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Full circle ?

The UK once had a superb network of what was known as Cottage Hospitals and then someone in a suit decided that they were too small and they closed the vast majority of them down sometime in the 80's. Big was thought to be beautiful and more viable and so the smaller units made way for huge cumbersome hospitals, which have since been found out time and time again, to be failing. Ask the patients at Staffordshire General.
Until the countries current finacial melt down, there had been a definate move back towards the setting up of smaller accountable hospitals run by  local GP's. Sound familiar? Isn't that exactly what the Cottage hospitals were?

Now we have this and another example of things oing full circle? Sound familiar ?

Its always been blatantly obvious to most people other than the few who run our education system, that a large percentage of the UK's school population simply aren't suited to staying at school beyond the age of fourteen. I'm also convinced that this trying to get a square peg into a round hole is responsible for the massive numbers of teachers leaving the profession early. What do you expect if you imprison young adults together and force them to do something that they don't want to do? Its hardly rocket science to work out that you're going to get massive disruption in classes throughout the country.
If gainful employment and don't ask me how, could some how be found for the 14 year olds ill suited to academia, then the problems within our schools would be sorted out virtually over night. Educational achievement would soar and the moral of our teachers would be restored to what it once was.

This would definately be a case of something going full circle that would be most welcome and benificial to our society. Why does it always take so long for commonsense considerations to be implemented?
The school leaving age was forteen when I went to school and I can well remember the limit being raised by a Labour government. It was at a time when the unemployment figures were rising within the country and it was widely recognised that the move was merely a ploy to massage the figures so that just for the one year, we didn't have any school leavers going on the dole.
The kids in Four Craft were told quite virtually over night that they had to stay on for a further twelve months. They went beserk! The thing is, that they weren't kids. They were young men and women who then went on give their teachers and fellow pupils hell during their extra prison term. Some of them had jobs to go to and most had lives outside their school uniforms that they wanted to live. They didn't like school, they hated it and they certantly let people know about it. IMO, if the law permits you to marry at sixteen, then there shouldn't be anyway that the law should be forcing you to go to school at the same age.
No ! Disruption within our schools caused by people kept there against their will is certainly not a new phenomonon.
IMO, the same woolly thinking about kitting people up with life skills has also lead to the current overcrowded state of our universities. These are the same universities that have seen thousands of kids leaving with bits of paper that aren't worth a light when it comes to getting a job. No wonder our youth is disillusioned !
At one end of the education system you have young adults forced to remain as kids at schools that are failing them, while at the other end you have enthusiastic young people leaving universities with degrees that are useless when it comes to finding gainful employment and earning a living.
Prospects for the young within our society are approaching zero. IMO, the whole of our education system needs a root and branch sorting out.

What do others think? Did you leave at 14 all those years ago, or were you one of the few who in those times, went on to further education?

I think leaving school at 14 isn't an unreasonable option at all if there are other options available........didn't I hear mumblings about bringing back apprenticeships a wee while back?

If a youngster can be given a chance to learn a skill or trade that interests them, & is of benefit to everyone, why should they be tethered to a defunct & inefficient system that chains them to a school desk while they're chafing at the bit to be elsewhere!? I left school at 17 & went to college before joining the RAF. I couldn't get out of the system fast enough, even though I was quite a bright student.............I don't regret it, but if I'd had the option to take an apprenticeship in a subject that really interested me I'd have jumped at the chance!!!

I think apprenticeships have all but disappeared. The majority of my friends got apprenticeships at the age of sixteen. They were mostly with big engineering companies that disappeared decades ago.
We are not talking sweat shops or slave labour, but if they were available, I can't see a problem with 14 year olds going straight into labouring and other manual employment.

bodger wrote:
I think apprenticeships have all but disappeared. The majority of my friends got apprenticeships at the age of sixteen. They were mostly with big engineering companies that disappeared decades ago.
We are not talking sweat shops or slave labour, but if they were available, I can't see a problem with 14 year olds going straight into labouring and other manual employment.

Only if they grow too big to send up chimneys.

A proper apprenticeship is far more useful than University in my honest opinion. It gives a better insight on how industry works, plus gives the individual practical skills. If on completion of an apprenticeship a person wants to pursue higher education and build on his practical experience, he should have amasted some funds to help him do so, rather than getting into debt.

Good point, Baldy!  

Seriously though, it does raise the issue as to exactly why everyone should be 'entitled' to a University education, doesn't it?  
There are so many youngsters leaving school & heading straight to university to 'study' art, economics, 'drama studies' & nonsense of that ilk. I'm not of the view that these subjects don't have some merit, but for an awful lot of students these degrees are just a means to an end............I'd far rather see more students going into the likes of engineering, then making a career out of their chosen subject, rather than just mess around doing something that's going to prove largely useless

Even in my field (engineering), there are a helluva lot of young engineers leaving university without the basics of good engineering practice, the tools & methods involved, and only the most basic idea of what happens in various engineering environments. They have the skills necessary to obtain their degree, but for many of them the learning happens once they've actually left uni! To my mind, an apprenticeship for people wishing to take technical subjects to degree level is an essential, rather than a preference.

WS, I'm not sure it would do any good encouraging arty/humanities kids to go off and do a science or engineering.  I can't think of anything more inappropriate for my daughter who is doing art.  It would be a shame if everything in life had to be useful after all.

I'm all for kids leaving school at 14 for an apprenticeship or similar, BUT I do think that there has to be a way back for them to go and GCSEs etc., if they wish to later.

The exceptions prove the rule though, don't they? How many of her fellow students are actually going to do anything useful with their hugely expensive 'education'?

I quite agree with your comment about not everything having to be useful..............But! When it comes to spending several years at a university, I'm not in the least convinced that 'The Arts' is a suitable subject matter. In fact, for me personally I can't think of a greater waste of time & resource

I would far rather the educational authorities got their fingers out & tried to establish a system that would allow non-academic students to follow a chosen career path with appropriate support from the outset, rather than have them focus on obtaining grades that are aimed at getting them into the echelons of higher learning, regardless of their preferences. Too many students leave school without further support if the fail to 'make the grade' regarding university entrance requirements, and they're left completely without any practical skills and/or knowledge that would potentially lead them to a successful & rewarding career in other fields.............

Leaving age was 16 when I was at school. I 'stayed on'.
The vast majority of lads from my year went straight down the Pit at 16... not the job for life it had once been.
The majority of girls that I did 'A' Levels with went into Banking.

At 16 I wanted to join the Merchant Navy as a Radio Officer. Dad was a Submariner and not impressed with my choice and persuaded me to do my 'A' Levels first.
After one lesson of Pure Physics I agreed with him; switched to Economics and ended up as a Bean Counter.
I still ended up in some far-flung places  

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