Oh dear!

Ruth Kelly in the very glossy SfL update proclaims that embedded provision is ncecessary for those with “poor skills”. Obviously. Those “rich” people of whom which Ruth is clearly a member wouldn’t stand for such nonsense that passes for government strategy.

Talking of strategy, had a peak at the proposed 3-year plan for ESOL. Still the belief that language skills are the same as job skills and that better language leads to better jobs i.e. if you speak and write like Ruth Kelly and other bureaucrats then you are a guaranteed a better “rich” life. But if it is job prospects that the government is concerned with then why teach language and not vocational subjects. They’d learn real language whilst learning a real skill, not vague language when learning an academic discipline. When are politicians and their cronies going to wake-up to the fact that the very lowest level aside, practical skills not language is the answer to getting a job!!!

They also continue to be obssessed with qualifications as if this is the panacea for all including teachers. But if there are too many exams that it dilutes their effectiveness then why bother. Surely there is little need for 5 different exams for English and up to 10 different levels of accredittation with 4 or more awarding bodies. So unncessary, especially as the criteria is so vague and not supported by any conclusive evidence. Where is it proved that qualifications lead to a happier and successful life? To better prospects? To better teachers? Where is proved that exams motivate students/teachers? There is a lack of thought and a hinit of bureauctatic control pervading current trends. Not to mention cheap political point-scoring and cynical sloganeering. And lots of evidence of top-down authoritarianism and do-gooding on the behalf of people who feel that their route to success i.e. successive exams and pieces of paper, suits everyone.

At the end of the day, business should be training staff not government. The former have stopped doing it particularly as they can’t afford to. But if they bothered to then they’d get the type of staff that they need. If they respond that such training is not needed for the type of manual work that they offer then why are we bothering with Skills for Life at all?
ESL has been bolted on to the SfL agenda to show how successful New Labour has been in traininng the workforce. Especially cunning since you then include those from the new accession states who have literacy and can make rapid progress. This progress can be shown in an even better light when you decide on the things they learn and how they are assessed. Ultimately, the government not only gets to position the goalposts but also gets to construct them and even set the rules of the game. Like playing football with a rugby ball on an ice-rink and making up the rules as you go alone. Feasible but unrewarding to all but a very few positive types.

The answer is to remove government meddling in Education and allow local councils to manage what goes on or better still local NGO’s. Take it out of their control and stop this ever-increasing paternalism. Nanny doesn’t know best in this state.

Comments are closed


Register  |  Login

© 2017 EducationState: the education news blog.. All Rights Reserved. Log in