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Politics/Current Affairs

Government Plans To Raise School Leaving Age To 18

Saturday, January 13th, 2007 at 14:53 by Simon Kimber

In a move that will affect around a quarter of all 16 to 18 year olds, education secretary Alan Johnson has announced that the Department for Education and Skill intends to be frog marching all of them into compulsory education by 2013.

Each year the government churns out statistics on how the number of pupils staying in full time education continues to increase and they all pat each other on the back about how it’s a testament to their wonderful education system.  So what better way to bump the numbers up further than just making it compulsory?

It’s not going to hurt their unemployment figures either and next thing you know they’ll be creating loads of pointless public sector jobs just so that they can make them look even better… Oh, hang on…

If you happen to be the managing director of a fast food establishment or supermarket and are having visions of your profits swirling down the plug hole as the Government steals away your source of cheap labour, then please take a deep breath and relax, this could actually work out quite well for you. 

You see, the plan doesn’t necessarily involve keeping teenagers in the classroom until the ripe old age of 18, they just have to remain in some form of training, be it school or workplace.

This will be sure to raise some interesting questions.  How will qualifications be awarded uniformly across all industries?  Will future employers have any idea what these awards mean when interviewing a potential employee? And how many McDonald’s gold stars will be equivalent to an A-Level?

It’s only a matter of time before ASDA gets a government grant for graciously “allowing” 16 to 18 year old to “be trained” on their premises.  If you already scoff at qualifications in “Leisure & Tourism” (looking through holiday brochures) or “Media Studies” (watching telly) then just wait until they award the first NVQ in “Point of Sale Product Distribution And Presentation”.

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5 Comments on “Government Plans To Raise School Leaving Age To 18”

  1. fiona Says:

    Er…..wouldn’t the dept for ed and skills be better looking at the mess they are making of education NOW rather than raising school leaving age????!!!!

  2. Sharon Says:

    While they’re re-arranging the current school system - to turn out functionally literate & numerate pupils, they could run remedial classes for the 16+ students who’ve spent the past 11 years in the system & still aren’t!

    Quite what they plan to do with those who, at 16+, are functionally literate, numerate, & don’t want no more ‘education’ is another matter.

  3. Katy Says:

    The best route -improve the education that is in place now. The teaching levels are dropping. Children are taught to pass exams. School has become a place to churn out the number of A-Cs. By increasing the age; all the government is doing is prolonging the suffering for poor quality education. The colleges can not cope with the numbers they have at present. The classroom sizes are already overflowing and support for students that require it is practically non existent.
    If emphasis is placed on apprentiships - its another means of creating more cheap labour!

  4. danni Says:

    i think its stupid! we already are at school for 11 years why would we wanneer stay for 13

  5. Tim Says:

    It may not be all that bad. So many young people are leaving school without some of the basic skills to get a job or into college. I agree that the government needs to look at the other major issues that are contributing towards this problem, but if they offer the right kind of options for the 16+ to gain extra knowledge, skills and opportunities to get their foot on the ladder, then it can only be a good thing. We will have to watch this space.

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