Planning is futile for most students

31st March 2000 at 01:00
THANK YOU Libby Purves for bringing a voice of sanity to the continually-assessed, excessively evaluated and interminably tested world of education (TES, March 10).

I have often wondered, when I present an action plan to a 16- year-old, what my reaction would have been at that age on being asked to fill in such a document.

I have the sneaking suspicion that, although compliance might have been forthcoming, enthusiasm and insight would have been distinctly lacking.

When I am approached for advice on choosing university courses, many students look at me as if I am mad when I tell them to go for what intereststhem - because they will be stuck with it for three or four years.

There is a belief that anything with "business" in the title will lead to a well-paid and interesting job but, as Libby states, there is only a small minority whose goals and aspirations are clearly-


For the rest, any attempt at strategic planning might as well be done with the roll of a dice.

I would like to take up Libby's last question: "So are we all barking up the wrong tree?" We lost the tree years ago. I think it retrained to become a lamppost.

Carole Blacher

Course tutor

Orpington College, Kent

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