League Tables have so much to answer for. Publicising them in the papers etches led schools to be obsessed but them. There was none of this in my day. S=Many people even believe that a D is a pass and are amazed when I inform them that a G is a pass. No wonder those who are not academic feel failures. We need to rethink the qualification system so that it is more flexible.
What Price Failure:
There should be a range of different types of qualifications from which to choose, according to the needs of learners, and at a pace which suits learners. A qualification which motivates the learner, and results in real skill acquisition and into employment. Furthermore the qualification network should continue to be available as a right to all citizens throughout their lives. On-line learning, apprenticeships, sandwich courses leading to guaranteed employment, Open University degrees should all be part of an inclusive life-long education experience.
Assessment methods should not just be confined to traditional examinations, which really do not suit all learners. Indeed, the very timing of the GCSEs coinciding with experiences and difficulties, which may be traumatic to the adolescent, needs to be flexible and based on the needs of the child and not the convenience of the school. Modular study, workbased learning, all should have a place within the new qualification framework.
I would like to see a complete refocus of the qualification structure so that it results in re-skilling the nation, improving employment prospects, whilst ensuring our children are learning how to learn, find pleasure in the discovery of knowledge, so motivating a lifetime love of learning. Our children are not commodities being delivered to the nation from a conveyor belt. They are individuals, with differing gifts and talents. They are our future, and it makes sense to develop the skills and talents, to rejoice in that diversity, rather than aim for a homogenised education system resulting in some highly qualified graduates that cannot get jobs, and an underclass of uneducated, unmotivated individuals who feel a failure and have no hope.