Testing, testing, er…testing

What passes for eduction in schools in England and Wales is being challenged by a report from no less a body than the General Teaching Council. Instead of giving children a broad education it says, teachers are having to drill pupils from 7. The result is stress levels rise both in children and teachers. New Labour’s inhumanity reaches everywhere it seems. One young teacher, accused of getting children to cheat, killed herself while under investigation.
The general effect is to turn children and young people off education. It might help to explain why we have unprecedented levels of offending with young offenders’ institutions bursting at the seams. Many of these are set up and rung by the private sector.
One idea being put forward is a new form of national service for young people. The government would be well advised to steer away from making such a scheme compulsory, bet rather give opportunities for volunteering allowing young people to follow their own motivation and choice.


The government is not giving an inch saying how popular testing is with parents. With psychiatrists attending children at an unprecedented level it is extremely unwise to ignore these warning signs. Knowing how poorly developed mental health services are generally, but for children and young people in particular there is probably a much greater problem out there than is being acknowledged. We no that the prison service is in crisis and is having to try to cope with many with mental health problems, which it can’t do.
Brown like Blair is reciting the mantra of “education”. Through media and popular entertainment programmes what passes for education -stuffing knowledge into people, bypassing understanding and emotional development is at a high very high cost. The problem with New Labour is that it won’t, can’t learn. Brown has got in by default so let’s hope a new deputy might help. Cruddas and Harman look the best bets in that order, but the old order is still deeply entrenched!

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