Wednesday, March 11, 2015

School Targets, and Why I Disagree

I read last weeks Reasons to be Cheerful post, by Kate on Thin Ice, and it got me thinking (ranting) about school targets.

In fact, the British school system, as a whole.
 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It feels, to me, like common sense and individuality has been thrown out of the window, and replaced with scores and targets. The school system is now so full of red tape, that the child is getting lost.

I currently have a child in each step of the system (in the old sense, not the yr1-yr11 sense). I have one in the infants, about to go to the primary. I have a tween in the first year of the local comprehensive. Then I have a teen in College. I point this out so that you can see, although this is personal opinion, I've had experience of them all.

I've recently been to a teacher meeting, at the comprehensive, where my sons current targets (amongst other things) were discussed. I'm not going to tell you what those targets were, that's irrelevant, but the targets were all the same, for every subject. This has changed, in the year since, my teen left! 

When he was there, he was given targets for individual lessons. So, for example, he may have been good at maths, but not English, so the target would be different in both. Now they have decided that if you can be good in one subject, you can be good at them all!

I cannot express how utterly ridiculous I find this!

What if your child is very athletic? So good in fact, that he/she could easily hit an 8? That means, that child, is under pressure to be good at everything................from the age of 11?! How can that make any sense??

This has resulted in more and more homework being sent home with the child, just to keep up. So, in a day and age when we are constantly being told our children have far too much screen time, and not enough outdoor time, we are being told to spend more time, guess where? On a screen.

Which brings me to another thing that bugs me. What about the child that can't afford a PC? 
Go to the libraries, I hear you shout. 
What, you mean the ones that are closing, left right and centre? 

I refuse to buy a printer, that will ONLY be used to print off my sons homework! So I send him in with a memory stick, to be printed in school. There is still a problem though, we have openoffice...........the school has Microsoft office. They can't print it without help! 

Our current school system is rife with bullying, targets and pressure. Our children have to deal with that on a daily basis, because the teachers are wrapped up in red tape and have no other option than to follow the rules. I am, in no way, blaming the teachers, I know some awesome teachers.

It's just the system we have been forced into.

I wish there was a way we could fight against it, but there isn't. The 'powers that be' decide how the education system is run. Unfortunately it means the individuality of children is pushed out, from an increasingly younger age.

I will be ignoring my sons targets, as I will for my other sons. They will do the best they can, and for that I will be forever proud of them.
If you agree with this, please feel free
to share it about. Maybe it will help
get our voices heard!

10 comments:

  1. Jo, I think the world of education has gone mad too. In a few weeks time we will have a general election and if a different party are in power it will all change again. There was nothing wrong with the way I was taught back in the 80's. I have an MA to prove that but yet things need to be changed time and time again. The only thing that needs up dating is where technology comes in.

    I was the same school year as you and in our day an A meant an A. Now with A*'s does that mean my A is suddenly not the top score?

    A child can only achieve what they are capable of and as long as the correct support system is in place for them to achieve their potential that is all as parents we can ask.

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    1. That's right! Our education was ok, now it's not good enough? Ridiculous x

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  2. I've not yet to experience this but it does seem insane. Surely a target should be the best that that child can achieve or hope to achieve in each subject.

    As for computer use. It drives me mad. For starters, I had a printer which was put in the office at the farmhouse which everyone used to use. Then my MIL gave me a Christmas present of a printer....errr? So I now have a printer that has no home except the floor behind the chair in the corner, is never used and doesn't work. So N will never be able to print any work out. Added to that our broadband is shocking. It's just about 1mpb. It's workable. But our nephew's house a mile down the road, couldn't get onto the internet in the evenings to download his homework requirements let alone to do the work. His parents asked to get a paper copy of the homework and was told no, it had to all be done online. So they've had to pay to get rural 'highspeed' broadband installed, shove a dish on the side of their house, and pay an additional £15-20 a month so that their son can access homework.

    So not fair...while I understand that the internet and computers are essential for moving forward (although I can't say it's held me back not having had a computer in the house until I was in 6th form), I can't see why students seem to do nothing written any more.

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    1. It is to much isn't it! Suddenly we are paying through the nose, for a free education!?

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  3. Fuck that and a bag of frogs.
    I'm so annoyed at how the education system is deteriorating. We should celebrate and encourage a child's individual talents not pressure them to achieve the unachievable. I was atrocious at maths, failed it 3 times, but history..geography and DT... BOOM,I rocked those. Not forgetting my double science which I aced.
    The pressure on kids is ridiculous, if and when the teachers tell me my boys should be achieving the same across the board I shall walk out laughing my ass off, my boys will always do their best, if that's not good enough the school and education need a long hard look at themselves.

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    1. Exactly! We all have talents on different areas. Your boys are just stating through the system, and already you are seeing the down side x

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  4. I hate hate hate these bloody school targets for work and attendance its pissing me right off!!i was happy with my daughters report but knew at parents evening Id get loads of pushing comments so although controversial im sure I stuck two fingers up to patents this year and I don't regret it!!

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    1. It's even worse when the children are as young as yours! They should be learning through play, not target driven, at that age x

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  5. Lord no! Really?@*£$! Is this as a result of the 'new curriculum changes' that were brought in this year? Hangs head in despair. The targets culture was bad enough as it is without getting worse! PS Have you heard of www.savechildhood.net? Brilliant movement of brilliant professionals working their butts off to convince the govt to change its stupid educational ways. Gove treated them with disdain. Enough said.

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    1. I will take a look at that website, Thanks! It's not as if my son isn't hitting them, I just think it's ridiculous x

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