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Time To Overhaul Our Education System.

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It’s a long time since I was in school or further education but it seems time that the whole system needs to be brought up to a standard that is fit for the future.

Some of the shortcomings have been highlighted by school closures and my only immediate knowledge over the last year has been via my teen age grandchildren.

My own sketchy thoughts,which may not have been fully thought through are :

The initial primary education within playgroups and infant and junior level is an absolute priority .

This is the time to establish basic reading and maths skills,and just as importantly to encourage social skills.

It is also the age group whose parents need assistance in allowing them to pursue their own Jo’s and careers.

As the children enter secondary education they should be issued with a computer to enable remote learning where necessary,access to communication,submission of work and research into the subjects that interest them.

The days of text books is gone,and should be replaced with a national framework of modules in every subject.

These modules could be co ordinated with educational programmes on the BBC or other providers.

There is so much available on the internet,far more than was ever contained in text books or the 

Encyclopaedia Britannica and we should be giving future generations the tools to harness this knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, RJRB said:

It’s a long time since I was in school or further education but it seems time that the whole system needs to be brought up to a standard that is fit for the future.

Some of the shortcomings have been highlighted by school closures and my only immediate knowledge over the last year has been via my teen age grandchildren.

My own sketchy thoughts,which may not have been fully thought through are :

The initial primary education within playgroups and infant and junior level is an absolute priority .

This is the time to establish basic reading and maths skills,and just as importantly to encourage social skills.

It is also the age group whose parents need assistance in allowing them to pursue their own Jo’s and careers.

As the children enter secondary education they should be issued with a computer to enable remote learning where necessary,access to communication,submission of work and research into the subjects that interest them.

The days of text books is gone,and should be replaced with a national framework of modules in every subject.

These modules could be co ordinated with educational programmes on the BBC or other providers.

There is so much available on the internet,far more than was ever contained in text books or the 

Encyclopaedia Britannica and we should be giving future generations the tools to harness this knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

Just a few issues- 

*there would need to be comprehensive digital inclusion programmes to provide equality of access 

*who is responsible for repairs/replacement of the equipment 

*if they are for education purposes how is other use (social media, gaming) blocked

*Who pays for internet access and can it be restricted to educational use only.

*As technology dates so quickly won’t lap tops need replacing at least once or more in the 7 years of secondary education 

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15 hours ago, RJRB said:

It’s a long time since I was in school or further education but it seems time that the whole system needs to be brought up to a standard that is fit for the future.

Some of the shortcomings have been highlighted by school closures and my only immediate knowledge over the last year has been via my teen age grandchildren.

My own sketchy thoughts,which may not have been fully thought through are :

The initial primary education within playgroups and infant and junior level is an absolute priority .

This is the time to establish basic reading and maths skills,and just as importantly to encourage social skills.

It is also the age group whose parents need assistance in allowing them to pursue their own Jo’s and careers.

As the children enter secondary education they should be issued with a computer to enable remote learning where necessary,access to communication,submission of work and research into the subjects that interest them.

The days of text books is gone,and should be replaced with a national framework of modules in every subject.

These modules could be co ordinated with educational programmes on the BBC or other providers.

There is so much available on the internet,far more than was ever contained in text books or the 

Encyclopaedia Britannica and we should be giving future generations the tools to harness this knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

Already happens.

 

Also, many schools provide breakfast and after school clubs to allow parents to work.

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7 hours ago, catmiss said:

Just a few issues- 

*there would need to be comprehensive digital inclusion programmes to provide equality of access 

*who is responsible for repairs/replacement of the equipment 

*if they are for education purposes how is other use (social media, gaming) blocked

*Who pays for internet access and can it be restricted to educational use only.

*As technology dates so quickly won’t lap tops need replacing at least once or more in the 7 years of secondary education 

There is a program, one laptop per child,  which looked at some of these things.  The program didn't get the traction it needed for a variety of reasons, but it did sort most of the tech, and of course tech has moved further since. Also, our requirements here are slightly different to the ones they were working too, but their solution points the way to ours.  

 

For this to really work then we need a national, free, basic internet service, limited to a handful of key sites and services. Where these sites link out to the wider internet then you would need a "proper" internet connection to get to them.  Clearly this limits the USP of the internet but to get then then you either let everyone have it free at the point of use or extend social security to explicitly include an internet connection. Not sure, either are financially or politically viable options atm.  

 

You could build a wifi mesh network fairly easily and reasonably cheaply, especially if you encouraged the ISP's to join the project and commit a part of their infrastructure to it. The government could provide or incentivise ISPs to provide the infrastructure to cover sparsely covered areas and also help roll the internet into places which are low down OpenReach's list. 

 

This wouldn't just be for education, you could also use it to drive forwards digital engagement with all sorts of government (including council, NHS etc.) services. 

 

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Having alternative providers such as the BBC is a terrific idea. At the moment in the pandemic, the BBC are already producing educational programmes consistent with the National Curriculum, and will start to be broadcast from tomorrow. 

The BBC have long experience in this regard, first with Open University, then with children's educational programmes, and later with their online resources Bitesize and Skillswise. In the future these could certainly be used to complement formal teaching.

 

I'm a little less clear about primary education, but it does seem to me that the concept of play is not utilised enough, or if it is, its importance isn't emphasised enough by ministers. Play is, I think one of the central ways that children learn whether it's imaginative play, body / physical play, social play etc....I know from my own childhood the importance of play in being the foundation for the more formal learning that happens in secondary school.

 

With regards to further education it's a shame nowadays that so much emphasis is put on 16 - 19 year olds in terms of funding. Colleges shouldn't be warehouses for youngsters who don't want to learn, and are only there because they can't get jobs / benefits.

The concept of 'jobs for life' is a thing of the past, and people no longer retire when they're 60 or 65; people need access to further education that is flexible around them, & their needs.

Edited by Mister M

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What about  Intranet Could it be of any use? This was an internal system that was used by a national company I worked for.

 

It was not possible to access the  Internet per se, but I understand the company could access the Intranet system from various parts of the UK. This was over 20 years ago. Obviously things have got better.

 

If the system was within the education system, it could be of help maybe?

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Thanks for the various interesting thoughts.

Just to comment:

Internet access is a key requirement and a long promised aim of the government.

Individual computers need not be as expensive as the machines that are currently available,or perhaps need to be updated as frequently as home computers.

Technology does move apace,but I think for many it is largely driven by gaming requirements.

Also I am sure that “improvements” are dribbled out to create an ongoing demand for hardware and software.

So I would have thought that a relatively cheap and reliable “school computer”should be able to provide the necessary connectivity and word processing capabilities.

Its’ unsuitability for gaming would be a positive.

We had intranet at my place of work for a time and it would offer some advantages.

Going back to observing my own grandchildren doing their online lessons it is obvious that there are great shortcomings at the moment regarding pupil supervision and the dependence and capabilities of individual teachers.

There seems so much more that could be done with a better use of the vast amount of knowledge and technology that is available to us.

Even in my youth Australia was able to provide education over the airwaves to the more isolated pupils.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One key issue with this would be the safeguarding of children and young people. When children and young people who attend school we know that they are safe and well. 

Currently in lockdown students who have social care, are classed as a child in need or have high intervention from Multi Agency Support are classed as vulnerable and are included in the students who need to attend school.

Many circumstances in which a young person becomes known to safeguarding agencies is due to issues that become apparent are disclosed in schools.

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By 'internet access' do you mean being able to access online learning materials, such as videos and presentations?

 

If you just want a one way street, and the child uses the materials as part of learning, or a simple web browser driven multiple choice type of thing to make learning interactive so teachers can test children on what they learn, then it's worth knowing that you could do that on all smart phones, tablets and game consoles from the last ten years. You don't need a laptop for that.

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34 minutes ago, the_bloke said:

By 'internet access' do you mean being able to access online learning materials, such as videos and presentations?

 

If you just want a one way street, and the child uses the materials as part of learning, or a simple web browser driven multiple choice type of thing to make learning interactive so teachers can test children on what they learn, then it's worth knowing that you could do that on all smart phones, tablets and game consoles from the last ten years. You don't need a laptop for that.

I wasn’t thinking a one way street but  a centrally supervised and guided syllabus providing interaction with teachers and tutors and other students.

Whatever the method of interaction I would have thought that standardisation was desirable.

Edited by RJRB

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2 hours ago, Sheffield Monks said:

One key issue with this would be the safeguarding of children and young people. When children and young people who attend school we know that they are safe and well. 

Currently in lockdown students who have social care, are classed as a child in need or have high intervention from Multi Agency Support are classed as vulnerable and are included in the students who need to attend school.

Many circumstances in which a young person becomes known to safeguarding agencies is due to issues that become apparent are disclosed in schools.

I agree broadly that many young people are safer in schools than out of schools. 

However just yesterday I was listening to a radio programme which spoke to many young people bullied at school, who feel a sense of relief that they aren't having to go to school.

The programme did give some figures from a National Charity (Kidscape?), which found a significant proportion of children who faced bullying severe enough for them to regular unauthorised absences from school.

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On 09/01/2021 at 17:35, RJRB said:

It’s a long time since I was in school or further education but it seems time that the whole system needs to be brought up to a standard that is fit for the future.

Some of the shortcomings have been highlighted by school closures and my only immediate knowledge over the last year has been via my teen age grandchildren.

My own sketchy thoughts,which may not have been fully thought through are :

The initial primary education within playgroups and infant and junior level is an absolute priority .

This is the time to establish basic reading and maths skills,and just as importantly to encourage social skills.

It is also the age group whose parents need assistance in allowing them to pursue their own Jo’s and careers.

As the children enter secondary education they should be issued with a computer to enable remote learning where necessary,access to communication,submission of work and research into the subjects that interest them.

The days of text books is gone,and should be replaced with a national framework of modules in every subject.

These modules could be co ordinated with educational programmes on the BBC or other providers.

There is so much available on the internet,far more than was ever contained in text books or the 

Encyclopaedia Britannica and we should be giving future generations the tools to harness this knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

I totally agree that Primary education should be the absolute priority in education. Get that right and the rest will follow.

For too long it has been considered the less important stage in education; the focus is always secondary schools and examination results. But for many students that is too late, the most crucial stages in child development will have occurred by the age of 7.

'Give me a child until he is seven, and I will show you the man.' - Aristotle.

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