Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Our Children Are Our Future

Under a large headline in today’s Scotsman stating - Scots children world-leaders in healthy lifestyles, we’re then told that the reason behind this headline is that at age eleven around half of our kids eat fruit every day placing us second in the world to Portugal. However by age thirteen we’ve dropped to 19th place and 21st by fifteen. At eleven Scotland’s rated 6th for physical exercise which drops to 19th by fifteen. We’re also ranked second amongst thirteen year olds for having been drunk twice.

World leaders? Utter rubbish from the Scotsman. Then again our survey driven mentality, our obsession with league tables and this kind of management by ranking is what gets in the way of our society. You don’t need league tables to judge these kind’s of things. Comparing kids here with forty other countries around the world is daft. Spend the money on education not surveys!
Yet we’re told yesterday that over a thousand new teachers will graduate this year in Scotland and yet there’s only 600 places in schools for them, this will add to the 1,600 still awaiting a permanent place. The Scottish government says no problem there’s 6,000 teachers retiring this year.

Now how is this supposed to be good news? Wasn’t the SNP all about reducing class sizes. We should be spending more and more on education, it should be a top spending priority. It is only through education that we can hope to eradicate some of the problems….and of course physical education should be right up there.


Richard Madeley said...


Actually, I agree. Education can solve so many of our current social ills, it's both sad and staggering to see how teachers have become in thrall to political ideology. Days and evenings taken up with marking unnecessary test papers just so the government can keep an eye on how everybody is doing... They are obsessed with league tables not actually teaching children important lessons.

I will be happy the day teachers can go back to giving students marks for saying something intelligent, rather than having to give marks for their simply having jumped through government prescribed hoop.

Richard Havers said...

Spot on Mr. M. As ever the voice of reason.