Shocking practice – for so-called education

Education is about people – I’ve always said that. If you think about it; how could it be about anything else?

Children excluded from the school picnic as reported on BBC news

It is about the development and evolution of our species – although we’re more normally concerned with our own particular individuals within it. But our individuals are part of the wider community, the human race, the planet and other species living on it. And how to live harmoniously in order to sustain it.

That’s what education is about – when you can see the bigger picture.

If anyone dropped in from outer space and observed it I doubt they’d know that – they’d just think it was about statistics and results and a huge political treadmill.

The bigger picture is of course made up of smaller parts; it’s children that most concern us when we think about education.

So when those individuals are treated in a less than harmonious way – like these children I read about recently as an example – it seems a complete contradiction of what education should be and proves the point about statistics – they’ve become more important than humanity.

This reported how a group of children who were unable to maintain a 100% attendance at school were excluded from a party.

I found this a shocking practice that creates a poisonous and divisive attitude to others and to education, clearly focussed on building school statistics not developing educated people. And I’m also shocked that the so-called educated people who make such policies are too uneducated to see it.

In order to develop educated people we have to demonstrate care for them, inspire them, nurture their skills and talents, enable them to extend and apply them to the wider world. This is what education is for isn’t it? It is about people going into the world, developing a relationships with it and the people in it, how this is sustained, so therefore its premise and its role must extend far beyond the small world of schools, institutions, their stats and results and the ensuing politics. And it starts with individuals.

Thankfully there are some in the profession are beginning to see this.

Geoff Barton writing in the TES agrees. He says that education is becoming so insular it is failing to relate to the bigger world out there and the people in it.

He says we must reclaim education as ours.

Well, that’s exactly what thousands of home educators are doing. Their inspirational approaches bypass the institutional treadmill education has become based on stats and attendance, records and results, yet the result of homeschooling is often the same; qualifications for some, higher education, employment, social adept individuals. Yet their approaches are nearly always centred around people – not stat-building.

Which just goes to show how unnecessary it all is. And how unnecessary it is to put kids through the cruel practice described above.


10 thoughts on “Shocking practice – for so-called education

  1. That is a disgraceful policy. It discriminates against children with medical needs too, who must/need to attend hospital appointments etc. How those kids feel, deal with knowing their illness etc is seen as a negative too, and by adults! What message send to others? Poorly, disabled not included in our party/club! Not worthy of…? Sorry, but I find it so immoral.

  2. My sons secondary school did this for their Prom. Children needed 95% attendance to be able to buy a ticket! My son, who would have benefited from Home Ed, but it wasn’t possible for me at the time, was thankfully non plussed about the Prom. He was more interested in the after party on a farm! And no one was telling him he couldn’t go to that!
    It was a very unfair system at a school that was one of the leading ones in the county we lived in. When I say leading…I mean in results and statistics…

  3. The school my children used to attend used to take the children with 100% attendance to Pizza Hut. Then a new head came in and she used to bring in a pile of take-away pizzas and hand them out to the 100% attendance kids during lunch. Always struck me as deeply wrong. She also used to hand out Easter Eggs and Christmas selection boxes throughout the year to the 100% attendance kids. Never once gave out any prizes for achievement.
    Understand why she did it, but felt her career and promotion prospects were more important to her than the welfare of the children.
    Terrible, horrible, system. So glad we are out of it.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your story – always appreciated. I recently read of studies which show that this kind of competition has NO positive outcomes at all and does more harm than it encourages! It’s hateful!

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