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

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today