Latest PISA academic scores from the Paris-based intergovernmental club OECD show the UK languishing.
Clearly, the UK is underperforming drastically.
Following Tony Blair’s triumphal cry at the start of his premiership “Education, Education, Education”, standards have not risen, but plummeted.
While STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), so vital for the regeneration of British industry, have given way to a focus on soft subjects in the arts, in such areas a Media Studies. And standards have fallen alongside this. Both in secondary and in tertiary education.
A rapid reversal is now essential, and luckily the Time Party has devised a plan to ensure success:
All state schools will be independent of local authority control but will follow a UK-wide approved curriculum framework. School league tables have been seen to frequently fail to produce desired outcomes and can encourage schools to focus on easier subjects to gain favourable result ratios. The Time Party will abolish school league tables. There will be a mandatory maximum class size of 25 pupils. STEM subject education will be taught to all pupils and students under the age of 17.
The Time Party will insist on the raising of standards in all subjects and the setting of pass marks for all examinations at a minimum of 51%. It should be noted that in England, for example, the GCSE pass mark (grade 4) in the higher tier paper of Mathematics was 18% in 2017, according to exams regulator Ofqual, having been lowered from 35% the previous year.
The Party plans to introduce a new course subject in state schools called Life Skills which will have two principle elements, namely:
Money Management, involving education on bank accounts, cheques, direct debits, budget planning, interest payments, savings, loans, debts, credit/debit cards, personal taxation, council tax, utility bills, mortgages, insurance, financial investments including the stock market.
Practical Skills, involving education on a wide range of everyday issues and challenges encountered by adults such as basic vehicle maintenance, essential household upkeep and social interaction proficiency. In addition, these Practical Skills would include education into nutrition, healthy eating and basic food preparation.
The Money Management course referred to above will be available to adults at further education colleges.
The Time Party will remove all religious education from state schools.
TIME would no longer adhere to the existing system of reaching targets on the proportion of youth attending universities. However, the Party does believe that all UK citizens and permanent residents should be entitled to a free university or tertiary education here in Britain and, to that end, would pursue a programme of reducing and ultimately abolishing tuition fees for all such residents. The Party will treat technical and academic education as being of equal status. Chambers of Commerce will work with key local businesses and colleges to design courses that enable students to graduate with qualifications of real benefit to local employers. In addition, the party will supply the NHS and other key public service providers with enough UK-trained and qualified personnel.
In recent years, British universities have successfully opened overseas campuses in China, India, Malaysia, Africa and the Middle East. TIME will work with more British universities to encourage them to develop networks of campuses abroad. This will boost UK education exports and increase the number of international students gaining UK degrees. This would enable foreign students to benefit from a British education at considerably reduced cost to both themselves and their families.
Join us here at the Time Party, and let’s improve our country’s global standing.