The new school year has started. First day photos have been taken, schoolbags have grown heavy with new books, and the reality of homework and early morning alarm clocks is beginning to set in. The evenings are shortening and the papers are speculating about the chances of an Indian Summer. It's September again...
Grammar schools are a step backwards in my opinion. They don't improve social mobility, they don't benefit poor kids and they don't value children in the right way for the things that are really important. I hope the government takes off its rose-tinted glasses and sees these plans for what they are, before it's too late.
After weeks of teasing, Theresa May has finally revealed her plan for the educational reforms. At first glance, it seems clever and full of good intentions: poor kids to get an education previously reserved for the richer, feeder primary schools and university ties to smooth out the remaining corners. But it is a bad set of policies that, whether now in a few years' time, will inevitably fail.
Theresa May wants to return to an outdated system where children are placed in segregated schools depending on their exam results. And the devil take the rest. She tries to hide her divisive approach by cloaking it in warm words, but however she dresses it up, this is still selection. Still winners and many more losers. Still a minority of schools classed as 'good' and the vast majority publicly branded as 'bad'.
According to one recent poll, nearly half the state school teachers in England are planning to leave the profession within the next five years. That's what Mrs May should be worrying about - not turning the clock back to an inglorious past when 75% of children were branded 'failures' at the age of 11.
In a move devoid of any common sense, Theresa May's government looks set to capitulate to the demands of religious groups by relaxing admissions rules for faith-based academies, allowing them to select all pupils along religious lines. It's hard to think of a more retrograde policy than the facilitation of greater religious segregation of children and young people in our education system.
Grammar Schools are once again dominating the British news realm with government plans to take a "pragmatic" look at the construction of new grammar schools. The announcement, luke warm though it was, has been enough to start the familiar debates rolling about Middle Class privilege versus offering opportunities to Working Class children.
I agree and passionately believe that outdoor experiential education needs to be thought of as essential to a child's formal education. While the pursuit of those subjects considered "academic" in its purest sense remain critical to a well-rounded education, schools need to be more than classroom-based exam factories
Perhaps I'm overly anxious, a tad too cautious, a "goodie two shoes", "old before my time"...call it what you will; maybe it's all that people watching, or reading one too many classics, and maybe it becomes a bit of a vicious circle. Either way, I've lived 21 years inside Yasmin's head, and so am going to sum up 21 things that 21 years have taught me..
I've always been told that parenting is putting the kid's needs before your own, I know I'm going to miss so much about living in Hove; the beach, the coffee shops, the unlimited types of club or activities you can try. I'm actually quite sad to leave but before I know it their childhood is going to go by in a flash so my focus has to be on what they need right now.