We must surely build an education system that does the following:
1. Creates opportunities for all students
2. Reduces class sizes to allow teachers to be able to concentrate on all, rather than on those who are 'behaving'
3. Consider reducing school hours. Consider moving hours, to take in later mornings, and longer afternoons.
4. ASK the children and students, what do they want?
5. Bring in more parent control. Allowing parents to come into lessons, and have more of a say in what discipline is used. (For example a parent may indicate that lines have no impact, but a Friday night detention would!)
6. Move away from traditional classrooms, bring in more independent work, allow students and children to actively learn, and gain independence instead of being in a spoon fed mentality.
7. Have School councils in every school that can present information to Governors rather than the Head.
8. Feed the children! More compulsory breakfast clubs, more drinking water, and please someone invent a water bottle that will not spill. Or can be squirted!
9. Examinations in cold dank sports halls? Have every teacher teach at least one lesson a fortnight in the areas that will be used for formal examinations. That does such wonderful things to shatter the fear that many students have during examinations.
10. Have music in schools. Give teachers time to prepare brilliant lessons. Give them the time and resources to create proper learning opportunities within lessons. Use Teaching Assistants in every classroom. Another adult in the room can be instrumental into ensuring that ALL the children learn.
So much could be done. We need to ensure that all children have every opportunity. Get rid of the negative formality. Please someone listen!
And the saddest thing I have seen? A Year 7 student. He couldn't read or write, and he was sent out of every lesson. (In my time I have come across a few children coming into mainstream schooling from Primary School, unable to read or write. Why?!) Something in his eyes showed failure. If only someone had caught him at Primary School. If only someone had him on a one to one basis. His behaviour was pretty bad. But who could blame him? The answer? He was going to be sent to a Special School. He had no disabilities, physically or mentally, but somehow he had been missed.
A school failure.
Someone was to blame, and I do not at all think any blame should have been left with him.