Education in England


1. Education in England

No matter what Roger Waters said, everybody needs an education. However, the current conservative Education Secretary needs to listen to Pink Floyd when they say "leave those kids alone".

Ideological Education Minister, Michael Gove, insists on implementing one idiotic plan after another, in the hope that in the end one of his crack-pot policies will actually help the current generation to achieve the best education that they can.

However, it is not certain that helping all of today's youth is the main objective of these schemes, just certain sections of society. Currently, the education system in the United Kingdom is pointing in the direction that the more money you have, the better the chance of success is.

For one, university fees are constantly on the rise, with some well over £9000 a year, which means that even after a student has struggled through a challenging three years at university, they will then be left in huge student debt that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, some never being able to repay the huge sum.

On the other hand, if you happen to reside in somewhere like Scotland, and decide to go to university there, your fees will be greatly reduced and in some cases, free, whereas, if an English person wanted to go to the same university, they would have to pay the full price of the course. Is it fair that you are persecuted because of where you are born?

Taking a step back down the education ladder to A-Levels, which consists of two courses, 'As' in the first year, and then 'A2's, both of which are needed to gain a full A-Level, plans are being put in place to remove the 'As' exams at the end of the first year, and instead make students take one exam at the end of two years. Apart from being extremely unfair to students, many universities also oppose this idea; they want 'As' results, as it gives a more accurate indication of how the students will achieve at the end of the second year, rather than looking at previous qualifications.

The step before A-Levels is GCSEs, which you need so you can get to college, as it is now mandatory for students to stay in education until the age of 18. Gove seems obsessed in changing this perfectly reasonable exam system back in the old system, O-Levels, as he believes in his closed mind, that the education he had was the best.

 It means that now, students at the age of 15 or 16 are required to recall everything they have learned in the course of their education in one exam at the end of the summer - one wrong move and you're out. How can Gove, a man who had to take his driving test 7 times, think that this is the best way for students to be examined? Everyone has a bad day, even politicians make mistakes, but unfortunately, if you have one on exam day, there is no second chance - there era of modular exams is over.

One of Gove's failed schemes was trying to put in the English Baccalaureate instead of GCSEs, which would basically mean that there would be no subjects such as art and music which encouraged creativity, and instead on the high academic achievers would succeed.

The question is, why does Michael Gove feel as though he need to change so much about the current education system in England? All the evidence at the moment suggests that he is trying to reduce the amount of young people who can gain reasonable qualifications, which in return may help solve some of the other problems the Conservative's have not managed to solve any other way.

For example, youth unemployment is a huge issue at the moment, with many young people coming out of university with a degree, but still not being able to get a job. Politicians are finding it harder to try and make more jobs for the well-qualified ex-students, so logically, to solve this they have decided to make exams harder and fees higher, so only the rich and extremely clever students will make it through the messed-up system, and the politicians have an excuse for why the other young people are unemployed - they failed their education.

The changes to the system also affects the hard working teachers who are trying to support the pressurised students during this time. Teacher's pay is now performance based, which means that once the students get their results back, the teacher's working in state schools (which are the main schools suffering from the changes) will be have to endure the misfortune of their pay cheque being significantly reduced.

To add insult to injury, if the results in state schools are not up to scratch, they will be forced into privatisation as academies, which Gove has been trying to do to all schools since 2010.

Even ex-Education Secretary and fellow conservative, Kenneth Baker, does not agree with what Gove is trying to do. He says that Gove's "policies are entirely derived from his own educational experience", which is not a good quality in someone in charge of a country's education system, as he has no experience whatsoever in education, and can only look back on his out-dated private schooling from when he was younger. Also, if they had not been before, his ideas should have been questioned and doubted as soon as the words Angela Merkel was "as hot as Jennifer Lopaz" came out of his mouth.

How can we trust Michael Gove with our future, especially when the students in this country know more about education than the minister?

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