When we think about our schooling process do we relate positively to that brief period when the sights, sounds and smells of the learning institution filled us with wonderment. Or perhaps we recall the education process with memories of grey buildings, grey classrooms and lacklustre teachers that dimmed our experience.
Our memories of school have a significant if subconscious influence on the way we motivate the education of our own children. The role of a parent in the schooling process is vital. Carrying an indifferent school experience to heart therefore can have a negative influence over future generations. In turn a positive schooling experience can boost the enthusiasm and potentially the achievement of our offspring. Positive vibes and encouragement based on personal experience can influence the child attitude in school hugely.
This poses a stark issue with the on-going quality of our schools. The number of excellent and good schools in the UK is a small proportion of the total. The number of bad school is alarming. The opportunity to adjust the performance of the poor performing schools should be at the forefront of the objectives of the Department for Education.
Instead of constantly tweaking the curriculum or launching short term educational initiatives supreme effort should be focused on improving the standard of all the poor performance schools by 50 per cent. This colossal task needs long-term energy. The resource to support the corrective measures will not be easily found and certainly should not be usurped by the concept of free schools run by local parents and the odd interested teacher.
The crowning achievement of any government would be the overall improvement in schooling. No quarter to be given for manipulating targets or achievements, this needs to be a nationwide onslaught and not just to schools predominantly in one geographical area. The main drawback to this utopian view is the influence of the government’s own educational structure where the gene pool is incredibly small. Yet this proves the point that the excellent schooling achieved by members of the government has been sustained from one generation to the next. Without similar motivation from parents outside government, in all schools, the number of good schools can never expand, and the bad schools are cast into an abyss from which they will never escape.