In response to the wide national coverage on Britain’s ever-declining “educational standards” as measured by the OECD, John Abbott has sent this letter to half a dozen national papers:
The UK’s position in the rankings for educational performance (8th December 2010) will continue to remain “stagnant at least” as long as successive Ministers fail to appreciate that they don’t control all aspects of children’s lives. A balanced education is as dependent on what a child experiences informally in the home and the community as it is upon what can be gained from learning within school. Mr Gove, and the rest of those of us living in these islands, has to understand that, however good a school may become, by its institutional nature it can’t provide everything that a child needs as it seeks to grow into adulthood. We all – parents, grandparents, employers as well as employees – should be as shamed by the latest PISA results for allowing our concept of education to have become so dangerously narrow. Surely Mr Gove’s time would be better spent appealing to the latent enthusiasm to be found throughout this land to help all children to grow up better, rather than developing ideological policies that, directly or indirectly, split communities still further apart.