Also on CiF today, Andrew Brown talking about the plans to
lower youth unemployment figures raise the school leaving age:
There’s an extremely important difference between making it easy for people to learn, or to gain qualifications, and making it compulsory. It is not just the difference between freedom and compulsion: it is the difference between treating them like adults and like children. If the purpose of education is to produce adults, then artificial retardation isn’t going in the right direction.
Quite. We already infantilise young people for far too long, and then wonder why so many aren’t inclined to be co-operative with our great plans for them.
Another thought: who will be responsible for ensuring that a 17-year-old attends school/college/whatever? Will this become another stick with which to beat parents? (Think of the potential revenue from Fixed Penalty Notices, because it’s pretty hard to imagine how anyone will force a six-foot young man into school.)
Despite all the touchy-feely stuff from Government nowadays about ‘consulting’ children on policies that affect them (gee, thanks) it’s pretty clear that they haven’t bothered on this one. The last word should go to one of the commenters at CiF:
instead of the government dictating to students what they should do, what they should learn, and how they should learn it, perhaps they should consider asking the students what they actially want; you never know, we may just have some good ideas about what could make *our* education better!!