Thursday, March 22, 2007

Your Right To Do As You're Told

Compare and contrast:

"As the Education Secretary will set out, by changing the education leaving age, we will, for the first time in our country's history, make education a right for every young person until 18." G Brown Budget speech, 21.03.07

"From 2015, young people should remain in education or training at least until their 18th birthday... Young people would be required to work towards accredited qualifications... Any enforcement process would be used only as a last resort if a young person refused to re-engage." A Johnson 22.03.07 (could this possibly be the same A Johnson who couldn't wait to leave school at 15 so he could join a rock band?)

As it happens, Tyler was training to be a teacher when the school leaving age was raised to 16 thirty years ago (a long story...). The politicos all said it was A GREAT IDEA. But curmudgeonly old teaching hands grumbled in the smoke-filled staff-room that forcing bolshie 15 year olds to stay on when they didn't want to would lead to a massive discipline crisis, deteriorating education for the kids who were staying on voluntarily, and large dollops of grief all-round.


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