5-14 disaster

10th January 2003 at 00:00
Recently at an Aberdeenshire in-service day for all the secondary science teachers of the region, a simple show of hands was requested. Did anyone feel that, after 13 years and million of pounds spent, the 5-14 course was delivering effectively?

The result? No one put their hands up. The combined wisdom of approximately 1,500 years of teacher experience of the audience gave 5-14 the thumbs down. From conversations with colleagues, the feeling would seem to be echoed here.

What exactly would it take to generate doubt in the minds of the powers that be and get them to look realistically at what they are doing? At what point are they going to realise a dreadful mistake has been made and it is now time to stop flogging a dead horse?

There appears to be a tremendous number of seconded "experts" trying to make the square wheels of 5-14 roll who, like the emperor with his new clothes, do not see the folly in what is going on.

I have seen many changes in education but this one must stand out as the most damaging to basic sound education for today's youngsters. If the powers that be think I am an isolated misguided voice, then it would be a simple matter to ask teachers in general how they feel about 5-14. Perhaps they do not want to know that answer.

A M Burns Kinmundy Green, Westhill Aberdeenshire

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