Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Wednesday 12 June 2013

Education reform

The education Secretary, Mr Goves, has announced a more 'rigorous' approach to examining our schoolchildren in a move that has brought the usual, antagonistic noises from the NUT, the teachers' union.

It strikes me that Mr Goves, in the face of much evidence that British schoolchildren are educationally falling behind other children in the world, is trying to return to standards last seen when the UK had Grammar schools. These Grammar schools were closed to appease those who, erroneously to my mind, thought that selection at eleven years seriously ruined the prospects of a youngster condemned to a secondary modern education. The truth is that the standard of teachers was in decline as the profession replaced university trained teachers with lesser qualified men and women, prepared in teacher training colleges. These new teachers, not imbued with the true ethos of their profession, were more malleable to the strictures of the politisised unions, who seemed to place the interests of children below their own and their members. In fact the very idea of creating an elite was anathema to this union who espoused mediocrity and appeared to embrace a policy of reducing academic ambition to match that of the dimmest pupils.

Of course, there are good teachers, but it seems to me that the Union is slow to weed out those who fail the children in their classes. that the Union recently passed a vote of no confidence in Mr Goves, is to my mind a clue that he is on the right track. His call for better teaching standards flies in the face of teachers'union demands for less rigour in teaching. It's no good the NUT whingeing; they have been instrumental in the decline of education standards in the UK for the last two generations, aided and abetted by the Labour Party, happy to take their shilling. Like Law, Teaching is another profession to adopt lower standards of behaviour whilst accepting more money from the public purse. Is it any wonder that the public no longer have the respect for these professions as they once did?

The nation needs better teachers but many must be put off by working conditions found in many secondary schools and colleges, with the lack of enforcible discipline amongst pupils and the threat of contravening the many aspects of the Human Rights legislation. Add on to this the possibility of male teachers being wrongly accused of indecent behaviour and you wonder why anyone would want to teach.

It will not be enough for the Education Secretary to introduce a better examination policy allied to a new curriculum that better serves the Nation's needs. He will also have to change the relationship between teacher and pupil to what it once was; where a child understands that he will receive knowledge and wisdom but in return MUST show respect to the Master in an atmosphere that is comfortable to all. Mr Gove must press for the abandonment of the European Human Rights Act and reintroduce appropriate discipline to the nation's schools.

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