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If mumsnet could rewrite how Education works from scratch what woud you want to see?

(103 Posts)
RippleEffects Sat 17-Mar-18 13:55:24

We're lucky to have free education but in many ways it doesn't seam to really fit modern life. Long ridgid holidays, short ridgid days. Leveled by year of birth through primary not ability or readiness for formal education. I just wonder if we started again how could we do it completely differently?

I'd like schools to be open 51 weeks a year (1 week for maintenance) From 7am to 7pm, education to be modular with a legal requirement to do x modules per year, each pupil would have a budget for those hardest up this would be larger and for those with special needs in mainstream again additional budget allowance to allow for smaller groups or extra support for modules. We've got all these fantastic buildings and facilities yet we use them for 1/4 hours in the day.

For those, the majority, who currently use some form of childcare they could build into their child's timetable some recreational modules and study/ homework modules so it's not a case of getting home from after school club and having to go straight to homework.

The curiculum could include a lot more topics including a wide range of sports, recreational activities, more creative studies and the broader academic topics that maybe are more frequently seen in private schools like politics and a greater selection of languages.

Children who excel in sport could really pursue this and still have a full school life. Likewise those who excel in a subject wouldn't be restricted from extending their learning, moving onto the next module when they're ready rather than when their peer group is at that stage.

School holiday premiums would become a thing of the past as breaks from school wouldn't matter so long as x modules got completed.

What would you want to see?

ChodeofChodeHall Sat 17-Mar-18 13:59:47

Financial admin skills, such as how to understand your tax code, how payday loans work and why they should be avoided.

DadOnIce Sat 17-Mar-18 14:02:51

If schools are to be open 51 weeks of the year, rather than the current 39, are all teachers expected to work the additional 60 working days this would entail?

60 days X every teacher in the country X every school in the country is an awful lot of extra funding to find.

Unless they're expected to do 60 more days on the same salary. Good luck getting that one past the unions.

ImOnAnAdjectiveSearch Sat 17-Mar-18 14:11:27

How on earth do you think that is a feasible system?

How can teaching a child to read be done in a module?!

Babytalkobsession Sat 17-Mar-18 14:13:55

I'd scrap exams and testing in primary, and make it all less this. Instead, id like the primary focus is to be developing children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, problem solving, working together to work something out.

And in secondary school, more focus on real life. Vocational learning. Practical life skills like e.g. how mortgages work, interest rates etc. Also, proper decent career advice. I know so many people stuck on a path they chose at 18.

RippleEffects Sat 17-Mar-18 14:21:50

It's not a thread about how to get from here to where ever there is. Its about if we started from scratch, where would there be?

But of the top of my head, people do like familiarity and for a high percentage of people i.e. current teachers they'd probably still teach 9 -3 Monday- Fri. But maybe they'd choose to vary their holiday times. Numbers of parents who wanted to access 7 - 7 would be limtied and so it would be a case of supply and demand as to how many staff were needed for full hours.

Doing 7 - 7, 51 weeks a year would have a cost to it. Free education would be as now x hours/ year but the convenience would be the full wrap around or doing a concise academic year. Extra curicular stuff all being from a central point avoiding being a parent taxi as soon as your home from work freeing up adults to be more productive as employees and giving more flexi vilify to children in the range of things they could pursue.

Teachers could even choose to do extra modules for extra pay and smaller group work again as paid extras like paid pre exam tuition within the school environment.

TalkinPeace Sat 17-Mar-18 14:25:54

No Church Schools
No selective state schools
No political interference in the curriculum (have it governed by a technocratic quango)

KEEP the holidays - teachers need them
KEEP the standard term dates - so that teachers kids are not disadvantaged

Make money management be a core part of the maths curriculum from Year R yo Year 11

viques Sat 17-Mar-18 14:28:13

I would like early years education and educators given the training, reverence, respect and funding that is given to AL work and teaching.

The rest will follow.

RippleEffects Sat 17-Mar-18 14:30:50

Yes, yes, yes. Mixed education for all.

Those who want to stick with fixed terms I.e. current teachers would be ble to.

DH is a teacher and we have often ended up with different term dates - for a while we had three DC at three schools, DH at a fourth. Great fun trying to book a holiday!

UpstartCrow Sat 17-Mar-18 14:34:15

Shorter holidays.
More life skills and vocational classes, including parenting and First Aid.
More contact between trades and schools, give kids a taster of different jobs such as paramedic, fire brigade, police, nursing.

caroldecker Sat 17-Mar-18 14:36:42

Stop schools doing anything that is not academic. Reduce school hours.

tamaraboomdeay Sat 17-Mar-18 14:37:40

Get rid of league tables. Wide range of different schools for different children so there should be grammar schools, excellent technical schools, more creative type places eg more focus on drama/music/art etc, faith schools... End of one size fits all. All equally high quality, well-funded and sought after - no concept that a non-grammar is in any way worse, just different.

Teaching well paid with plenty of time in the school day to prepare lessons and mark - strictly no working beyond 5 or 6 pm or in holidays. Teaching to be a highly sought-after career, only the very best can do it and masters degree plus expected. All schools to be under local authority control especially of financial management - no profit to be made from education.

Excellent resources for children with special needs or emotional or behavioural issues - all sympathetic and not punitive.

Exams at age 18 only, school leaving exam. But this not to be punitive or affect school ranking or teachers' pay.

School facilities to be well-maintained and free school meals for all to be provided - breakfast and lunch - all healthy and organic.

University education and nursery care from age 2 to be free for all. Nursery care below that age to be heavily subsidised.

School terms to remain as they are but adults' work to be rescheduled to fit around school hours not the reverse.

School to include free enrichment activities for all children not just the rich eg music lessons, horse riding, watersports, range of languages etc etc. Children to be treated with respect and kindness, in the same way we want them to treat others.

All Education Ministers must have been educated in the state sector and have worked in education. All education policies to be decided by panels of education experts with meaningful consultation with all parents.

Ofsted to be replaced with a supportive agency there to help ensure all teachers are the best they can possibly be.

All private education to be banned.

FE to be very well financed with top quality vocational education - apprenticeships etc.

This would all pay for itself as we would very soon have the happiest and most successful workforce in the world.

Appuskidu Sat 17-Mar-18 14:37:43

Definitely no church schools and agree that education should totally come out of the hands of the government but instead be led by a team of educators using sound evidence-based research which is given time (years/decades not months) to embed before any changes are made.

I think I’d have Primary school lessons being taught in the mornings and more vocational PE/art/music/ drama going on in the afternoons by instructors whilst the morning teachers have non-contact time. I definitely wouldn’t want to see schools operating from 7-7 for 51 weeks of the year! Maintenance at any school I’ve worked in has gone on solidly for 6 weeks in the summer, plus in the other holidays-buildings would be unsafe if there was only 1 week a year to get things done.

I would delay the school starting age to 7 and make the first years very play-based.

Scrap Ofsted and league tables and have peer review systems within local schools to promote and share good practice in a non-judgemental way.

Scrap attendance percentages.

Scrap homework in primary school.

grafittiartist Sat 17-Mar-18 14:41:43

No faith or selective schools.
Every subject being equally valued.
Free meals.

Appuskidu Sat 17-Mar-18 14:42:42

Scrap homework in primary school

To clarify-I mean ban crappy worksheets and drawing posters.

I would want parents to read to and with their child daily and practise counting, board games, weighing, cooking, singing, puzzles, going to museums and parks and then things like number bonds and times tables as their homework expectations.

IThinkThatsWeird Sat 17-Mar-18 14:50:25

No private schools
No selective schools
No religious Schools
No single sex Schools

Everyone goes to their local school.
Extra resources for schools in difficult areas
Sport or exercise every day

Four even length terms

No homework until senior school

Rework of final exam timings so students only apply to University AFTER they have their results to remove the ridiculous guesswork and gambling that currently goes on. (Ie ridiculously inaccurate predicted grades etc)

BumpowderSneezeonAndSnot Sat 17-Mar-18 14:52:29

Bring back selective education and make it as important to educated for a trade as a profession

Ban preparation for Ofsted. They should be able to walk in on any given day and your standards are the same regardless.

Have teachers run their classes and put prep back into their own time - not the kids time. If you're relying on TAs to run the class, pay them the same as teachers and treat them as such.

Ban SATS. They're there to evidence teachers have met their performance targets nothing more and the pressure they put on kids is grossly unfair.

Appuskidu Sat 17-Mar-18 14:59:20

Rework of final exam timings so students only apply to University AFTER they have their results to remove the ridiculous guesswork and gambling that currently goes on.

Yep-very sensible.

Have teachers run their classes and put prep back into their own time - not the kids time.

There’s already plenty of prep in teachers’ own time. I would get rid of 95% of the crap that teachers are asked to do, then there would probably be no need to have PPA time!

Thetruthfairy Sat 17-Mar-18 15:03:35

A 12 hour school day! Poor kids.

I completely agree with Tamara's post.

DressAndGo Sat 17-Mar-18 15:05:40

Most adults don't do a fucking 12 hour day!!!

Why on earth did you bother to have children?

TalkinPeace Sat 17-Mar-18 15:06:08

Banning private education is not a good idea.
The countries that have tried find that either kids are educated illegally or they are educated abroad.
Abolishing tax breaks for private schools makes complete sense though.

BumpowderSneezeonAndSnot Sat 17-Mar-18 15:06:22

I would like to see it made compulsory for schools to offer decent wrap round care at affordable rates - not run by teaching staff but by childcare providers - to support working families

BumpowderSneezeonAndSnot Sat 17-Mar-18 15:07:08

And by wrap round I don't mean kicking them out at 4pm like most do I mean offering full day provision!

BrownBiscuitBarrel Sat 17-Mar-18 15:08:25

Primary school: cut class size in half, so around 15.
Teach these half classes maths, writing, science in the morning. The other half of the classes join together and have gym, drama, music etc. After lunch swap around.
Change every week so the same kids aren't getting always getting academic subjects in the morning.
Get rid of 'mini office worker' uniforms and get the kids in comfortable shorts/track suit trousers and neat t-shirts. Get rid of shoe shoes and let them wear whatever they want.

wanderings Sat 17-Mar-18 15:08:51

All Education Ministers must have been educated in the state sector and have worked in education.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

This. We don't want this relentless top-down management from Education Ministers whose only experience of education was being a pupil at Eton or similar.

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