kitchen table math, the sequel: what Rory said

Monday, March 19, 2007

what Rory said

In a comment on another thread, Rory observed that there are two education systems in England: one for the well-off and one for the poor.

Apparently the UK isn't teaching disadvantaged kids any better than we are (I'm making that observation sans statistical tests, obviously):

Millions of pounds worth of government money has failed to stop a new generation of teenagers from the poorest homes leaving school with nothing to show for 11 years of compulsory schooling.

A damning report obtained by The Independent newspaper shows that Britain's most deprived boroughs are still failing to make inroads into the number of youngsters quitting with no GCSE passes.


The lack of progress comes despite millions being pumped into these areas to improve standards. The Excellence in Cities programme has spent at least £800m over four years on providing mentors for struggling pupils and master-classes for the brightest pupils trapped in deprived communities.


The report is blunt about the job prospects for the unqualified: "Forty-four per cent of men who leave school with no qualifications fail to acquire any qualification later in life," it says.

"Men with no qualifications have a 68 per cent employment rate compared with a 75 per cent rate for those with a basic level-one vocational qualification [the lowest form of qualification].

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

England has always had two (at least) two different systems for the well-off and the poor. That is, England has always had a system for the well-off; at one time only the children of the landed were educated.

As I understand it, you've got:

1. The "private" schools. According to Wikipedia, these were originally owned by the headmasters who ran them.

2. The "public" schools, which we would call "private" in the US. These are independent, for-fee schools. Examples include Eton, Harrow, Rugby, etc.

3. The "comprehensive" schools, which attempt to educate the unwashed masses. This is a relatively new concept; the first comprehensive was founded only about 50 years ago. According to Wikipedia, "[b]efore the Second World War, secondary education provision was both patchy and expensive. After the war secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was provided free to at least the age of 14..."

If you haven't already, I suggest reading Tom Brown's Schooldays and Raffles (I believe there are several books in the series) for familiarity with British public schools. It's been awhile since I've read Goodbye, Mr. Chips, but I believe that took place in an English school, too.

Sources (Wikipedia):

Comprehensive school

Private/public schools in UK

Independent schools in UK