Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Cameron on Education


Earlier today The Conservative Party Leader, David Cameron MP, made a speech about his plans for school. He mentioned ideas such as all children wearing a uniform and standing when the teacher enters the room. In his speech he said

"I know what I want my kids' schools to be like, I want them to be places where the headteacher knows the children by name. Where the pupils wear uniforms and stand up when adults come into the room. Where the teachers can hear themselves talk- because they're in charge, not the troublemakers. Where children are taught with other kids at their level, not in mixed-ability classes. I don't think it's too much to ask that it's what the government should ensure for every child in our country."

I found this a very interesting idea for the British Education system. I went to a school which ticked most of the boxes David listed above. At Balcarras school we all had to wear a uniform, which was set by the school, the teachers had control of the classes and we were set for some of our classes. The only thing we didn't do was stand when the teachers entered into the room.

Personally I agree with David's proposed plans. In my opinion setting children into classes for their lessons is a positive thing. In mixed ability classes the bright are held back and while those who are less bright struggle to keep up with the rest of the group. By arranging classes by intelligence and ability the brighter pupils can be stretched and challenged while those who need a bit of extra help can receive it and learn at a pace which suits them.

Some suggest that have mixed ability classes is a good thing as the pupils can teach each other and help each other out. From personal experience I can 100% say that this does NOT work! When I was at school I was more or less in top set for every class that we were set in, but for those we were not set in all that would happen is those who excelled or showed enthusiasm to learn, like me, would end up finishing first then getting bored while those who didn't want to learn and would simply mess about, distract others or take the mick out of those who were cleverer then themselves.

I agree with the idea of wearing a uniform to school as it reduces the difference between pupils, normally you will hear me go on about individuality and being yourself but not this one. If pupils were allowed to wear what they liked then it would turn into a fashion show and be a way that pupils could stand out in a negative way. It would also make it easier to enforce discipline. Why do you think the army wear uniforms? It would also allow others in the community to know which school the pupils attended either to promote the school or if they were caught misbehaving then it would be easier to catch them.

As for standing when the teacher walks in, once again I agree. One of the most important things to have in the school is discipline and respect for the teacher. Standing upon them entering is a way of showing this. Classes would behave better and learn more effectively if well disciplined. Furthermore it is an excellent way to start the lesson as it draws attention to the fact that the class has started and it's time to stop chatting and get on with the purpose of school- Learning.

This is yet another speech that Cameron has made that has impressed me. Let's hope he keeps it up then come the next unbottled election we should be in power and start to return this country to the state it was in before Labour messed it up so badly.

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