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Could someone please point out to Sir(!) Jim Rose that our educational system which he wants to reform has actually been producing authors, scientists, egineers and artists very successfully for a few hundred years. Perhaps he hasn`t read any books, visited galleries or travelled in a car or an aeroplane or a train or walked over suspension bridges. I could go on.... but am aghast at the sheer crass stupidity of his revolutionary "ideas"
liz kemp

"..our educational system which he wants to reform has actually been producing authors, scientists, egineers and artists very successfully for a few hundred years."

Yes it did until sometime around the 1960s or 70s. Then it all started to go horribly wrong.

So, it would seem we need to revert to the sort of education system we had in the 1950s (in general that introduced by Attlee's government and with a place for selective education) and all will be well. But I suspect that, to do this, we would need also to revert to the social arrangements we had in the 1950s and before – married parents able and willing to take responsibility for the wellbeing of their children.

It will be a long hard road back and, I fear, maybe not one “nice” Mr Cameron has the stomach for.

“Schools in the top-performing countries in the world and the top independent schools in this country teach children hard subject knowledge not soft “topics”.

Michael Gove is quite right to highlight how these proposed "reforms" risk dumbing down primary education.

It is a disgrace that something like 30% of 11 year olds are not equipped with the basic skills when they enter secondary school and I hope that the conservatives will address this as a matter of urgency.

As Michael Gove has himself said "You have to learn to read in order to read to learn".

He is also quite right to benchmark against top schools abroad and the good independents in this country.

Omg !
Get this stupid government to keep its pathetic interfering hands off our kids education will you for heavens sake before we end up a nation of imbeciles like the guy who thinks teaching partial subjects on any topic will achieve knowledge of the whole.

A bit of this and a bit of that makes for a Jack of all trades and a master of none, and given the man's position in life you'd think he would at least know that much.

Brown's Barmy British Barnstormers at it again !!!

Labour do not want children to learn - that is the bottom line! They would rather keep them ignorant so they have less chance of success in the future.

Two generations of morons owing to the effects of Comprehensive Education at Secondary Level and the "Play Way" at Primary. God help us all if these changes are implemented!

The Conservative Party should give a categorical assurance that it will reverse these silly alterations and return to more formal teaching methods. Oh and while they are at it, restore the former policy regarding Grammar Schools which ought never to have been dropped.

In which "country" is this going to happen?do not tell me let me guess,come on Mr. Gove say the word England

Traditional taught subjects are already being removed in secondary schools. the new Y7 curriculum gives schools the option of dropping 'traditional subjects' in favour of teaching skills through themes. Few current Y7 pupils will be studying history,geography etc but many will be learning about the environment etc... where the 'traditional subjects' are taught within this it will be shallow and delivered by none specialists who are interested in measuring skill outcomes rather than subject knoweldge. The idea seems to be to equip people with learning tools rather than knowledge.

If you employ educationalists, they are hardly going to say 'yes, its good enough as it is' are they?

There is constant change because people are making their livings out of changing things.

Cut public expenditure on people with a vested interest in constant change - and give us our money back...

It was almost funny hearing Balls talk about requiring people to have 'more expirence' of the areas they work in (in connection with shoesmith) -- what is his experience exactly?

pp too some extent you are correc.There are any number of people employed in the 'improvement industry' and they feel the need for constant tampering to justify their existance. Sadly the outcome of this experiment will be children with little knoweldge of the world they live in, no sense of their history and an inability to understand all the marvelous things they will no doubt discover via wikepedea.

it may help our cause if someone could find a better picture of Michael Gove...

I mean come on he looks about 9 years old...

More Joe 90 than Shadow Education Minister...

So we want to have all children at school by age 4 so that we can avoid teaching them any history or geography, spelling or simple arithmetic. We will however make them great at texting and looking up things [that they cannot read] on the Internet.

There are relatively few employers who would see facility at computer games and downloading music to be employable skills.

Few skills are required to live on the dole forever. By then they will press a button to vote for Labour and a continuance of the Good Life.

I should dearly like all our primary school children to learn how to read and write before they move to secondary school. This ex Schools Inspector has already failed us in this regard. Why should we value his opinions? On his performance so far he should have already been awarded an "F". Who appointed him to write this report?

Why do people who can spend a fortune on private education? To stay clear of government interference in what is taught and how.

Oh dear, not another radical cure-all.

How on earth did we struggle through our inadequate school curriculum all those years ago and make living on the strength of it thereafter?!

Sally Roberts writes:
"Labour do not want children to learn - that is the bottom line! They would rather keep them ignorant so they have less chance of success in the future."
This is a bit extreme: Labour’s educational policies are indeed pernicious, but I’ve never thought that they actively desired to sabotage education (save for Crosland and his infamous desire to destroy grammar schools); rather, they are peculiarly prone to social-engineering-as-education, and the usual Socialist desire to impose abstract theory upon people whether they like it or not, and whether it works or not (it never does) applies in spades to education. They cannot leave it alone.
But then, neither can the Tories. Most of my time lecturing in FE was under the Thatcher & Major administrations, and I assure you that the constant dickering with syllabuses, the madcap theorising, and so on, barely let up under so-called “Conservative” governments… Crucially, it was Tory policy that took FE colleges away from LEA control and made them nearly autonomous, a radical step that in the case of too many colleges proved disastrous. My own is a case in point: after FE colleges were incorporated as independent entities, the new Principal (appointed by the usual bunch of naive no-hopers who thrive in such areas as the governing bodies of schools & colleges) arrived, negotiated very favourable remuneration, introduced madcap schemes, departed, and left the seedy incompetent replacements appointed by the same person to run the place into the ground. The community, and large numbers of staff & pupils (then current, and future) were left to carry the can.
Similar scenarios were played out around the country. It did not redound to the credit of the Tory administration. What evidence is there that a new Tory government, populated as seems likely by wet-behind-the-ears spivs who know damn-all about education outside the narrow confines of their own exclusive public schools and universities, might correct so much that is wrong with education? Although over the years I have willingly paid considerable sums for extra private tuition, one of the things I regret most bitterly is that I did not have my son educated entirely privately: his sort-of-OK comprehensive isn’t bad, but it’s the whole ethos! All the deeply crappy attitudes that permeate State education in this country are profoundly corrupting, and the people who created this situation, plus those who allow it to continue, are culpable. I will bet a considerable sum that turning this around is not only beyond the ability of a future Tory administration, but beyond their capacity – and beyond their will.

Frankly Sir Jim Rose needs his head examined! He should go back to school himself and come up with some proper ideas about the education system.

Is that picture of Gove photoshopped? Looks like someone's stuck his head on someone else's body (although it's just as weedy-looking as his real one).

On a slightly more serious note, history and geography and so on are pretty much gone from the Scottish curriculum already. One of my children complains that he doesn't want to go to school because he'd rather stay at home and study history!

They don't want the kids to know about about British history cos the kids might think we need to keep our hard-won freedoms and independence.

This is another example of the current government's wish to dumb-down standards in everything. They are afraid of real education because any half-intelligent person would never vote for a left-wing party. The Conservatives should state very loudly and firmly that they will have no truck with any of this nonsense and that they will base the entire educational system on the unrelenting pursuit of excellence. The only problem then will be to find a sufficient number of available good, and suitably qualified, teachers.

This is frightening stuff. My education was ruined in the late 70s because my grammar school was turned into a comprehensive 'one size fits all' establishment. It was a Bluecoat school that used to send kids to university; it has just come out of special measures.

In a professional capacity I recently visited a school which was going over to soft learning - shoes off, sit down on stacked semi circle stepping with a hand held computer. Then we visited the maths suite where kids were plugged into computers with headphones with a teacher 'overseeing' the lesson. The kids were not tuned in, were failing to get to grips with the problems on screen and most were staring off into space.

We need scientists, mathematicians and computer experts. Otherwise we will become a third world country. Remember, China and India are churning these out by the thousand every day.

The sooner we get rid of Balls and Co the better.

I thought some of his ideas were excellent. Greater use of computers and having themed classes to make subjects more interesting for children.
Traditional methods often bore children therefore we need to make learning exciting and fun and I think some of these ideas will do this.
If we contine to have the attitude that traditional methods are best and that old chestnut they did it better in my days nothing will change and we will never improve standards.

Well this won't affect my son's prep school, where from 7 they teach History, Geography, Religious Studies, Drama, 'PSHCE', and ICT (and Latin, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, etc.) are taught separately. Why not? Because the school is at the mercy of the parents who pay the fees, and not the other way round.

It seems that Sir Jim Rose would like a job with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Then he can really get stuck in to what remains of educational standards.

Jack, why are you a Conservative?

I thought some of his ideas were excellent. Greater use of computers and having themed classes to make subjects more interesting for children.

What are they going to do - learn how to build them or how to program them ? Or simply to plagiarise and use Microsoft junkware ?

Children cost £82 billion to indocrinate and know less than children in Finland or China or India. Too much money is spent on "education" mainly on PFI and too little on learning. Time to get the State out of indoctrinating children.

They always look for a "teaching machine" and overrate computers. British education is junk and Britain is a deadbeat technical nation with technically-illiterate politicians and a third-rate education system peddling self-delusion.

The British are has-beens in technological stakes and have simply give away their heritage to Asia - the absence of hard numbers in education and rigorous mathematical training is what makes this drivel about computers just another bird-brained schemen to keep airheads happy and strip away any hope of Britain stayimg in the Top 10 industrial nations

"Traditional methods often bore children therefore we need to make learning exciting and fun and I think some of these ideas will do this."

This reminds me of an incident at my primary school. I remember the teacher spent all afternoon teaching us vowels by drawing pictures on the board: apples, eggs etc. It was fun and interesting.

Next day she made us recite vowels back. We couldn't. She lost her temper and just made us chant over and over again: AEIOU, AEIOU, AEIOU.

And guess what? I never forgot my vowels after that, neither have I forgotten my times tables which we learned by chanting too.

Malcolm. You really are silly little man. I try to concentrate on giving my opinions about the issues, you seem to do nothing else than resort to silly put downs. Grow up!!! I judge things on there merits and will not say i am against them just because they are being put forward by the partys political opponents.

Why are you a Conservative Jack?

It would be nice to think that the man who could become education secretary in the near future had actually read Sir Jim's proposals before deciding that they need sweeping away. If he had he would know that there is no proposal to stop teaching history, geography, science etc. All the 'traditional' subjects are still there and have their own attainment targets (assessment criteria). What Sir Jim Rose is actually proposing is that subjects are combined in a sensible way to enhance learning experiences, engage children and increase the contextual relevance of what is being taught. It is vital that we do this if we want to prepare our children for life in the 21st century and reasonable to think that it will result in greater acquisition knowledge and understanding of the world they will be living in. We must realise that children entering the education system today might have a very important job (like shadow education secretary?) in forty to fifty years time. Please, Mr Gove, explain how an education system rooted in the 1950s will equip them for what they face in 2060? Of course we could stick our heads in the sand and pretend that technological advances will not change their world It is one option, I suppose.

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