At the same time the children are going through the traumas of our educational system, parents are also involved in nerve-racking games and decisions to give their child the best possible schooling. News of the trials and tribulations involving our national curriculum and the performance of teaching resources at our state schools do little to help pacify an anxious parent concerned for the future of their child.
The whole process is epitomised by the school place allocation. Manoeuvres to place a child in the right school catchment area with the ideal pre-emptive qualifications do not ensure a place in a good school. Traveling distance does not necessarily follow logic with many allocations of places being linked to travel distances as the crow flies. Often this entails several different bus journeys as the as a child makes their way to school via conventional routes rather than bird flight.
The worst-case scenario, despite giving a child ideal moral support at home, arises when their child fails to get into the ideal school. The parent and child can only reminisce as to what might have been. Has their educational prowess been severely limited through attendance at the second tier school? Significant moral fortitude is required by both child and the parent to attempt to succeed when they are severely handicapped by choice of school. The results maybe immediate based on the performance of the school, in which case a parent has the choice of applying additional tutorial support. This can be achieved also by playing educational games to mean to reinforce the learning retention of their child. Unfortunately the performance deficit may be a ticking time bomb. The final exam results achieved in the school leaving the child short of the qualifications needed to further their ideal career. This can be a moment of substantial recrimination. Yet there is nothing new about the situation. For decades there has been a general criticism of the performance of the UK educational system. Certainly there have been exceptional progress from a range of schools but the majority still fall into the average performance category with many still under the watchful scrutiny of OFSTED.
The stress and strains of modern school management and the motivation of the teaching resources creates substantial anxiety with Headteachers. The constant flow of educational initiatives that have been introduced, drawing heavily on the teaching load within a school’s resource, and then abandoned are legion. The result; our educational programme in the UK is on the whole creaking at the seams. Not the ideal news to give to young schoolchildren who are starting their educational journey. Unless somebody with the strength of character to fight the system, and the visionary strategic planning ability to design a new system I cannot see how our groaning educational system can meet the demands ahead.
It is easy to criticise and pontificate over where it all went wrong. We have a core of excellent time served and experienced teaching resources in our schools. Maybe they should be co-opted to design the school of tomorrow that will meet the demands of the next 50 years rather than leaving it to politicians. It’s far more important than that.