Letters extra: what it means to be educated

13th July 2001 at 01:00

Roger Adcock justifiably points to the absence of "a coherent concept of what it is to be educated" as a reason for the government's lack of "real vision" in its management of education (June 29, Live Issue).

The 1988 Education Reform Act, 1(2)(a) requires that the school curriculum provide for "the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils in the school and of society".

The government has, quite reasonably, tried to ensure that school leavers emerge from formal education with useful intellectual achievements. Would that it also gave equal priority to ensuring that school leavers were morally, socially and culturally mature!

The public might then hear of fewer crimes, less profligacy with natural resources, more honourable business dealings and a whole host of other benefits.

Sadly, this is unlikely to happen. If schools produce too many pupils who can see beyond the superficial, politicians might find it more difficult to convince the public of their suitability to make decisions that affect the country.

Tony Wenmannbsp;
Education consultant and research studentnbsp;
King's College, London

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