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Old 11-12-2006, 11:09 AM   #1
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Plans to raise the UK school leaving age to 18.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6135516.stm

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S GOOD AND GREAT:

NO!

It's bad enough that the EMA (which I'm still bitter about being one year too late to claim by the way) is encouraging people who blatantly don't want to be there to study for their A-levels instead of pursing employment/NVQs/Apprenticeships which would be far more suitable for them but forcing people to stay on is absolutely ridiculous. If sixteen year olds are old enough to have kids and get married then they're old enough to make a mature decision about their future. Also this isn't the Seventies where you could leave school having studied for no qualifications whatsoever, GCSEs and NVQs are still sought after by employers. It isn't as if we've reached the stage where NVQs or good GCSE grades are worthless.

I'm not saying the British education system is perfect, there are many, many people out there who will have been let down by it but raising the leaving age isn't the answer.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:19 AM   #2
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Im sure it's the answer to whatever social crisis the Blair government seems to latch onto (from a foreigners perspective) as a means to take more control over peoples lives; be it yobboism to justify CCTV cameras or in this case forcing people to stay in school to seed more productive citizens, it's seems like the sort of authoritarianism the public will go along with.
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:09 PM   #3
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People are leaving school without decent qualifications. They will be stuck in the same dead end job all their life if they dont get anything under their belt.
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:14 PM   #4
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And it's the governments job to make sure that they are kept in school until they can vote?

Having a system where everybody has to be dragged through would make high school qualificiations worthless and would penalise those who can make a better go at it outside of school.
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:20 PM   #5
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Thank GOD this won't be coming into play in my school life, I'm leaving next year.
I honestly think the government doesn't want children to actually have a life. I thought education was setting you up for life, not actually being your life. Can't it be optional whether you stick it out for another two years? What about kids who aren't very academic who could go out and get apprenticeships? Its just wasting another two years of their lives doing subjects they don't want to learn.
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:39 PM   #6
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I'm not all that familiar with UK secondary schools. At what age are most students finished with secondary schooling?
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Old 11-12-2006, 01:34 PM   #7
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You have to stay at school till 16 and take GCSE exams or equivalent. If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you can then choose to stay in education for another two years and do A levels (which are divided into two sections. An AS level which you take at 17 which can either be a qualification in its own right or one half of an A level. At 18 you'll take an A2 level exam which is the second half of an A level to make up a full A level. It used to be that you studied for two years and then did full A level exams at the end of the two years study but a few years ago now they split it into the two halves of AS and A2 that we have today. Confused yet? ). You can then go on to uni if you wish.

In Scotland it's all a bit different. They do exams called Standard Grades at 16 and can then leave school or they can stay on for one year to study Scottish Highers. They can then go on to uni at 17 if they want to.
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Old 11-12-2006, 01:37 PM   #8
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Sorry, you asked what most students did not what they had to do. I'd say from my experience about two thirds of my year left at 16 with the rest staying on. About half a dozen people then left after doing their AS Levels and never completed the full A level.
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Old 11-12-2006, 01:40 PM   #9
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Can you get through faster if you do the work at an accerated pace? For example in the US you can skip grades if you can do the work -- I finished at 16 what most people finish at 17 or 18. Is that an option there -- say to take the GCSE at 15 and then the A2 at 17?

This really doesn't have much to do with the topic at hand, but I figured I'd ask while there was someone who might know.
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Old 11-12-2006, 01:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by WildHoneyAlways
I'm not all that familiar with UK secondary schools. At what age are most students finished with secondary schooling?
Generally the majority of students do stay on at the moment until they're 18 with more and more being encouraged to continue on to further full time university education.
I can't see this scheme working though. Truancy is a big enough problem at the moment and there are always going to be a certain number of kids who aren't academically able and who just won't want to stay at school any longer than the minimum. It's fine encouraging kids to stay on to do vocational courses to improve their chances but no way should it be made compulsory. Of course it would reduce the unemployment figures though
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Old 11-12-2006, 01:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greenlight

Of course it would reduce the unemployment figures though
Being the cynic I am, I suspect this is a big part of the reason for this proposal.
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra
Can you get through faster if you do the work at an accerated pace? For example in the US you can skip grades if you can do the work -- I finished at 16 what most people finish at 17 or 18. Is that an option there -- say to take the GCSE at 15 and then the A2 at 17?

This really doesn't have much to do with the topic at hand, but I figured I'd ask while there was someone who might know.
And do you know what? I don't know the answer! Erm, when I was at school you could take one GCSE a year early but certainly not all of them, I think trying to cram all the GCSE courses into one year would be impossible.

As for skipping years- there was this absolute genius girl when I first started school (so I was 6) who got moved up to the next year which was rare enough but skipping years at secondary school is, I think, really frowned upon and will only happen in the most exceptional of circumstances.

OK, I suppose I really don't have a clue about the answer to your question all I know is I've never heard of it happening.
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greenlight

Of course it would reduce the unemployment figures though
Are you trying to suggest that our Glorious Leader doesn't have best interests of the nation's youth at heart?!

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Old 11-13-2006, 05:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheQuiet1


Are you trying to suggest that our Glorious Leader doesn't have best interests of the nation's youth at heart?!

As if, but I'm an optimist so you never know pigs might fly one day
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheQuiet1


And do you know what? I don't know the answer! Erm, when I was at school you could take one GCSE a year early but certainly not all of them, I think trying to cram all the GCSE courses into one year would be impossible.

As for skipping years- there was this absolute genius girl when I first started school (so I was 6) who got moved up to the next year which was rare enough but skipping years at secondary school is, I think, really frowned upon and will only happen in the most exceptional of circumstances.

OK, I suppose I really don't have a clue about the answer to your question all I know is I've never heard of it happening.
Haha! Thanks for the info. Come to think of it I didn't skip any grades during secondary school. I started school a year early and then skipped the eighth grade (which is just prior to secondary school for those who aren't familiar with the US system).

And in my experience it is true that most kids who skip a grade generally do so in the earlier grades. Now my overachieving older brother... he completed nearly two years of college while still in high school. And my older sister was such a delightful student I continually got "why can't you be more like your sister?" comments throughout school. A little note to teachers -- that is NOT the way to motivate students. I generally looked at the teachers who said that, thought "Fuck you, asshole!" and quit working completely in that class.

Oh. Sorry. That wasn't really on the subject at all, but I hated school when I was a kid and if I hadn't graduated at 16 I would have dropped out. And it did feel good to rant.
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:14 AM   #16
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You don't want kids to have an education, and, yet, you'll be the same people to whine when they're on welfare for the rest of their lives too.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:19 AM   #17
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And when they have a worthless piece of paper saying they were dragged throgh High School until they were 18 it will affect those rates how much? If they are going to go into vocational training then they will, if they are going to end up as dole bludgers they will; keeping people in a system they don't want to be in is a waste of resources and effort and it would be to the detriment of any system.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus
You don't want kids to have an education, and, yet, you'll be the same people to whine when they're on welfare for the rest of their lives too.
Actually, I was being pretty facetious, (I don't think unemployed 16 or 17 year olds are generally counted in the unemployment figures) but I do think that unemployment is one of the underlying issues here. With thousands of immigrants arriving each month taking up a lot of the low paid, low skilled jobs I think there is a worry that there will be an underclass of long term unemployed nationals who haven't got the skills to get a job.
Of course everyone wants kids to have a proper education, and I don't think anyone has said that that isn't the case, but Labour are approaching it with their usual nanny state attitute. To keep disaffected, disruptive pupils at school any longer than the current school leaving age would be disastrous, both for them and for all the other pupils and teachers. By all means encourage as many as possible to stay on but I think it would be far better to teach those less academically able kids proper vocational skills at a younger age say from 14, if necessary through work placements/apprentice schemes etc so they've got a chance of a decent career.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus
You don't want kids to have an education, and, yet, you'll be the same people to whine when they're on welfare for the rest of their lives too.
Of-course I want kids to have a decent education which is what they ought to be getting during the 11 years that they currently have be at school for. Unfortunately for many people this isn't the case (the people let down by the system I mentioned in my original post). What we ought to be doing is investing money in improving the quality of education and, like greenlight says, the amount of vocational courses on offer to GCSE students.
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra

And in my experience it is true that most kids who skip a grade generally do so in the earlier grades. Now my overachieving older brother... he completed nearly two years of college while still in high school. And my older sister was such a delightful student I continually got "why can't you be more like your sister?" comments throughout school. A little note to teachers -- that is NOT the way to motivate students. I generally looked at the teachers who said that, thought "Fuck you, asshole!" and quit working completely in that class.

Oh. Sorry. That wasn't really on the subject at all, but I hated school when I was a kid and if I hadn't graduated at 16 I would have dropped out. And it did feel good to rant.
That sounds...awful!
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