Compulsory education ?

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?

One thought on “Compulsory education ?

  1. Provocative. For most people I think that they accept education is a ‘good idea’. So there is no need for compusion. For many they also think its a good way of getting the kids looked after – many conversations overheard in summer hols of parents eager for the schools to open again. Not sure those same parents necessarily would agree on what a good education is. So for a large proportion what it is may well be irrelevant as long as its what everyone gets and it takes care of them.
    The compulsory bit is for the group who would not send their kids to school at all, or intermittently ‘at their convenience’
    Free schools – if they take off, are likely to be a bit ‘concerned middle classy’ – possibly a little strange, and certainly will do ok because the key determinant is surely the parent’s involvement.
    Recent experiecne of running summer schools suggests that for some kids make the learning fun and they will do anything to get here.

    But its the parents really who are the targets! They are the ones who need placating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *