Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Education System in Meltdown

Tim Worstall at the Adam Smith Blog notes the unqualified failure of state education in the UK, calling it:

"grounds for a bloody revolution that a full eleven years of compulsory state education fail to equip such numbers for the most basic tasks of life."

We have also heard from a reliable source that a certain very senior minister in the education department fully agrees with Tim Worstall's assessment of the situation. He was heard to say that the education system is in complete meltdown and in need of a radical shake-up.

Tim suggests the voucher system as a possible solution, saying that this

"might work rather better than what Alan Johnson is suggesting, which is that private schools in the UK should lose their charitable status if they do not share their facilities more widely with the State system. The argument being that such charitable status is a subsidy.Which leads to an observation that here in the UK the government is doing something very odd. Arguing that we should remove subsidy from that part of the education system which works and increase it to that part which does not."

Home educators can't help shaking their heads in wonder at all this confusion. When will the proper implications of the Information Age finally sink in, we wonder? But good to know that the ptb can't in all honesty go about encouraging LAs to slap School Attendance Orders on us.


Jax said...

I am slightly confused by this. Are all private schools charitable? as it were? ;) Surely those who send their children to private school are already subsidising the state system (albeit in a similar way to those without children) by paying their taxes, but then not making use of the school place?

You'll get no argument from me about your basic premise though.

Carlotta said...

I had exactly the same reaction to Mr Johnson's suggestion... seemed completely ridiculous, though I would go further than Tim W and wonder whether even private schools really work for a large number of their pupils.

In fact, I'm sure that they frequently don't since even when public school children are superficially successful, it comes at such a high price.

Someone we know...a soon to be doctor in physics, and a product of our local comp, tells us that no-one he knows in his field is a product of the public school system. He thinks this has something to do with a restraint that is placed upon truly creative and rational thinking in public schools. His words, funnily enough, really not mine since I hadn't spoken to him about this...but it was one of those moments when you recognise an idea that bridges different areas of knowledge and that suggests that it is a rigourous one.

Jax said...

I suspect the vast majority of private schools don't work, they just look like they work better. Should admit to a conflict of interest - kids are at a private montessori 3 days a week atm. That seems to work better than most, but I will still slightly surprised by some parts of Big's recent report which indicate she has just successfully learnt something I know she's been doing for years. Hm.