Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Getting the right start – School selection

Over the last couple of weeks the news that has been revolving around the educational world and some of then national headlines has been the selection process of parents selecting a school for their child. According to news today one in five parents didn’t get their child in to their first choice school. Now I know every parent wants the best for their child but my parents never got the chance to select my school, I just went to my nearest school and got a quite adequate education.

When did this first come in to place that parents could choose? I am all for parents taking an active role in their child’s development but the question I have is how can someone know where a child is going to learn and develop the best? Yes you can look at schools and see which have the best facilities and which fair the best in league tables but there may be schools which have less facilities or that don’t fair so highly in league tables but are more suited for your child’s development. It may be at a school lower down the league table that there may be an inspirational teacher that gets your child enthused in a subject or they may learn more by having to make do with not the best text books or equipment.

On top of all of this there are other factors which aren’t measurable like the development of personal and social skills which happen at schools. Going to school is not just about grades it is about developing and growing as a person who is ready for the world after school. Like I have had said in previous blogs a more important and measurable league table for schools would be to compare every school on what jobs their pupils ending up going to do after they finished education.

Now I’m not judging parents here who have to place their children at schools which aren’t their nearest because their nearest is full. Remember though if you do send your child to a school further away when there are local schools available you have to factor in the lost time through travelling that may affect their ability to perform and develop as well as the affects that moving them out of their social circle and putting them in to a new one will have whether positive or negative.

If each child had to go to their nearest school it would in my opinion improve the overall standard of schools and remove elitism in education and in society. Some of the world’s greatest world changers went to some of the most so called deprived schools. A pupil shouldn’t be judged by the school that they go to but on their own abilities. It’s like with league tables parents put so much importance on looking at the league table which encompasses every student at the school when really they are and should only be worried about their child’s education not everyone else’s.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

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