Saturday, October 21, 2006

Close this school down and sack the education chiefs.

Some UK state schools are doing such a bad job that they should be closed down immediately.

Collingwood College in Camberley in Surrey is one of those that should be closed down immediately.

And many education chiefs should be sacked, beginning with those working for Surrey County Council.

At Collingwood College, Natashia Jackman, 16, was attacked with a pair of scissors and nearly blinded (ITV.com 6 November 2006 : School slammed over scissors attack)

Natashia Jackman, 16, was the victim of relentless bullying.

Natasha said the school failed to stop the bullying and even made her feel she was to blame.

A survey conducted by the charity, Bullying Online shows that seven out of ten pupils have been bullied at school.

The survey, of 8,500 children, parents and teachers, showed two thirds of those bullied were sometimes afraid to go to school as a result and more than half said teachers failed to stop bullying after it was reported to them.

Natasha's mother Candace listed the abuse she suffered as "spitting on her, throwing rocks at her, following her home from school, taunting her, threatening her, tripping her up as she walked between classes, pushing her downstairs".

Her father said the family repeatedly reported incidents to the school but after initial positive steps, the authorities appeared to "wash their hands of the problem".

A spokesman for Surrey County Council said: "The school's record on bullying is exemplary. It was an isolated case that nobody could reasonably have predicted."

Two girls involved in the attack were sentenced on Friday to 12 month community orders after being convicted of perverting the course of justice.

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We know some British teenagers who do not know the name of the capital city of their own country. They can barely read and write.

Yet they are of average intelligence.

British state schools are bad and getting worse. Many should be closed down.

A re-think of education is required.

All schools should be run privately by non-profit making trusts.

All schools should be small.

The school day should be about 3 hours.

The school leaving age should be around 12.

Much more use should be made of apprenticeships, learning by computer, and 'special' schools.

BBC 1 television should show educational programmes only.

Mothers of young children should stay at home and not go out to work.

According to an article in the Daily Mail, 1 June 2006, more than half of school leavers have problems with the basics:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=388516&in_page_id=1770

Hundreds of thousands of teenagers have such poor mastery of the three Rs they cannot scrape a grade C in the two subjects employers and parents regard as crucial.

They are finishing compulsory schooling without the literacy and numeracy skills they need to "participate in life, learning and work" despite a raft of multi-billion pound Labour initiatives...

And the inability of pupils to get good grades comes despite widespread suspicions that exams have been dumbed down in recent years...

Forty-two per cent of pupils finished 11 years of compulsory education without achieving at least a grade C in GCSE English which means they struggle to read and summarise information accurately or use basic grammar...

Forty-eight per cent - or 301,671 - failed to reach the same standard in GCSE maths meaning they are unable to calculate the area of a room.

A total of 54 per cent - nearly 350,000 - fail to achieve the expected level in both English and maths. The official exams watchdog, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), says pupils need to meet grade C standard - so-called "level two" - to function as citizens...

Just 46 per cent leave school able to read, write and add up properly.

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A three hour school day; a school leaving age of 12

The 1819 Factory Act in the UK limited the working day for children in cotton mills.

What we need now is a Schools Act limiting the school day to three hours.

I would suggest that school hours could be 9 am to 12 noon.

Very few children can concentrate on school work for more than 3 hours per day.

When children are not at school they can enjoy being children.

Interests will vary:

1. Children can work at home or in libraries on interesting homework projects. It would help if every child was given a computer.

2. They can join clubs involved in everything from sport to music to carpentry to journalism ....

3. They can become apprentices in safe and interesting occupations.

4. They can explore their world.Mothers of younger children will be able to spend more time with their offspring.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1505796,00.html

'She's being a total Kelly' wrote Zoe Williams, in the 14 June 2005 Guardian.

Former UK Education Secretary Ruth Kelly wants children to be at school from 8am to 6pm.

An official at the Department for Education and Skills stated: "If we want parents to go out to work to support the family, the days of schools simply being open from 9am to 3pm are over."

Zoe Williams writes: "8 till 6 is a bloody long day."

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