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May 27, 2004
Cambridge professors paint a grim picture

This is interesting. I don't know how true it really is, but it sounds bad, doesn't it?

Secondary education in England is collapsing under the twin strains of Government pressure on schools and deteriorating pupil behaviour, a report by Cambridge University's faculty of education said yesterday.
Painting a grim picture of bored, aggressive children, hostile parents, and teachers at the end of their tether, the study said the Government's interventionist policies had brought schools to the point where they could no longer deliver what was expected of them.

John MacBeath and Maurice Galton, both professors of education at Cambridge, blamed a rigid, overloaded curriculum, prescribed teaching methods, large classes, imposed targets and "high stakes testing" for creating an atmosphere of "tension and stress".

It was all aggravated by the Government's obsession with the country's performance in international league tables, which meant the pressure on children started from the age of five.

The straw that broke the camel's back was the Government's policy of "inclusion", which forced mainstream schools to admit pupils who were disturbed or had learning difficulties and would previously have gone to special schools.

I'm glad that inclusion got included in the list, and that it was granted the honoured rank of "last straw that broke the came's back".

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:33 PM
Category: This and that
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