Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw finds himself in the headlines today seeking to push forward school improvement. This is his job and in one sense whether we agree with what he`s doing or not we have to commend him for trying. My concern (as Chair of Governors of a splendid Infant`s School) is that the desire for better educational standards is always justified by pointing to the needs of the economy: He says
“I make no apology for making even greater demands of an education system which has to respond with greater urgency to increasingly difficult and competitive economic circumstances.”
Well, yes- we all wish our young people to be able to contribute to our common life and to acquire the skills needed to make a living etc., etc. However, I live with a sneaking suspicion that before long we will be incapable of seeing education as having any other purpose than training people for `the workplace`. Somewhere along the way we shall lose any grander vision of education contribution to the formation of a rounded and more complete person.
Whilst I generalise(!) this seems to me to be the same mind-set (the tendency to flatten things out) which is responsible for putting far too much emphasis on treatment and not enough on `care` in our Health Service. Perhaps this is what happens when one becomes obsessed with measuring everything. Discuss….