A* Results at A Level and GCSE should be for the top 10% only

A* grades at both A Level and GCSE should be allocated to the top 10% of candidates in the country.

When an exam is marked it scores from 0 to 100 percent and the threshold for grade bands is, for instance, 70% correct answers for a B and 80% correct for an A.

Those who reach these thresholds should rightly be given their appropriate grade. However A* should be reserved for the top 10% of candidates, not just some one who scores over, for instance, 85%.

A candidate's paper would be marked to the percent and given an A grade for achieving 80%, and only after all papers are marked would the A* percentage threshold be set, to allow a 10% quota of candidates through. If their paper achieved this amount they would then be upgraded to the A*. Logistically, if really necessary, this upgrade could happen a couple of weeks after the initial GCSE results are revealed.

Why is this idea important?

A* grades at both A Level and GCSE should be allocated to the top 10% of candidates in the country.

When an exam is marked it scores from 0 to 100 percent and the threshold for grade bands is, for instance, 70% correct answers for a B and 80% correct for an A.

Those who reach these thresholds should rightly be given their appropriate grade. However A* should be reserved for the top 10% of candidates, not just some one who scores over, for instance, 85%.

A candidate's paper would be marked to the percent and given an A grade for achieving 80%, and only after all papers are marked would the A* percentage threshold be set, to allow a 10% quota of candidates through. If their paper achieved this amount they would then be upgraded to the A*. Logistically, if really necessary, this upgrade could happen a couple of weeks after the initial GCSE results are revealed.

Abolish student loans

Student loans are a curse that gets students of all ages into debt, on the supposition that they will be able to get a job afterwords to repay the loan, which either may not exist, or may not pay half as much as they expected, and thus leave them in a serious long term debt problem.

The culture of personal debt, which benefits only the banks, who suck on the public like leeches, must end, except in the case of essential major purchases like a home and possibly a car.

Banks instead should be lending to (mainly in the form of credit agreements) to businesses, and not funding mass higher education, which except in the case of certan professional jobs like medicine (and I mean DOCTORS, not NURSES) nobody needs, to say nothing of the ridiculous number of ever high and mostly meaningless degrees like Masters and so on, which numerous people are now feeling obliged to take to distinguish themselves from the glut of people with first degree, should shouldn't actually have one in the first place because it neither represents any truly useful knowledge, nor does society need them toi have it.

What we need is people who can DO THEIR JOBS PROPERLY, regardless of whether they have a degree or not, and most jobs can be done by ON THE JOB TRAINING given to suitable candidates tested for aptitude and chosen at the discretion of the employer.

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Student loans are a curse that gets students of all ages into debt, on the supposition that they will be able to get a job afterwords to repay the loan, which either may not exist, or may not pay half as much as they expected, and thus leave them in a serious long term debt problem.

The culture of personal debt, which benefits only the banks, who suck on the public like leeches, must end, except in the case of essential major purchases like a home and possibly a car.

Banks instead should be lending to (mainly in the form of credit agreements) to businesses, and not funding mass higher education, which except in the case of certan professional jobs like medicine (and I mean DOCTORS, not NURSES) nobody needs, to say nothing of the ridiculous number of ever high and mostly meaningless degrees like Masters and so on, which numerous people are now feeling obliged to take to distinguish themselves from the glut of people with first degree, should shouldn't actually have one in the first place because it neither represents any truly useful knowledge, nor does society need them toi have it.

What we need is people who can DO THEIR JOBS PROPERLY, regardless of whether they have a degree or not, and most jobs can be done by ON THE JOB TRAINING given to suitable candidates tested for aptitude and chosen at the discretion of the employer.

 

 

 

Restore the BSF Funding.

The scrapping of BSF is an ill thought out policy. Apart from the money lost by local authorities £163, 000,000 the government is now in the process of forming a two tier education system. The have's which are the Academies. The 'have not' the remainder of the schools which will not receive funding. Yes the scheme might be flawed in the consultation process with money wasted on fees. This could have been rectified with correct project management.  I submit the government should look again at an alternative schools re-building scheme to avoid the thousands of children who will have to put up with sub-standard facilities and buildings in the21st century.

Why is this idea important?

The scrapping of BSF is an ill thought out policy. Apart from the money lost by local authorities £163, 000,000 the government is now in the process of forming a two tier education system. The have's which are the Academies. The 'have not' the remainder of the schools which will not receive funding. Yes the scheme might be flawed in the consultation process with money wasted on fees. This could have been rectified with correct project management.  I submit the government should look again at an alternative schools re-building scheme to avoid the thousands of children who will have to put up with sub-standard facilities and buildings in the21st century.

Make metric labelling compulsory as the primary unit of measurement on all items sold in all UK retailers

45 years ago, an elected UK Government acting on the advice of UK industry, announced the adoption of the metric system in 1975. This change brought tremendous benefits to UK businesses especially those whose trade involves international collaboration. The massive investment from overseas car manufacturers (eg Nissan, Honda & Toyota) demonstrates the need to use a near- universally adopted system of measurements. The education of the Imperial system of measurements was phased out in 1974 but the overall progress to complete metrication has been slower than planned due to wavering Goverment commitment in the face of a small but orchestrated campaign against the metric system. However, the public at large seem to accept metric and most everyday products are now sold exclusively in metric. I believe the time is now right to start converting the remaining key products areas into metric, namely clothing, shoes and TV/monitor screen sizes. Imperial sizes could still be mentioned as a secondary measure to help with the transition until a date 5 years hence when all Imperial measures should disappear forever

Why is this idea important?

45 years ago, an elected UK Government acting on the advice of UK industry, announced the adoption of the metric system in 1975. This change brought tremendous benefits to UK businesses especially those whose trade involves international collaboration. The massive investment from overseas car manufacturers (eg Nissan, Honda & Toyota) demonstrates the need to use a near- universally adopted system of measurements. The education of the Imperial system of measurements was phased out in 1974 but the overall progress to complete metrication has been slower than planned due to wavering Goverment commitment in the face of a small but orchestrated campaign against the metric system. However, the public at large seem to accept metric and most everyday products are now sold exclusively in metric. I believe the time is now right to start converting the remaining key products areas into metric, namely clothing, shoes and TV/monitor screen sizes. Imperial sizes could still be mentioned as a secondary measure to help with the transition until a date 5 years hence when all Imperial measures should disappear forever

Restoring the education system

Give power back to head teachers and teachers.  Allow them to discipline children as they see fit and allow them to expel children as they see fit.

Why appoint these education professionals and pay them very high salaries only to undermine them with central control and excessive health and safety and human rights considerations which prevent them taking common sense decisions.

Why is this idea important?

Give power back to head teachers and teachers.  Allow them to discipline children as they see fit and allow them to expel children as they see fit.

Why appoint these education professionals and pay them very high salaries only to undermine them with central control and excessive health and safety and human rights considerations which prevent them taking common sense decisions.

New Schools

We need new schools but there just isn't the money to pay for them….

One thing that annoys me when travelling around this country is the number of empty office buildings that were built and stand empty.  It was all a con anyway.  Builder comes along and gets a bank loan and local government approval.  Then builder employs a company which he also owns to build it.  Afterwards he can't find a tenant and his first company goes into Liquidation and the Bank end up with another unwanted empty building. 

Now if we just owned the Banks, oh just minute we do own the Banks.  They accepted all our money to stop them going south for the winter. 

Nice new Buildings with large carparks (playgrounds)  Already with heating, lighting, cabling for computers and CCTV etc.  Fit some internal walls, build some fences and you have – A School…   and one less useless building. 

Hello, is anyone out there listening……   Common Sence, not used in Politics or Business. 

 

Trurider

 

 

Why is this idea important?

We need new schools but there just isn't the money to pay for them….

One thing that annoys me when travelling around this country is the number of empty office buildings that were built and stand empty.  It was all a con anyway.  Builder comes along and gets a bank loan and local government approval.  Then builder employs a company which he also owns to build it.  Afterwards he can't find a tenant and his first company goes into Liquidation and the Bank end up with another unwanted empty building. 

Now if we just owned the Banks, oh just minute we do own the Banks.  They accepted all our money to stop them going south for the winter. 

Nice new Buildings with large carparks (playgrounds)  Already with heating, lighting, cabling for computers and CCTV etc.  Fit some internal walls, build some fences and you have – A School…   and one less useless building. 

Hello, is anyone out there listening……   Common Sence, not used in Politics or Business. 

 

Trurider

 

 

No Dumbing Down

A-Levels and GCSEs have gotten easier over the years, it's time that we tighten our education system and go back to our roots of hard subjects and qualifications that take effort to get a good mark in. Introduce international A-Levels and GCSEs so the most able will take them, they are more rigorous, and introduce the IB Diploma in all state schools or at least one in each borough.

Why is this idea important?

A-Levels and GCSEs have gotten easier over the years, it's time that we tighten our education system and go back to our roots of hard subjects and qualifications that take effort to get a good mark in. Introduce international A-Levels and GCSEs so the most able will take them, they are more rigorous, and introduce the IB Diploma in all state schools or at least one in each borough.

Mandelson’s Book “The Third Man” Should Be Required Reading In All Schools.

This book lifts the lid on Britain's rotten version of democracy and how politricians act to match their own vanities at the expense of those who vote for them and pay taxes. This book is a seminal work hot off the presses and therefor a reliable indicator of what happens when we trust poloiticians and allow them to use personal ambitions driven by sham ideologies, the national treasury and shaky moral comasses to exploit others.

Why is this idea important?

This book lifts the lid on Britain's rotten version of democracy and how politricians act to match their own vanities at the expense of those who vote for them and pay taxes. This book is a seminal work hot off the presses and therefor a reliable indicator of what happens when we trust poloiticians and allow them to use personal ambitions driven by sham ideologies, the national treasury and shaky moral comasses to exploit others.

Academies Bill

Do not allow this Bill to become law.  It is unnecessary and divisive.  It is aimed at schools which are already in the most privileged area.  It is a centralising move and takes local democracy away from the education system.

The Free School policy should also be prevented from becoming law.  Nobody thinks it's a good idea except for a few pushy parents.  The funding that these new schools will get is going to come from schools which are already struggling.  It's going to cost millions to implement with no evidence that it's going to do anything to improve educational standards.

At the very least it should be piloted.  Local authorities should at least have a voice on behalf of the local community to express a view about the desirability or otherwise of schools converting.  And the government must stop rushing this legislation through parliament and allow proper consultation and debate on it!

Why is this idea important?

Do not allow this Bill to become law.  It is unnecessary and divisive.  It is aimed at schools which are already in the most privileged area.  It is a centralising move and takes local democracy away from the education system.

The Free School policy should also be prevented from becoming law.  Nobody thinks it's a good idea except for a few pushy parents.  The funding that these new schools will get is going to come from schools which are already struggling.  It's going to cost millions to implement with no evidence that it's going to do anything to improve educational standards.

At the very least it should be piloted.  Local authorities should at least have a voice on behalf of the local community to express a view about the desirability or otherwise of schools converting.  And the government must stop rushing this legislation through parliament and allow proper consultation and debate on it!

Stop Schools confiscating children’s packed lunched

Some schools confiscate a child's packed lunch if it is deemed to contain more than one unhealthy item.  This is a blatant infringement upon civil liberties.  Yes healthy eating is important and is to be encouraged but a school should not have the right to search children's lunch boxes and confiscate them if a parent has decided to give their child 2 biscuits instead of one.   People should be allowed to make their own informed decisions.  

Why is this idea important?

Some schools confiscate a child's packed lunch if it is deemed to contain more than one unhealthy item.  This is a blatant infringement upon civil liberties.  Yes healthy eating is important and is to be encouraged but a school should not have the right to search children's lunch boxes and confiscate them if a parent has decided to give their child 2 biscuits instead of one.   People should be allowed to make their own informed decisions.  

Smoking Ban – Let’s have a referendum!

Moderators – this thread is NOT the same is the other smoking threads, so please don't delete it!

It doesn't matter if you are for or against the smoking ban, what matters is that the public are asked what THEY think and want, through a fair referendum.

Let the public decide what should be done about the smoking ban and allow the government to follow the wishes of its electorate. No other decision is lawful or in any way appropriate if this country is, as it proclaims, a democracy.

The referendum could give 4 options to vote on:-

1. Keep and extend the current smoking ban, to include all public places.

2. Keep the existing smoking ban as it is, with no further changes.

3. Relax the smoking ban to allow private business' (pubs, clubs, cafe's and restaurants etc) to decide on their own smoking policy, or have inside separate ventilated smoking areas etc.

4. Reverse the smoking ban completely, i.e. to how it was in the 1970's.

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Moderators – this thread is NOT the same is the other smoking threads, so please don't delete it!

It doesn't matter if you are for or against the smoking ban, what matters is that the public are asked what THEY think and want, through a fair referendum.

Let the public decide what should be done about the smoking ban and allow the government to follow the wishes of its electorate. No other decision is lawful or in any way appropriate if this country is, as it proclaims, a democracy.

The referendum could give 4 options to vote on:-

1. Keep and extend the current smoking ban, to include all public places.

2. Keep the existing smoking ban as it is, with no further changes.

3. Relax the smoking ban to allow private business' (pubs, clubs, cafe's and restaurants etc) to decide on their own smoking policy, or have inside separate ventilated smoking areas etc.

4. Reverse the smoking ban completely, i.e. to how it was in the 1970's.

 

 

 

Bring back grammar schools to improve social mobility

Grammar schools are not about elitism but about excellence – regardless of income. Their abolition was a disaster since they offered a highly academic education to pupils of any class , enabling pupils from the working and lower middle class to benefit from what was effectively a private school standard of education.

Since their abolition, social mobilty has ground to a halt and the 7 per cent of pupils educated at private schools have reasserted their dominance, taking half of top jobs and 40 per cent of seats in the House of Commons. The upwardly mobile grammar school kid from the council estate has gone – replaced by the public school toff who walks into top jobs because there is no competition from the state sector anymore.

Selection by ability – the grammar school – has been replaced by selection by income – either  a private school or the good comprehensive school, where middle class parents move in to the more expensive catchment areas of the leafy suburban comprehensive. The poor but bright child in the inner city gets sent to a sink comprehensive with low achieving kids and gets a bog standard education.   

The well-meaning liberals who decry the grammar schools have scored a spectacular own goal, kicking the ladder away from poor kids who may otherwise get a chance.

Look at the evidence – in Northern Ireland, which retained grammar schools until recently, the proportion of poor kids going on to university was higher than in England and the overall exam results better.   There is also research showing that clever children perform better in a class of around 20 of their peers instead of being among two or three in the top set of a comp (if they are in a set at all). It's like being in a rowing team – you're going to pull harder if your fellow rowers are at least as good as you or better, but if they're all slower than you, you can relax and not try too hard.   

 

 

     

Why is this idea important?

Grammar schools are not about elitism but about excellence – regardless of income. Their abolition was a disaster since they offered a highly academic education to pupils of any class , enabling pupils from the working and lower middle class to benefit from what was effectively a private school standard of education.

Since their abolition, social mobilty has ground to a halt and the 7 per cent of pupils educated at private schools have reasserted their dominance, taking half of top jobs and 40 per cent of seats in the House of Commons. The upwardly mobile grammar school kid from the council estate has gone – replaced by the public school toff who walks into top jobs because there is no competition from the state sector anymore.

Selection by ability – the grammar school – has been replaced by selection by income – either  a private school or the good comprehensive school, where middle class parents move in to the more expensive catchment areas of the leafy suburban comprehensive. The poor but bright child in the inner city gets sent to a sink comprehensive with low achieving kids and gets a bog standard education.   

The well-meaning liberals who decry the grammar schools have scored a spectacular own goal, kicking the ladder away from poor kids who may otherwise get a chance.

Look at the evidence – in Northern Ireland, which retained grammar schools until recently, the proportion of poor kids going on to university was higher than in England and the overall exam results better.   There is also research showing that clever children perform better in a class of around 20 of their peers instead of being among two or three in the top set of a comp (if they are in a set at all). It's like being in a rowing team – you're going to pull harder if your fellow rowers are at least as good as you or better, but if they're all slower than you, you can relax and not try too hard.   

 

 

     

Don’t like the smoking ban? You know where the door is.

Other countries have much more freedom than Britain.

Clearly the government intends to ignore ideas submitted to this site.

So why not offer bursaries so that people can move abroad to enjoy more freedom:

1. Freedom to smoke: other European countries are much more relaxed about smoking.

2. Freedom to breathe: traffic pollution is much less severe in Europe and they allow smoking rooms so you can choose which smoke you want to be exposed to.

3. Freedom from tax: Britain now has the highest overall burden of tax in the western world.

4. Freedom to work: mass immigration and offshoring of jobs are much less prevalent in other countries.

5. Freedom to study: most other European countries offer student grants and waive tuition fees for poorer students.

6. Freedom to recover: Britain has some of the worst figures in Europe for recovery from cancer and other serious diseases.

7. Freedom to personal space: Britain is now the most densely populated country in Europe (supermarkets estimate, from the sale of staple items like bread and milk, that the population of Britain is around 95 million)

8. Freedom to own a home: it's almost impossible to enter the property market in Britain.

9. Freedom of movement: British people must now sign the e-borders register to take a holiday.

10. Freedom of assembly: in Britain is it illegal to dance to repetitive music, play live music unlicensed at a village fete and hold a political protest without permission from the police.

11. Freedom from noise: despite the previous point Britain offers no protection against neighbourhood noise unlike most other European countries.

12. Freedom from violence: Britain has the highest violent crime figures in Europe and most people are afraid to walk around their own communities after dark.

13. Freedom of the Internet: only Britain, China and North Korea will block Websites and imprison people whom contradict the will of the digital oligarchs.

14. Freedom to have a stake: in America one third of the population has two thirds of the wealth. However in Britain, comparable to a tin-pot dictatorship, just 5% of the population has 95% of the wealth.

I could go on but you get the picture.

Why is this idea important?

Other countries have much more freedom than Britain.

Clearly the government intends to ignore ideas submitted to this site.

So why not offer bursaries so that people can move abroad to enjoy more freedom:

1. Freedom to smoke: other European countries are much more relaxed about smoking.

2. Freedom to breathe: traffic pollution is much less severe in Europe and they allow smoking rooms so you can choose which smoke you want to be exposed to.

3. Freedom from tax: Britain now has the highest overall burden of tax in the western world.

4. Freedom to work: mass immigration and offshoring of jobs are much less prevalent in other countries.

5. Freedom to study: most other European countries offer student grants and waive tuition fees for poorer students.

6. Freedom to recover: Britain has some of the worst figures in Europe for recovery from cancer and other serious diseases.

7. Freedom to personal space: Britain is now the most densely populated country in Europe (supermarkets estimate, from the sale of staple items like bread and milk, that the population of Britain is around 95 million)

8. Freedom to own a home: it's almost impossible to enter the property market in Britain.

9. Freedom of movement: British people must now sign the e-borders register to take a holiday.

10. Freedom of assembly: in Britain is it illegal to dance to repetitive music, play live music unlicensed at a village fete and hold a political protest without permission from the police.

11. Freedom from noise: despite the previous point Britain offers no protection against neighbourhood noise unlike most other European countries.

12. Freedom from violence: Britain has the highest violent crime figures in Europe and most people are afraid to walk around their own communities after dark.

13. Freedom of the Internet: only Britain, China and North Korea will block Websites and imprison people whom contradict the will of the digital oligarchs.

14. Freedom to have a stake: in America one third of the population has two thirds of the wealth. However in Britain, comparable to a tin-pot dictatorship, just 5% of the population has 95% of the wealth.

I could go on but you get the picture.

Fixed price Car Insurance as incentive for Teenagers

High School Children should be able to 'earn' reasonably priced basic car Insurance by being law abiding up to age 18. They may, say, earn by dint of thier good behavior, a couple of driving lessons a year if they succeed in gaining a 'clean sheet' that year. The lessons can be redeemed as a reward when the child gains thier learners licence.

If a young person keeps a completely clean record up to age 18 they would be entitled to basic third party Car Insurance (for a low power vehicle) at a reasonable fixed cost – say £500pa.

The Insurance would be cancelled immediately for any driving infringement (ie speeding).

I believe this could save insurers many millions in the long term as there wouldn't be as much call on the uninsured driver fund.

Why is this idea important?

High School Children should be able to 'earn' reasonably priced basic car Insurance by being law abiding up to age 18. They may, say, earn by dint of thier good behavior, a couple of driving lessons a year if they succeed in gaining a 'clean sheet' that year. The lessons can be redeemed as a reward when the child gains thier learners licence.

If a young person keeps a completely clean record up to age 18 they would be entitled to basic third party Car Insurance (for a low power vehicle) at a reasonable fixed cost – say £500pa.

The Insurance would be cancelled immediately for any driving infringement (ie speeding).

I believe this could save insurers many millions in the long term as there wouldn't be as much call on the uninsured driver fund.

Unfair School Transport Policy for Low Income Children Living in Rural Areas

Dear Nick Clegg,

Please can you change the School Transport Policy to INCLUDE children from low income families living in rural areas that do not have 3 schools within 2 to 6 miles from their homes.

The policy states that the statutory right to free transport for secondary school pupils from low income families provides a choice to one of the three nearest schools to their home address. However, transport will only be provided if the school is between 2 and 6 miles of the home address, and to the nearest school preferred by reason of a parent's religion or belief, between 2 and 15 miles of the home address.

Real Choice – In a statement, School Minister Lord Adonis said "We want to remove transport as a barrier to parental choice. No young person should be prevented from going to a school of their choice simply because of travel costs. That's why it is vital to expand the right to free school travel for young people from low income families to give them real choice in applying for schools."

I look after my disabled husband and have two young secondary school aged children. I chose the second closest school for many important reasons and then was refused help with transport costs. Where is our "Real Choice"? There is no real choice if you live in a rural area!! Even religion is taken into account and are allowed up to 15 miles from their home. My second closest school is 12 miles from our home. You are lucky in most rural areas if you have one school close to your home! It is the children who live in rural areas that really need the help with transport costs as they have much further to travel thus incurring high costs.

We strongly believe we are being excluded from this policy just because we live in a rural part of Devon.

Please, please PLEASE can you amend this policy? Thank you.

Why is this idea important?

Dear Nick Clegg,

Please can you change the School Transport Policy to INCLUDE children from low income families living in rural areas that do not have 3 schools within 2 to 6 miles from their homes.

The policy states that the statutory right to free transport for secondary school pupils from low income families provides a choice to one of the three nearest schools to their home address. However, transport will only be provided if the school is between 2 and 6 miles of the home address, and to the nearest school preferred by reason of a parent's religion or belief, between 2 and 15 miles of the home address.

Real Choice – In a statement, School Minister Lord Adonis said "We want to remove transport as a barrier to parental choice. No young person should be prevented from going to a school of their choice simply because of travel costs. That's why it is vital to expand the right to free school travel for young people from low income families to give them real choice in applying for schools."

I look after my disabled husband and have two young secondary school aged children. I chose the second closest school for many important reasons and then was refused help with transport costs. Where is our "Real Choice"? There is no real choice if you live in a rural area!! Even religion is taken into account and are allowed up to 15 miles from their home. My second closest school is 12 miles from our home. You are lucky in most rural areas if you have one school close to your home! It is the children who live in rural areas that really need the help with transport costs as they have much further to travel thus incurring high costs.

We strongly believe we are being excluded from this policy just because we live in a rural part of Devon.

Please, please PLEASE can you amend this policy? Thank you.

Change University Education

Change the early stages of University Education so that they are based on lectures provided from CD and Internet storage and the University itself should be taking the very best ideas from the Open University and its coursework based by mail and combining it with the traditional lecture based system to provide the best of both worlds rather than the current system which is more focussed on bums on seats attendance.

Some students need more contact with the lecturers to succeed, others less so. There is an efficiency dividend to be reaped if approached carefully.

Why is this idea important?

Change the early stages of University Education so that they are based on lectures provided from CD and Internet storage and the University itself should be taking the very best ideas from the Open University and its coursework based by mail and combining it with the traditional lecture based system to provide the best of both worlds rather than the current system which is more focussed on bums on seats attendance.

Some students need more contact with the lecturers to succeed, others less so. There is an efficiency dividend to be reaped if approached carefully.

Educate prisoners

If it costs the same for private school as it does for prison-educate prisoners-if they want money, empower them to earn it. If they were offered an exclusive education they would have to be REALLY stupid to refuse it. Begin by the aggressive acquisition of quality education services, whose funding is gradually taken up by the considerable reduction in OTT security measures. Some may say 'what about the drug problem…', well if you've read my other ideas, the legalisation of drugs would exponentially reduce the cost of security.

Why is this idea important?

If it costs the same for private school as it does for prison-educate prisoners-if they want money, empower them to earn it. If they were offered an exclusive education they would have to be REALLY stupid to refuse it. Begin by the aggressive acquisition of quality education services, whose funding is gradually taken up by the considerable reduction in OTT security measures. Some may say 'what about the drug problem…', well if you've read my other ideas, the legalisation of drugs would exponentially reduce the cost of security.

Restore power to the teachers

I am currently a sixth former at my local state school and am appauled daily by the lack of control the teachers feel they have over pupils who are consequently allowed to run riot. This needs to be stopped. Teachers should definately be given the moral highground once again, they need to know that the Government are backing them and giving them the power to enforce discipline properly, rather then sending for higher members of staff who recieve exactly the same treatment. The pupils know they can cause trouble without facing any real implications and therefore enjoy roaming the school doing as they please, with the occasional after school detention as their only punishment. The whole system needs to be looked into, and the nanny state needs to be clamped, pupils constantly use their human rights and the fact that 'they'll take you to court' if you as far as touch them, to acknowledge their power within the classroom and students who want to learn and are not at all disrupted find themselves recieving low quality education as a result of this. I'm not suggesting pupils should be smacked by a slipper everytime they speak out of turn, but for the teachers to regain control in the classroom and for constantly disruptive pupils to be secluded or excluded once and for all, as the current charges on schools that exclude pupils means that troublesome youngsters are being allowed back time and time again so that the school can escape the fine.

Why is this idea important?

I am currently a sixth former at my local state school and am appauled daily by the lack of control the teachers feel they have over pupils who are consequently allowed to run riot. This needs to be stopped. Teachers should definately be given the moral highground once again, they need to know that the Government are backing them and giving them the power to enforce discipline properly, rather then sending for higher members of staff who recieve exactly the same treatment. The pupils know they can cause trouble without facing any real implications and therefore enjoy roaming the school doing as they please, with the occasional after school detention as their only punishment. The whole system needs to be looked into, and the nanny state needs to be clamped, pupils constantly use their human rights and the fact that 'they'll take you to court' if you as far as touch them, to acknowledge their power within the classroom and students who want to learn and are not at all disrupted find themselves recieving low quality education as a result of this. I'm not suggesting pupils should be smacked by a slipper everytime they speak out of turn, but for the teachers to regain control in the classroom and for constantly disruptive pupils to be secluded or excluded once and for all, as the current charges on schools that exclude pupils means that troublesome youngsters are being allowed back time and time again so that the school can escape the fine.

Remove 16-Month Time Limit for New Teachers

Currently Newly-Qualified Teachers (NQTs) have a 16-month time limit within which they need to start their first year of teaching (first job).  This limit is too short – someone who graduates in June 2010 would, by November 2011, have become unqualified, even if they had done supply teaching as often this does not count.

In my case I completed my training in March 2010, and fortunately got a job to start in August.  Had I not got a job for the new academic year (and jobs that start at other times in the year being few and far between), I would have to had given up teaching as by July 2011 I would have rendered myself unqualified as I would not have started my first job.  In this situation I would not even have been able to work as an unqualified teacher as my teaching qualification rules this impossible.

Why is this idea important?

Currently Newly-Qualified Teachers (NQTs) have a 16-month time limit within which they need to start their first year of teaching (first job).  This limit is too short – someone who graduates in June 2010 would, by November 2011, have become unqualified, even if they had done supply teaching as often this does not count.

In my case I completed my training in March 2010, and fortunately got a job to start in August.  Had I not got a job for the new academic year (and jobs that start at other times in the year being few and far between), I would have to had given up teaching as by July 2011 I would have rendered myself unqualified as I would not have started my first job.  In this situation I would not even have been able to work as an unqualified teacher as my teaching qualification rules this impossible.

Reverse the decision that all new nurses will be required to have degrees

The basic requirement for being a good nurse is surely to have a kind, caring personality, not an ability to write a good essay.  It is therefore hugely worrying that entirely uncaring, but academic people could soon qualify as nurses at the expense of those who are very caring and attentive, but do not have an aptitude for academic study. 

What is more, there is a very real possibility that some of those who get degrees will become ‘too posh to wash’ and think the traditional duties of a nurse below them.  This will do nobody any favours. 

On top of this, has any thought been given to how this ludicrous proposal will be funded?  There are surely only three possibilities, all of which are unpalatable:

  1. The government will fund this unnecessary extra education, through grants and subsidies, increasing the already gargantuan budget deficit, thus further exacerbating the economic woes of this country.  
  2. Nursing will become a career option which is only available to the wealthy, as they will be the only ones who can afford the training.
  3. Trainee nurses will be required to take out large loans, saddling them with huge debts that they may never pay off.

Clearly none of the above, or any combination of them, is in the slightest bit desirable from the point of view either of potential nurses or of society as a whole.

Why is this idea important?

The basic requirement for being a good nurse is surely to have a kind, caring personality, not an ability to write a good essay.  It is therefore hugely worrying that entirely uncaring, but academic people could soon qualify as nurses at the expense of those who are very caring and attentive, but do not have an aptitude for academic study. 

What is more, there is a very real possibility that some of those who get degrees will become ‘too posh to wash’ and think the traditional duties of a nurse below them.  This will do nobody any favours. 

On top of this, has any thought been given to how this ludicrous proposal will be funded?  There are surely only three possibilities, all of which are unpalatable:

  1. The government will fund this unnecessary extra education, through grants and subsidies, increasing the already gargantuan budget deficit, thus further exacerbating the economic woes of this country.  
  2. Nursing will become a career option which is only available to the wealthy, as they will be the only ones who can afford the training.
  3. Trainee nurses will be required to take out large loans, saddling them with huge debts that they may never pay off.

Clearly none of the above, or any combination of them, is in the slightest bit desirable from the point of view either of potential nurses or of society as a whole.

Change the Ofsted regime

 

I am advocating a change to the current Ofsted inspection regime because I believe that it is unnecessarily stressful and unhelpful.

 

The main source of stress comes from not knowing when an Ofsted inspection is going to happen. (My last school was inspected in January 2007 and as a result were expecting to be inspected in January 2010. Staff were under stress from September 2009, but when the inspectors did not arrive in January, the stress did not go away, it just built up; expecting the ‘call’ each day. Even now at the end of the year they are still stressed and will not be able to relax fully over the summer break in anticipation of an inspection next year!)

 

My suggestion is that inspections should become annual events along the lines of the professional review process which most teachers have embraced and find useful. If inspection were a regular, annual event, there would be no stress about expecting the ‘call’. Everybody could focus on the job of teaching, knowing that the inspectors would be in during July (or whenever).

 

The inspections should at least be lead by the same inspector from year to year (This would avoid the situation at my last school of the team not knowing that it is a ‘split site’ school, separated by 4.6 miles of rolling Essex countryside!). More importantly it would enable a real dialogue to be entered into. Currently there is insufficient time for inspectors to watch whole lessons or to give appropriate and useful feedback to teachers. If the same inspector came back regularly they would know what had been missed last time and what needs to be seen this time; to check on the progress of a new initiative or to revisit a teacher who was struggling last time etc.. It would also further the spread of good practice as Ofsted inspectors cover the whole of the country, unlike SIPs who tend to be more local. Imagine a useful conversation between an inspector and a head of curriculum trying to innovate; ‘I was in ? a few weeks ago. They were introducing something similar. Would you like me to share their contact details with you?’ In this way the best ideas would spread quickly throughout the country.

 

 My background is that I am an ‘ex’ vice principal of a large and successful Technology College. I took early retirement at 56 two years ago because I could not face the introduction of another ill thought out initiative (Curriculum 2008 and Diplomas). I took a term to recover from 34 years of teaching and am now working for my LA as a School Attendance Improvement Officer. A useful and meaningful job, but not really what I was trained for, nor what I was good at. If there had been opportunities for secondments or sabbaticals available at the time, I would have returned refreshed and ready for my last 9 years in teaching. Perhaps such initiatives as sabbaticals should be reintroduced in order to keep experienced and senior staff in schools, particularly in the face of expected shortages in the next few years.

Why is this idea important?

 

I am advocating a change to the current Ofsted inspection regime because I believe that it is unnecessarily stressful and unhelpful.

 

The main source of stress comes from not knowing when an Ofsted inspection is going to happen. (My last school was inspected in January 2007 and as a result were expecting to be inspected in January 2010. Staff were under stress from September 2009, but when the inspectors did not arrive in January, the stress did not go away, it just built up; expecting the ‘call’ each day. Even now at the end of the year they are still stressed and will not be able to relax fully over the summer break in anticipation of an inspection next year!)

 

My suggestion is that inspections should become annual events along the lines of the professional review process which most teachers have embraced and find useful. If inspection were a regular, annual event, there would be no stress about expecting the ‘call’. Everybody could focus on the job of teaching, knowing that the inspectors would be in during July (or whenever).

 

The inspections should at least be lead by the same inspector from year to year (This would avoid the situation at my last school of the team not knowing that it is a ‘split site’ school, separated by 4.6 miles of rolling Essex countryside!). More importantly it would enable a real dialogue to be entered into. Currently there is insufficient time for inspectors to watch whole lessons or to give appropriate and useful feedback to teachers. If the same inspector came back regularly they would know what had been missed last time and what needs to be seen this time; to check on the progress of a new initiative or to revisit a teacher who was struggling last time etc.. It would also further the spread of good practice as Ofsted inspectors cover the whole of the country, unlike SIPs who tend to be more local. Imagine a useful conversation between an inspector and a head of curriculum trying to innovate; ‘I was in ? a few weeks ago. They were introducing something similar. Would you like me to share their contact details with you?’ In this way the best ideas would spread quickly throughout the country.

 

 My background is that I am an ‘ex’ vice principal of a large and successful Technology College. I took early retirement at 56 two years ago because I could not face the introduction of another ill thought out initiative (Curriculum 2008 and Diplomas). I took a term to recover from 34 years of teaching and am now working for my LA as a School Attendance Improvement Officer. A useful and meaningful job, but not really what I was trained for, nor what I was good at. If there had been opportunities for secondments or sabbaticals available at the time, I would have returned refreshed and ready for my last 9 years in teaching. Perhaps such initiatives as sabbaticals should be reintroduced in order to keep experienced and senior staff in schools, particularly in the face of expected shortages in the next few years.

Stop stats tests on primary school children

Teachers, schools and parents all call for it to be abolished.  Why is this still happening?  Why do we need these tests?  Why are we allowing our children to be put through the pressure at such a young age?

Why is this idea important?

Teachers, schools and parents all call for it to be abolished.  Why is this still happening?  Why do we need these tests?  Why are we allowing our children to be put through the pressure at such a young age?

For an obligatory parenting education scheme

How much do you have to know about road safety before you are allowed onto the roads? A fair amount.

How much do you have to know about law before you can become a lawyer? A huge amount.

How much do you have to know about children before you can have kids? Nothing.

I think people should have to complete a government-funded course on raising children within five years of having them and ideally before having them. The within-five-year rule would be to take unplanned pregnancies into account.

What happens if you don't complete the course within five years? Your child is repossessed by an adoption agency. To claim it back, you must simply complete the course.

Why is this idea important?

How much do you have to know about road safety before you are allowed onto the roads? A fair amount.

How much do you have to know about law before you can become a lawyer? A huge amount.

How much do you have to know about children before you can have kids? Nothing.

I think people should have to complete a government-funded course on raising children within five years of having them and ideally before having them. The within-five-year rule would be to take unplanned pregnancies into account.

What happens if you don't complete the course within five years? Your child is repossessed by an adoption agency. To claim it back, you must simply complete the course.

Most children go on later in life to become parents, so why are we not equipping them with the skills needed?

Some mothers and fathers genuinely do not have the skills needed for parenthood.

We believe that teaching real life skills is really important when it comes to numeracy and literacy, so why not teach skills for the most important job most of us will ever do?  We should give lesson time in school to both boys and girls to equip them with skills they may not learn from their parents.  Everything from practical skills, teaching to teach, teaching behaviour, responsibilities, finance, challenges, potential problems, relationship changes and how parents lives change.

In school, we teach sex education, hoping this will reduce our teenager pregnancy rate.  I think it is time to admit that our children generally understand and are taught sex education well the problem is our culture.  Maybe teaching children about parenting will create better parents for the future, who think carefully before making the decision to have children.

Why is this idea important?

Some mothers and fathers genuinely do not have the skills needed for parenthood.

We believe that teaching real life skills is really important when it comes to numeracy and literacy, so why not teach skills for the most important job most of us will ever do?  We should give lesson time in school to both boys and girls to equip them with skills they may not learn from their parents.  Everything from practical skills, teaching to teach, teaching behaviour, responsibilities, finance, challenges, potential problems, relationship changes and how parents lives change.

In school, we teach sex education, hoping this will reduce our teenager pregnancy rate.  I think it is time to admit that our children generally understand and are taught sex education well the problem is our culture.  Maybe teaching children about parenting will create better parents for the future, who think carefully before making the decision to have children.