want to pay for an alternative. That's some major investment we are making as a nation. Surely we should be confident as a nation in what we are investing in, why we are investing in it and what the outcomes of that investment are? The propossed EBacc doesn't answer those questions.

    Just my 2c

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    What we need is a proper national debate on the future of our education system.
    Sounds nice but I'm not sure what 'proper debate' means and I'm convinced that the type of people who would contribute have been sounding off all my (long-ish) life. The fundamental problem assuming you can get past the massive volume of seriously uninformed assertions[1], is that there are some very seriously polarised opinions on nearly every conceivable aspect i.e. the best outcome you could hope for is some lovely fluffy meaningless compromise that gets us nowhere, much the same as now in a sector dripping with dishonest, unpragmatic, 100% guaranteed inoffensive tat like "every child should reach their full potential in a system fit to meet the challenges of the 21st century" and so on.


    [1] Go skim one of the Daily Mail or Guardian threads on this to get the picture.

  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenlong1985 View Post
    Will look later, but imagine that's similar in drift (and possibly more accessible) to this ~50 year-old quote from one of my favourite books:

    Extensive psychological testing has shown that the mysterious quality called 'creative imagination' seems to exist in all people but is severely diminished by the time an individual reaches the age of six. The environment of school ('You mustn't do this!' 'You mustn't do that!' 'You call that a drawing of your mother ? Why, your mother only has two legs.' 'Nice girls don't do things like that!') sets up a whole screen of blocks in the mind of the child that later inhibits his ability to ideate freely.

    Creativity in various guises is the area where we encourage DD by far the most at home, essentially an attempt to preserve a slowly diminishing quality that most kids seem to have lots of at birth - it just doesn't mix well with mass education.

  7. #21
    CAM
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    I have a feeling I will really hate this in a few years time. Why?

    - English, Maths and Science will run as a course for "those that can."
    - Those "that can't" will end up doing whatever the lower level qualification is.
    - How will a jump between those that can and those that can't mid-KS4 be handled if they are different qualifications?
    - Whatever qualification the non-core subjects will be certified as will also need to be taken into account.
    - Finally the other subjects such as BTEC (dare you to go into your data manager's office in a few weeks and utter that word!) will continue to cause boundless confusion.

    Course Manager and census day will be soooooo much fun.

    Oh and EBacc is a joke. "Hey guys! We are introducing this at the end of the academic year and going to start tutting at you for the next two years for not meeting it! Look at these poor EBacc attainment figures across the country even though it's too late for current and next year's Y11's to change their courses! Yaaaay!" (At the time it was introduced of course).

    I'm grouchy because it's the run up to Autumn Census.
    Last edited by CAM; 19th September 2012 at 12:16 AM.

  8. #22

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    I have a feeling I will really hate this in a few years time. Why?

    - English, Maths and Science will run as a course for "those that can."
    - Those "that can't" will end up doing whatever the lower level qualification is.
    - How will a jump between those that can and those that can't mid-KS4 be handled if they are different qualifications?
    - Whatever qualification the non-core subjects will be certified as will also need to be taken into account.
    - Finally the other subjects such as BTEC (dare you to go into your data manager's office in a few weeks and utter that word!) will continue to cause boundless confusion.
    There isn't a separate qualification - the EBac will be the only one for the core subjects. I *seriously* doubt any school will let any kids do the other stuff without doing the EBac stuff - it'd damage their league table standing!

    Oh and EBacc is a joke. "Hey guys! We are introducing this at the end of the academic year and going to start tutting at you for the next two years for not meeting it! Look at these poor EBacc attainment figures across the country even though it's too late for current and next year's Y11's to change their courses! Yaaaay!" (At the time it was introduced of course).
    I think you've not quite understood it. Its not being introduced yet. Not even to tut at. It doesn't get introduced until 2015!

  9. #23


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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    <snip>

    I'm personally not convinced that the current system, as a whole, is fit for purpose. <snip>)
    if you're talking about the Education System as a whole, from year 1 to year 11, then let me put you out of your uncertainty.

    It's not.

    I don't know what the answer is. All I know is that I had a 1960's grammar school education, and in all aspects, today's education isn't a patch on what I had.

    Along with the academic subjects, I was taught self-discipline, self-control, self-restraint, respect for my teachers and for my school. I think, above all, I was made conscious of how lucky I was (even in the 60's) to have a free education, and to my mind that is where we have gone most wrong over the years. We've lost sight, in this country, of the value of a free education and that value MUST be re-instated, somehow.

    But hey, what do I know? I'm not a teacher, I'm not an educational psychologist.......I'm just an ordinary joe who sees kids leaving school at 16, unable to read, unable to write, unable to spell and believing that 'educ8', 'lol', 'rotfl' and the like are valid words that can be used and accepted in everyday correspondences.

    My main worry is where on earth are these kids going to find paid work enough to pay the taxes to pay my old-age pension?

  10. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    Sounds nice but I'm not sure what 'proper debate' means and I'm convinced that the type of people who would contribute have been sounding off all my (long-ish) life. The fundamental problem assuming you can get past the massive volume of seriously uninformed assertions[1], is that there are some very seriously polarised opinions on nearly every conceivable aspect
    At the very least I'd expect to see democracy in action - A Parliamentary Select Committee charged with getting answer, MP's talking to constituents, Serious newspaper columnist and TV shows such as Question Time and News Night discussing the merits of the wider issue. Somebody respected and qualified in the field being asked to review and report back recommendation, that review by necessity means going out and talking with a wide, representative, selection of core stake holders (pupils, parents, teachers, parents). The report being published for all to see and for Parliament to debate openly in chamber. And then decisions made on those findings.

    Democratic process, not Mr Goves autocratic Eaton ideology.

    the best outcome you could hope for is some lovely fluffy meaningless compromise that gets us nowhere,
    I disagree. Yes if you asked everyone and aimed for total compromise that is what you get, but at the end of the day yes Political ideology will come to bare but the policy should be based on proper research and open debate not late night moth balling at Tory HQ. Or at least when the outcome of the policy has such emence and wide reaching effects as this clearly does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthling View Post
    if you're talking about the Education System as a whole, from year 1 to year 11, then let me put you out of your uncertainty.

    It's not.
    I suspect you are right, although I was thinking of a wider scope - ages 3-21. Maybe not all in that range need to be in formal education, but the system should be designed around an impact everyone in that bracket.

    We've lost sight, in this country, of the value of a free education and that value MUST be re-instated, somehow.
    Personally I'd stop it from being compulsory. If you want to be there and learn...

    My main worry is where on earth are these kids going to find paid work enough to pay the taxes to pay my old-age pension?
    Have you seen Logan's Run

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    HI

    I say the wheels on the bus go round and round and the government have to be seen to do something so we have a change round. Throw out the baby and the bath water and start again. In 10 years and a few changes along the way it will change back. I was taught programming when I was at school. I know that tells you how old I am and now its back.

  12. #26
    zag
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    I don't get the resistance to change in the public sector.

    Change things when they are needed (Employers have been asking for a while to test basic skills more).

    But then again don't change things for the sake of change. It should be quite simple really

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    It is simple. Spend a few years getting something to work and then bin it all and start again from scratch. It keeps the powers that be in work.

  14. #28
    CAM
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I think you've not quite understood it. Its not being introduced yet. Not even to tut at. It doesn't get introduced until 2015!
    They haven't introduced it as a certificate yet. However, the government has been tracking schools for the last few years to see if they meet the English Baccalaureate and if the kids achieved C or higher in English, Maths, Science, Languages and select Humanities lessons. They then had the cheek to point out poor uptake of EBacc even though the kids hadn't had a chance to pick the subjects required to meet the criteria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    There isn't a separate qualification - the EBac will be the only one for the core subjects. I *seriously* doubt any school will let any kids do the other stuff without doing the EBac stuff - it'd damage their league table standing!
    In principle there will be a separate consultation "this year" on "school accountability". For some reason I am expecting that to say EBacc goes in the league tables, but if we're really (lottery winner) lucky it might address the systematic corruption of education they have caused.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    At the very least I'd expect to see democracy in action. A Parliamentary Select Committee charged with getting answer, MP's talking to constituents, Serious newspaper columnist and TV shows such as Question Time and News Night discussing the merits of the wider issue
    Have you wanted that for anything else in the last decade? The system is not a direct democracy and in a representative democracy like ours this is just an insignificant etiquette complaint i.e. they, same as previous goverments, would go through the box-ticking motions, find interesting ways to dismiss any credible objections and then still do exactly what they wanted.

    A Parliamentary Select Committee charged with getting answer, MP's talking to constituents, Serious newspaper columnist and TV shows such as Question Time and News Night discussing the merits of the wider issue
    English GCSE results, Ofqual & Gove: Interest in that lasted for a few days, briefly picked up for Gove at the Select Committee which seemed to think it was a lesser priority than their egos re. not being told X first, and has pretty much been dead ever since for everyone besides the victims and whoever-it-is that might take some legal action.

    EBacc: Same kind of story - tons of shallow and essentially nature vs. nurture, progressive v. traditional bleating, then the rest of the world's useless twitter-sized attention spans moved on to the latest analysis of Kate's chest or whatever it was on the front page the next day.

    the policy should be based on proper research and open debate
    I've read quite a bit of research over the years. When it exists (rare) educational research on big issues is often pretty dire, often seems to be designed to deliver the outcome they wanted, probably doesn't relate to this country/culture, and typically has fundamental perspective problems i.e. exclusively deals in the one-size-fits-all view of the entire country from the moon. Oh and no one looks for or reads it before opining... and sadly that extends to some of the apparent heavweights in this area who for the most part will be the only ones debating because that's essentially their job (and we've heard it all before).



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