The Ailing Image of State Schools
Education is a crucial part of a child's upbringing, not to mention, the basis for a successful future in an ever changing digital world. With the ailing image of state schools, due to lack of funding, it is not surprising that parents choose costly private schools to ensure their child gets a better education.
The Ailing Image of State Schools
What would you choose? – State/Public Schools or Private Schools? Education is not a part of a child's upbringing that anyone would want to take lightly. There is so much potential in your child or teenager! - Why would anyone want to jeopardize their child's future potential, if they can only get into an average school in their catchment area? Thus, it does not surprise me that parents are willing to enter into debt to send their children and teenagers to prep school’s, private or independent school’s to ensure that they get an education with high standards. There are state school that do perform in line with the average private schools, but as ever, they are over subscribed, and have to resort to rigorous selection criteria to limit their intake.
The dilemma for parents is enormous! My heart goes out to all parents who just want to do the best for their children so that they have choices as they face the rapid changes in our digital age. Though, I have to add, that wherever your child has to go to school the best way to support them is to foster their interest in knowledge, give them as much help as possible, which may include after school lessons and exposing them to new environments and culture. Give them an inquisitive mind, and half the job is done.
Nonetheless, I am concerned about the lack of support state schools get to provide excellent learning environments. The current budget cuts in the UK, that also affect the education budget, will have an enormous impact on the support children and teenagers receive in state schools, especially in regards to the immediate support vulnerable children receive. Having an appropriate budget is one end of the spectrum, but I also believe that creating a learning community that values every child's potential is down to a Head teacher that has a vision and exercises fair and strong leadership skills. More importantly, values the school's staff and encourages them to focus on harnessing every child's potential.
In schools, the focus has to be the children or teenagers. A big part of teaching is listening to pupils and their opinion. I am always delighted to see that children and teenagers have an immense sense of justice, despite the innocence of childhood and growing confusion that comes with puberty.
The aim to create irreproachable state schools starts with igniting the commitment and passion of children and teenagers, encouraged by dedicated teachers and school support staff. Children and teenagers would do anything, including help one another to get the best grades ever, if they feel valued and are proud of their teachers and their school. Increasing or decreasing funding without outlining clear guidelines and a vision to support a school community is money wasted. We have to start with building up school communities, with the welfare of children at the core, including listening to the opinions of our children and youth. This will inevitably create lasting change, and if we then add the facilities, we build innovative school environments that ignite the creativity of the next generation.