Image: ‘The other man’s grass …’ D Dickinson 2010
Compulsory education – does it work, is it necessary?
If the system is right and the aims are clear then surely we ought to be able to sell the idea that education is such a wonderful privilege that the wonder of it is that it is available to all for the most part freely given.
There is a clamor for it to begin at a very young age but is this best for the children? And there is not such a clamor at the other end of the age scale – why?
If this is right then the idea that students must be at school for a specific time and until a specific age just should not work. Compulsion almost always doesn’t work. People don’t do things willingly because they have been compelled to. They do them because of need, will, enjoyment, interest, passion etc .
It is worth reflecting in this moment of the setting up of Free Schools that children do not actually have to go to school at all. Education is compulsory, schooling is not. I wonder how the compulsory education age is monitored in those cases where children are educated away from the school system?
So where does this leave schooling? And where will this sit in the new schools as they start their fledgling lives?