Sunday, January 29, 2006

Education, education, education

I've been following the current debate about the education white paper with some interest, and not a little ambivalence. I was schooled in the Northern Ireland system, where we still have selection. I did well in the 11+ and went on to a good (grammar) school. The system served me well. But what about all those that it doesn't serve well? Those who are doomed to "failure" because they failed the 11+. That's the problem with selection, I guess. I can't help feeling, though, that the real problem is perception. Some people aren't academically inclined. This needs to be recognised and accepted and factored into the system. Just because you don't do well in an academic test doesn't mean that you wouldn't do good in something else.

I was discussing this with Sacha recently and she said that in Dubai, streaming is used within schools to allow children that need it to get extra help in the form of a smaller teacher to pupil ratio. This sounds like an excellent idea to me, although the resource implications are huge.

And on a complete different topic, the Government are conducting a public consultation on the future of energy supply and consumption in this country. This is hugely important and it's worth taking the time to read the document and reply to the consultation.

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