I attended a school reunion some years ago and asked one of my former school friends why was it, when ever we did something wrong we were threatened with expulsion, he pointed out as we were in the bottom class, there was nowhere else to go and at that point realised the report sent from primary school to secondary school condemns you to your station in life.
To this end I would propose a rethink in education, as for me when a child opens their eyes for the first time they should be entitled to all the same opportunities as any other. I had always intended for my children to touch every musical instrument and have a go at every sport at least once, then see what academic prowess they had so let them get on with what came easy but supported them in the more difficult studies, if they then 'choose' to be a Footballer, Rock Star or even a Truck driver thats fine just get the mortarboard on their head first! Better education = more choices (simples), this is where I believe schools should have a rethink.
Instead of a child attending Primary school and muddle through till they are 11, then have to live with the consequences thereafter, each term a child's abilities should be assessed and if they are strong in a subject let them make their own way through it, if there is a weaker topic give them access to all the resources they need to come up to speed till they reach the final year of Primary school. Then rather then being thrown to the wolves that final year or indeed what would normally be the first year of secondary school should be something special.
When I left school and went on to collage I felt almost immediately I was in a different world, you were spoken to and respected more as an adult then a silly school kid and this is what I suggest for the 'special year' a preparation of what is to come so not only do they follow the perceived curriculum they are assessed so any short fall is addressed and they have one last chance to excel in what they may have struggled with previously. I do get weary of hearing how underprivileged , inner city 'Boys' do not get it when it comes to learning when maybe it is the school that should be more engaging and making lessons more interesting and relevant and not always from the screen of a PC. Some youngsters may not be destined for a life in academia but they may be a craftsman so their secondary education could be geared in the direction of an apprenticeship with a collage course, Little Johnny may be the next Beckham whilst Sally could be the next Vanessa May, Fred could be a top plumber, whilst Elle could be a teacher and so on !!
(Shaun Bailey is a wise head on young shoulders and his
softly spoken words on the young should be taken very
This preparatory year should also equip 11 year olds for what they could face in the coming terms as today they are expected to face more and more peer and media pressure, and at this age with their own PCs mobiles and what they consider boy/girl friends if they were given sex education then, it may have more relevance then trying to instruct 5 or 7 year olds the same. There should also be a class of social skills helping many young people to know how to relate to each other as well as adults and to instill the true meaning of respect not just because they heard the word on the latest rap tune! Oh and one final point I believe all children should have access to swimming from an early age not only so they could get themselves out of trouble if they fall in a river, but the healthy activity should keep them more fit then their current stagnant lifestyle in front of PC, TV and game screens!
I was 8 years old when I first heard Dr. Martin Luther-King ask us to".... judge a man by his character....."
So lets build character!
Advice to young boxers from Lennox Lewis on contracts
"The key is just getting educated and, before they sign something, they fully understand it"
Why don't you punch Lennox on the nose....with your cursor of course?
(See picture below)