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Education: inspirational or instrumental? A talk for the Chinese Senior Civil Servants’ Programme 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Education: inspirational or instrumental? A talk for the Chinese Senior Civil Servants’ Programme 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Education: inspirational or instrumental? A talk for the Chinese Senior Civil Servants’ Programme 2004

2 It is important in understanding English Education… …to distinguish between… …schools that are maintained by the state… …and schools that are independent of the state

3 State schools are paid for through taxation… …and required to teach the National Curriculum… …and whose standards are monitored by the government’s inspection service

4 7% of English children are educated independently… …their parents paying fees in addition to their taxes… …these schools do not have to teach the National Curriculum (though many do)… …and they have their own inspection service… …although they are monitored by the DfES too

5 I shall be talking only about state schools… …and only about state schools in England… …because Scotland, Wales and Ireland all have their own… …very different educational systems

6 There are 23,000 primary schools… …and 4,500 secondary schools in England… …25% of these schools are run by the Church… …and a very small number by other faith groups

7 The Structure of the State Education System in England The Secretary of State The DfES QCA OfSTED The Local Education Authorities Schools’ Governing Bodies

8 5.2% of our gross domestic product is spent on schools… …giving a budget of £5500 per pupil… …this money is distributed through the Local Education Authorities… …who withhold about £500 per child for special educational, needs, transport and administration

9 Schooling is compulsory for all children between 5 and 16 in England and these children are divided into 4 ‘Key Stages’: Key Stage One – age 5-7 Key Stage Two – age 7-11 Key Stage Three – age 11-14 Key Stage Four – age 14-16

10 At 16 pupils take the General Certificate of Secondary Education… …in anything up to 13 subjects… …after which they can, if they choose, leave school for good

11 There is a great deal of discussion currently, however… …about whether the years from 14-19… …shouldn’t be treated as a complete unit, perhaps abolishing the GCSE… …so that children, at 14 get ‘locked into’ a path that takes them to 19… …giving them less incentive to leave at 16

12 Our government is currently aiming… … to get 50% of our young people into further or higher education… …though this goal is hugely controversial… …many people, including many universities being very unhappy about it

13 …I shall be talking only about the years of compulsory schooling… …and mainly about secondary schooling

14 The National Curriculum was introduced in 1988 by the Education Reform Act It was a response to concerns about: lack of coherence in the system falling standards

15 The Core Subjects of the National Curriculum are English, Maths and Science… …every child must study each of these throughout the years of their compulsory schooling

16 The foundation subjects of the National Curriculum are… …history, geography, modern languages, music, art, PE, design and technology, information technology and citizenship… …pupils must study these until they finish Key Stage Three… …but then they can drop some of these subjects

17 Every pupil in every school in the country must, throughout the years of compulsory schooling… … study religious education… …using a syllabus decided locally… …to ensure that it is sensitive to local concerns… …but this syllabus must ‘recognise the fact that our country has a Judeo-Christian tradition’

18 The ‘common requirements’ of the National Curriculum: Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development Equal opportunities for different genders, ethnicities, disabilities and disadvantaged Promote the use of English and ICT across the curriculum

19 The ‘Key Skills’: * Communication *application of number *information technology *working with others *improving own learning and performance *problem solving *thinking skills *financial capability *enterprise and entrepreneurial skills *work-related learning *education for sustainable development

20 The Programmes of Study: Knowledge and Understanding Skills Breadth of Study

21 Attainment targets set out the targets that pupils should have attained by certain stages Level Descriptions set out the levels at which they might attain these targets At 7, 11 and 14 pupils sit SATs (Standardised Attainment Tests) to measure their attainment At 16 pupils sit the General Certificate of Education in a number of subjects (sometimes as many as 13)

22 Every maintained school in the country… … is inspected on a regular basis by OfSTED (the Office for Standards in Education)… …if they do not meet the requirements the schools can be closed… …or put into ‘special measures’

23 OfSTED’s reports on each school are published… … and must be made available to parents on request… …newspapers use them to construct ‘league tables’… …that rank schools according to their results in SATs, GCSE and A-Level

24 Current educational issues in England: Diversity of schooling Parental choice Initiative Overload ‘Death by Examination’ Grade Inflation Instrumentalism

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