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England's young people near bottom of scale

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England is the only country in the developed world where the generation approaching retirement is more literate and numerate than the youngest, according to the first skills survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

In a stark assessment of the success and failure of the 720 million-strong adult workforce across the wealthier economies, the economic thinktank warns that in England, adults aged 55 to 65 perform better than 16- to 24-year-olds in foundation levels of literacy and numeracy. The survey did not include people from Scotland or Wales.

The OECD study also finds that a quarter of adults in England hve the maths skills of a 10-year-old. About 8.5 million adults, 24.1% of the population, have such basic levels of numeracy that they can manage only one-step tasks with sums, sorting numbers or reading graphs. This was worse than the average in the developed world, where an average of 19% of people were found to have a similarly poor skill base.

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[bolded: Qoud erat demonstrando]

Just for those who thought it was funny that the US counterparts did badly...

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Which is why Education should not be a ******* political football and the only place were the government can "make an immediate mark" by changing the entire ******* syllabus every time a new party comes into power.

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I do like the way these Economic Thinktanks only ever think of people in terms of their usefulness as units of production for the Economy. "In a stark assessment of the success and failure of the 720 million-strong adult workforce across the wealthier economies" That's the only value that's ever put on people, so is it any wonder that people are tempted to think " :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush: it, why the hell should I bother just so that the Government can boast about how their Economy is "Growing" and so their policies are a Success."

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What do they expect when every primary class is filled with kids that can't speak English?! Most of a primary teachers job now is instead of teaching the basics to get children learning is spent teaching English as a second language while the kids that can speak English do nonsense projects to keep them occupied.

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Kids in Vietnam are now started in English in second grade, and the plan is to start it in pre-school. Kinda discouraging for me. All my life my English (and to a lesser extent other languages) has given me a huge leg up, but nowadays teenagers speak it as well as I do, from school and of course movies.

I don't think education will play the role in the future that it has played in the past. Machines will eliminate the need for both skilled and unskilled labor, as well as a lot of jobs now requiring college degrees. Computers will make verbal and language skills unnecessary, and we don't need to be able to read any more to entertain ourselves anyway.

Kids nowadays have a sense of this already, which is why they don't take learning the multiplication tables seriously. What for when calculators are ubiquitous?

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Learning all the swearwords is of prime importance as you can hear on any street when school comes out,but I guess the Parents teach them at home and not the Teachers at school.

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Yea I'm popular at English speaker's club because I know them.

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It makes an interesting picture -- old man (me) surrounded by teens asking what this and that means. Sometimes what they want to know is too gross for me to explain in mixed company.

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Schools have been failing for years. The price of backing down to teachers and unions who have steadily managed to increase their pay and do far less work. Most classrooms have a teaching assistant qualified to only a level 3 standard (around an A level). They lead the class why the teacher 'supervise' from the side line and marks the work.

My partners daughter had 68 pieces of homework last year, only 1 piece was marked by the teacher supervising at the side. The school which is apparently superior in this area was not involved in last weeks industrial action, it did however give the students a shortened day so the would not feel left out to other kids who got a day off.

We need to wake up

Edited by skookum
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Makes you wonder about the truth in the saying about sparing the rod and spoiling the child. (Never mind me - I'm just an old dinosaur who was educated in a system that required you to learn things, not just look at them!)

Edited by ealdwita
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what these studies never show are the realities, you only need the majority of the population to have the basic skills enough which enables them to get through life / working life. in most cases by age 10 - 13 years you have pretty much been taught the basics and acquired the skills. it always makes me laugh the way they always use this age range to demonstrate a point - have you ever heard them say, they have the basic maths skills of a 22 year old, a 36 year old. no. the reverse is true, do they ever say they have such exceptional maths skills - the same as a 100 year old. no.

the UK and America always come near the bottom in these research polls. it's time to worry when we start coming near the top. finishing near the bottom as served us so well so far. proof is in the list.

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If one is living in relative comfort, there is little incentive to change particularly so when an individual lacks foresight. So, the notion of educational relevancy is lost to many youth. Youth need to be inspired and accordingly mentored by those individuals and institutions that can do so ... think of how many youth were educationally inspired by the adventure of landing an individual on the moon. Instead we grant lofty sums of money on entertainers, to include sports figures. That sends a pretty clear message as to where our values are situated, on self-indulgence rather than on personal growth.

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what these studies never show are the realities, you only need the majority of the population to have the basic skills enough which enables them to get through life / working life. in most cases by age 10 - 13 years you have pretty much been taught the basics and acquired the skills. it always makes me laugh the way they always use this age range to demonstrate a point - have you ever heard them say, they have the basic maths skills of a 22 year old, a 36 year old. no. the reverse is true, do they ever say they have such exceptional maths skills - the same as a 100 year old. no.

the UK and America always come near the bottom in these research polls. it's time to worry when we start coming near the top. finishing near the bottom as served us so well so far. proof is in the list.

Wish you could have explained that to Gordon Brown. Wasn't it him who predicted anyone without a university education would be unemployable in a few years? So maybe they can teach the basic skills there and charge 9k for the service. Since under his prediction the dustmen, shelf stackers, road sweepers and general workers will need an Oxford education.

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the technology with phones and computers is killing the Children's ability to learn and spell English words, more and more kids have phones today. Maths is the same.

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Wish you could have explained that to Gordon Brown. Wasn't it him who predicted anyone without a university education would be unemployable in a few years? So maybe they can teach the basic skills there and charge 9k for the service. Since under his prediction the dustmen, shelf stackers, road sweepers and general workers will need an Oxford education.

Well, of course, the edumacation system has become an industry just the same as any other; that's what it's all about, School is about processing people for University, and University is all about processing people to get Degrees that are really absolutely useless, it's just that "desirable" jobs almost always stipulate that they're required. The whole thing is just a great big production line from beginning to end, that exists just to generate money for the authorities that run the schools and the universities.

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Schools have been failing for years. The price of backing down to teachers and unions who have steadily managed to increase their pay and do far less work.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

ohh wait you're serious.

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Schools have been failing for years. The price of backing down to teachers and unions who have steadily managed to increase their pay and do far less work. Most classrooms have a teaching assistant qualified to only a level 3 standard (around an A level). They lead the class why the teacher 'supervise' from the side line and marks the work.

My partners daughter had 68 pieces of homework last year, only 1 piece was marked by the teacher supervising at the side. The school which is apparently superior in this area was not involved in last weeks industrial action, it did however give the students a shortened day so the would not feel left out to other kids who got a day off.

We need to wake up

What do they expect when every primary class is filled with kids that can't speak English?! Most of a primary teachers job now is instead of teaching the basics to get children learning is spent teaching English as a second language while the kids that can speak English do nonsense projects to keep them occupied.

Perhaps you two should actually spend some time working in a school. Teaching these days is a far harder profession and requires a lot more time than you will ever see on the surface. I'm only training at the moment and it still involves working from around 8 am till 9 pm most days (including weekends).

If a teacher is genuinely marking that little work then you have somehow managed to find one of the few really terrible teachers left. I'll guarantee they went through training a long time ago before it was as stringent or regulated.

Makes you wonder about the truth in the saying about sparing the rod and spoiling the child. (Never mind me - I'm just an old dinosaur who was educated in a system that required you to learn things, not just look at them!)

Perhaps you and Mr Gove would get on... He seems to think there was a magical golden age of education back in the past. Fact is, this is THE best time to be in school.

And learning things is next to useless. We teach for understanding these days, not rote learning. It looks and sounds wishy-washy but if it's done well, it leads to a much greater ability later on. There's endless research to that effect. Not that politicians or everyday folk seem to care...

Edited by Setton
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Perhaps you two should actually spend some time working in a school. Teaching these days is a far harder profession and requires a lot more time than you will ever see on the surface. I'm only training at the moment and it still involves working from around 8 am till 9 pm most days (including weekends).

If a teacher is genuinely marking that little work then you have somehow managed to find one of the few really terrible teachers left. I'll guarantee they went through training a long time ago before it was as stringent or regulated.

1: I am a qualified teacher who moved from private education to post 16 private sector some 5 years ago. Part of the reason I moved was the concern about the growing reliance on teaching assistants.

2: The marking situation is far from isolated. My partner has two daughters and we have moved them from two schools in the past due to the concerns about the teaching quality. One parents evening and over 6 months into the year the child had half a page of English classwork in a book to show for it. The teacher had no explanation so we went to the head who claimed there was classwork kept elsewhere which they couldn't show us or find at the time.

Another parents evening, another school, another child we saw many errors in maths classwork which had been let go again through this lack of marking. When brought to the teachers attention we were gobsmacked to get a lecture on how the role of the teachers nowadays is to 'make the children happy'. Apparently life and parents are the ones who should be educating the children with the teachers just to overlook and 'make them happy'. Needless to say the child never returned to that school, speaking to the acting head as to the reason she spouted the same old drivel.

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Wish you could have explained that to Gordon Brown. Wasn't it him who predicted anyone without a university education would be unemployable in a few years? So maybe they can teach the basic skills there and charge 9k for the service. Since under his prediction the dustmen, shelf stackers, road sweepers and general workers will need an Oxford education.

I know an ex bank manager with degrees who is working at McDonalds, doing the Poles out of a jop haha

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Makes you wonder about the truth in the saying about sparing the rod and spoiling the child. (Never mind me - I'm just an old dinosaur who was educated in a system that required you to learn things, not just look at them!)

There are ways to control children other than beating them, which, in fact, only generates hate and resentment and worse trouble.
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Not having taught children, I can only draw on my experience as a father and a member of the community. Children in the west are often taught that knowledge is unimportant, indeed, even "high brow" and nerdy. Children who do poorly may be doing poorly because they haven't the mind to keep up, but what they do is gratify their ego by putting peer pressure on those who do better to go down to their level. When a parent or teacher sees this happening, strong intercession is needed to put the egos in their proper place. Humiliation is not needed, but education about differing talents and differing abilities. It is a fact of life that not all are brilliant, and those who are not cannot be allowed to hold back those who are.

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1: I am a qualified teacher who moved from private education to post 16 private sector some 5 years ago. Part of the reason I moved was the concern about the growing reliance on teaching assistants.

Private schools aren't required to meet the same standards as state schools. They are each very individual so can't really be used as an indictment of education in general.

2: The marking situation is far from isolated. My partner has two daughters and we have moved them from two schools in the past due to the concerns about the teaching quality. One parents evening and over 6 months into the year the child had half a page of English classwork in a book to show for it. The teacher had no explanation so we went to the head who claimed there was classwork kept elsewhere which they couldn't show us or find at the time.

Another parents evening, another school, another child we saw many errors in maths classwork which had been let go again through this lack of marking. When brought to the teachers attention we were gobsmacked to get a lecture on how the role of the teachers nowadays is to 'make the children happy'. Apparently life and parents are the ones who should be educating the children with the teachers just to overlook and 'make them happy'. Needless to say the child never returned to that school, speaking to the acting head as to the reason she spouted the same old drivel.

Do you mind if I ask when this was and where in the country? When I was at school (not that long ago) this lack of marking was common but there's been a real push recently to make sure teachers fulfill their real role as teachers not childminders. Certainly here and now in Co Durham, a teacher marking so little would be out in no time. If I took that approach on my placements or in my NQT year, I'd be thrown off the course.

Like I said, there are still some relics of the old style of teaching and I guess some will slip through the net. But rest assured the teachers who qualified in the last 5 years or so are nothing like them.

This is just speculation now but, given the shortage of teachers, authorities might be reluctant to remove even poor teachers if they don't think they can find someone better to fill the gap.

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Private schools are, in my experience, beholden to MORE standards and oversight then state schools.

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Private schools are, in my experience, beholden to MORE standards and oversight then state schools.

Really? They have no obligation to hire qualified teachers or meet any kind of specified curriculum. Maybe it's different in Australia?

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Really? They have no obligation to hire qualified teachers or meet any kind of specified curriculum. Maybe it's different in Australia?

Here in Oz, Private Schools are held exactly to the same syllabus/curriculum as the state schools. Then they have to meet the requirements of their own board/supervisory committee (in the Catholic School I work at's case - having an RE syllabus). At the Independent school I work at, we're INDIVIDUALLY answerable to the parents and we create individual syllabi for each student.

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