Thursday, November 30, 2006

MP says HE Good for Younger Children

Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield and head of the Education and Skills Select Committee (thanks Arch), in suggesting that children shouldn't have to go to school until they are seven, is bucking the trend to get ever younger children into school. All he needs to do now is to tell the world that education at home works for older children as well.


Anonymous said...

Do you mean 'bucking the trend to get even younger children into school'? It seems to be at odds with 'MP says HE good for younger children'.


Carlotta said...

Sorry, D. Have just tried to make it clearer, but dunno if I have.

Gill said...

Ooh he's a local lad! I don't know much about him though. He's a neighbouring MP, not ours. I'll post it to our local list though. Thanks!

archmaster said...

You might also like to know that he's head of the education & skills select committee and is one of the more enlightened labour mps.

He's recently admitted to being a bit of a bully at school. If only others would take the same grown up route;-)

Anonymous said...

I started school when I was seven, never used a uniform, had 3 months Summer holidays every year, never had homework, and school was either mornings or afternoons (not all day) - During secondary years I used to skip lessons quite frequently and go to the beach instead and no teacher would ever think my actions were my parents' responsibility. There were no detentions either. When I moved to the UK my qualifications weren't recognised so I back to Uni and got a 1st class BA (Hons). I really can't see the point of starting so young (unless parents are working and use school as childcare - which of course leads to all sorts of problems to individuals, families and societies...)

Gill said...

Thanks for that too Terry (?)

It's gone on the local list. Will let you know if any Hudds people want to pursue it (him).

dottyspots said...

Yes, there was a report a few months back (I think I linked to it somewhere on my blog). T'would be a good step 'forward' IMO, but then I think children are herded into classrooms far too early here. My mother is Norwegian and didn't start school until she was 7 - the same for many of my family. Her husband, as a 'farm boy' did much of his learning from home (well, working on the farm) - he's also a wonderfully intelligent man, speaker of a number of languages, etc, etc.

I find it really sad that here, the perceived 'solution' to 'poor levels' of adult numeracy and literacy is to get children into school younger and younger - but then, really it's much more than that and IMO more to do with parents not being seen as capable of providing a 'healthy learning environment' for young children (etc - I could go on a bit at this point).

I can't see them putting the compulsory education age back, everything I see (incl. as a registered childminder) seems to point more and more to them bringing it forward.

Carlotta said...

Thanks Dottyspots. Am off to see if I can find your link.

I agree that the trend seems to be in the opposite direction, but if there is such an influential figure who realises that many children could benefit from a longer time at home, this could be a merciful life-line.

I feel that the issue of child/parent attachment, (eg: that separation anxiety, for example, is routinely caused by nursery education and that this is so routinely ignored and yet is potentially damaging), needs to be on the political agenda.

dottyspots said...

Hmmmm, but for it to be on the political agenda would likely mean that politicians would have to go against a pattern of childcare that they have likely used themselves.

Childcare is stereotypically seen as a 'women's issue' and therefore, is more likely to be raised by a female politician - however, it is likely (?) that a female politician has used such childcare and therefore is unlikely to raise it - if that makes sense - I'm not particularly good at getting my point across after a long day and a few glasses of wine :) is an org. with an interest in raising the status of mothers and encouraging women to care for their own children. I think is another org.

Of course there are a few 'issues' with Bowlby's research on separation anxiety and it's part in the political agenda of the time - also the impact of culture upon the findings - but again, v. tired, so perhaps a discussion for another day.

dottyspots said...

I've dug out the link: (it's Barry Sheerman again, but this time from Aug 2006)

Carlotta said...

Thanks Dottyspots. Am impressed! I can't make nearly the same amount of sense after 2 glasses. Would be really interested to know of consequences of Bowlby's theories..was it to feed into the oppression of women?

And thanks for the links.