Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Monday, 14 January 2008

Two More Years Of Thought Control

I've been trying not to think about the government's plan to force children to stay in education until they're 18 because I find it so hugely depressing. However the Bill receives its second reading in the Commons today, so I supposed I'd better exit "denial" mode.

Under the Education and Skills Bill, by 2013 all pupils in England will have to stay in education or training until the end of the school year in which they turn 17. And by 2015, this leaving age will be raised to 18.

In a rare use of modern business practices, Gordon Brown labels this bill an educational "opportunity" ("opportunity" usually means "pain in the bum" in today's workplace) and says that this will help us achieve the stated aim of giving our young people world-class skills by 2020. If only.

The problem with world-class skills in that they require world-class education. Brown clearly thinks that if you subject all our young adults to another two years of the dross we're already giving them, that'll do the trick. Those of us who see the products of the education system now know different. He also believes that if someone drops out of a system voluntarily (perhaps because they perceive it to be no bloody good) then forcing them to stay in it against their will rather than fixing the underlying problems is the way forward.

Andy Powell, Chief Executive of the education charity Edge has a more realistic slant: "The bill will be condemned to failure unless the government tackles the reasons why young people drop out in the first place". Exactly.

As you'd expect from the authoritarian thugs who run our country, the bill includes a duty on young people to comply with the regulation, and - somewhat darkly - lumbers parents with a duty "to assist their children to participate". Cue images of parents whose children bunk off being whisked away to face "re-education" themselves in the New Labour equivalent of Outer Siberia (having first paid a few hundred quid in Truancy Tax, of course).

Socialists will love these measures because
..a) they allow the government to massage the unemployment figures;
..b) they increase the time during which people are "dependent" on the State;
..c) they allow the State another two years at indoctrinating our children with all their nannying and social engineering.

And I hate them for exactly the same reasons.

1 comment:

Andrew Allison said...

I am fortunate to serve as a governor at a successful school in Hull; and there aren't that many here.

I agree with what you say. We have problems keeping many children in education before they are 16; goodness knows how many problems we would encounter if we insist they continue to 18. Thankfully, I can't see this bill getting through parliament.

Great blog and thank you for your comments over at my place.