Education policy needs more than just a decrease in tuition fees and a stop to free schools. The coalition has an education policy, its clear, un-diluted and frank; disagree with Gove and co but they know what their ideal vision of an education system is. Every school is an academy, a market place in Higher Education and strict curriculum with academic principles stringently adhered to, and every 16 year old should know how to count to 12 in Latin.
The left have vacated the Education space allowing the right to be radical. This is partly because the current Education policy are continuations of policies began by New Labour in the early 2000’s, just taken to their inevitable end. This said, there needs to be a new intellectual framework used by those on the left to underpin Education and the left needs to dare to be radical on an area of policy which can be a vote winner as well as have economic, social and cultural impact on every person in the country. The left needs to reclaim this space, it has historical precedent, with the two great educational changes of the 20th century implemented by the left, first the introduction of Grammar Schools and Secondary moderns in the 40’s and the Comprehensive revolution in the 60’s both have now been dismantled to a lesser and greater extent.
Governments have obsessed over structure for decades and have often missed the most crucial aspect of education for the majority of parents, teachers and business, the teacher pupil relationship in the classroom and out. With this in mind I have set out an Educationalist manifesto for the 21st century system of education:
1) An integrated system of primary, secondary, FE and Higher Education to best fit all education pathways to the individual.
2) The creation of innovation, vocational, and industry partnered colleges across the UK, to offer alternatives pathways to academic degree, Higher Education.
3) Allow Student Loans to be used at any point in a students life, for whatever level of study, at a fixed rate of interest, at £3,000 per year.
4) Scrap exams at 16 and AS, with the final and only set of external qualifications set at 18 and begin primary education aged 7.
5) Each child must have a secondary language by 18,
6) The curriculum is written by teachers, academics and industry.
7) IT coding, science, English, Maths taught until 18.
8) Education is not the answer to every societal ill, it needs a co-ordinated effort from a variety of agencies, including housing, health, and social services.
9) Teachers are trained on a 3 year course, with the second two years in school on the job, each teacher has to sign a contract to stay as a teacher for at least five years, if there PGCE is paid for and therefore PGCE are all paid for.
10) Education policy is devolved to regions within England.