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Cut School Leaving Age To 14

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-15146240

Seriously, though, I have never understood why we have separate decisions about when somebody is allowed to drink, drive, have a bank account, get a job, leave school, join the army and kill people, be gay, claim benefits, get married, have sex, drive a lorry, etc. etc.

Why is there not just one age fit for all? The date you become "an adult"?

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This sounds like an excellent idea. There are many who would be better off leaving school at 14, and given the right to go and earn some money. They gain no value from school, let them go and hopefully do some work. They will be happier if they do this, and I think the rest of society would be better off too.

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They should keep kids in school until they are 18... unless they can pass tests in basic literacy and numeracy. Even after leaving school, they should force them to go to adult education college if they are in receipt of any benefits until they reach the required standard.

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Great - we already have a mass of poorly-educated, borderline-literate sheep.

Obviously there are still too many people with some education who are asking awkward questions of the way that the system works, let's make sure that we knock the level of general eduction down some more so that the jolly clever people at the top don't have to waste time defending the decisions they make against members of the public who apply a bit of critical thinking.

After all, we should leave things to 'the experts' and not fill our heads with all that silly education stuff. We should all just put our noses to the grindstone and work hard and pay our taxes no questions asked, for we will surely be rewarded.

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Great - we already have a mass of poorly-educated, borderline-literate sheep.

Obviously there are still too many people with some education who are asking awkward questions of the way that the system works, let's make sure that we knock the level of general eduction down some more so that the jolly clever people at the top don't have to waste time defending the decisions they make against members of the public who apply a bit of critical thinking.

After all, we should leave things to 'the experts' and not fill our heads with all that silly education stuff. We should all just put our noses to the grindstone and work hard and pay our taxes no questions asked, for we will surely be rewarded.

Oi! Get back to work you!

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They should keep kids in school until they are 18... unless they can pass tests in basic literacy and numeracy. Even after leaving school, they should force them to go to adult education college if they are in receipt of any benefits until they reach the required standard.

Yep. There should be a Leaving Exam. I suspect a number of 13-15yr olds might make a real effort if they could see it led to an early release (like prisoners :) )

As for Woodhead...he doesn't say what rates of pay he'd expect a 14yr old to work for. No doubt it would be below the current min. wage.

A dream for employers - Tesco trolley pushers for £3/hr, for example.

Has anyone from business or the far right suggested sticking them up chimneys yet? Surely the next logical step... :rolleyes:

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Now you can take GCSEs before the final year, this would be great!

I could have left school a lot earlier. I was a truant myself. In year 10 my attendance was shocking. I did 5 paper rounds in the morning, then went to school at dinner, went to registration and did the last hours lesson. That got you 50% attendance for the day. Sometimes me and the friends would go to morning registration, sneak off, then catch a bus somewhere and have a 'day out'.

Wasn't like I missed much either. laugh.gif

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They should keep kids in school until they are 18... unless they can pass tests in basic literacy and numeracy. Even after leaving school, they should force them to go to adult education college if they are in receipt of any benefits until they reach the required standard.

A solution requiring force isn't a solution at all. Imprisoning children in schools for much of their young lives is immoral.

Besides, why should be well schooled in order to receive benefits? What has them being able to add or read got to do with them avoiding poverty? You're applying your own criteria on what makes someone a 'good person' and then projecting it on others.

If you suggested that stealing from some people to give benefits to others was wrong, I would agree. However, you are saying that stealing from some to give to others of your arbitrary selection is fine, along with use threats of violence to make kids learn some arbitrary curriculum.

Can you not see how ridiculous and immoral your position is?

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Why is there not just one age fit for all? The date you become "an adult"?

I think the reason for that is that there isn't an age at which people transition from being a child to being an adult. I've met 12 year olds I'd consider adult (in the sense that they take responsibility for their actions and behave rationally and responsibly) and several at 70 years old who don't - and appear never to have done so.

I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of lowering school leaving age. I think that education has to be one of the real benefits of western civilisation - and undermining it will be to the considerable detriment of future generations... possibly making it the most damaging social change imaginable. Conversely, I'm also of the opinion that it is stupid to force people to attend school - because they will learn nothing... they become an unnecessary drain on society and see no benefit themselves. I think it's tragic that some people can't see how to benefit from education - but, given that some don't and won't - it seems ridiculous to torture them - demanding they squeeze themselves into a one-size-fits-all mould.

Personally, I feel deeply sad at anyone who wants to leave education before at least gaining an undergraduate degree... conversely, I don't see any point in trying to force the unwilling to learn... that's an exercise in futility that undermines education as a whole.

Perhaps the solution is to make education free to all those who meet the entry requirements - and behave appropriately... the penalty being exclusion for misbehaviour - and. with that, an inability to move on in life. If we separated the preposterous idea that people are principally qualified by their age, perhaps we'd get on better.

Edited by A.steve

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Girls are biologically two years ahead of boys, so it it stands to reason that they should get kicked out at 12.

Actually I can see both sides to this argument, however if kids are unemployable at 16, 18 or even 21, then what's the point?

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They should keep kids in school until they are 18... unless they can pass tests in basic literacy and numeracy. Even after leaving school, they should force them to go to adult education college if they are in receipt of any benefits until they reach the required standard.

So you want to force innocent adults into an open prison further education college under threat of homelessness and starvation. How Victorian.

The beatings will continue until literacy improves.

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They should keep kids in school until they are 18... unless they can pass tests in basic literacy and numeracy. Even after leaving school, they should force them to go to adult education college if they are in receipt of any benefits until they reach the required standard.

The trouble with the current "system" that it still too academic-based. A lot of students know by the age of 14, that they don't want to take this route, thus they can cause huge disruption in class, because they are bored, and have no interest.

So Chris Woodhead suggests that those who want to have a vocational career, leave at the end of year nine...It could possibly be a good idea - they would go into a trade that they would like to go into, and along with this, they would sign up to some sort of day-release course at college - this course could include extra maths & english units into it..

Perhaps the day release course could be allocated A level type credits in the future, so that if they decide that they want to go on to university at a later date (perhaps when they mature), they can..

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Girls are biologically two years ahead of boys, so it it stands to reason that they should get kicked out at 12.

Actually I can see both sides to this argument, however if kids are unemployable at 16, 18 or even 21, then what's the point?

If you eliminate minimum wage, there can be full employment of every able bodied person... as I'd pay £1 a day to have people garden in public parks; sweep streets - clean footpaths with toothbrushes - whatever. There's no shortage of work of minimal worth for which minimal payments can be made. With effectively free labour, we could even manufacture in competition with China. All that's required is to stop raising the minimum standard of living... accept that the worst off will experience real poverty - and a lot of things work themselves out. The problem is that if you raise everyone's expectations to the median - there's no-longer motivation to be productive and there's a massive bill for skewing the natural distribution of wealth. I'm not saying that poverty is acceptable - just that relative poverty is inevitable.

Curiously, while I disagree that girls are 'ahead of boys' intellectually (biologically makes no sense - there's no common anatomical reference) there are some who argue that there's no point in educating girls - as their place is in the home and raising children. To a tiny extent, I follow the reasoning - but it ignores that the purpose of education is far wider than economic advancement... and to exclude based on gender - just like nationality or other stereotyped prejudices, is immoral.

My grandfather left school at 14. He explained that 'everything' he learned, he learned in the army... and, for that reason, WWII was positive in his life. I wonder if we should expect WWIII in the coming decades.

Edited by A.steve

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I think the reason for that is that there isn't an age at which people transition from being a child to being an adult. I've met 12 year olds I'd consider adult (in the sense that they take responsibility for their actions and behave rationally and responsibly) and several at 70 years old who don't - and appear never to have done so.

I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of lowering school leaving age. I think that education has to be one of the real benefits of western civilisation - and undermining it will be to the considerable detriment of future generations... possibly making it the most damaging social change imaginable. Conversely, I'm also of the opinion that it is stupid to force people to attend school - because they will learn nothing... they become an unnecessary drain on society and see no benefit themselves. I think it's tragic that some people can't see how to benefit from education - but, given that some don't and won't - it seems ridiculous to torture them - demanding they squeeze themselves into a one-size-fits-all mould.

Personally, I feel deeply sad at anyone who wants to leave education before at least gaining an undergraduate degree... conversely, I don't see any point in trying to force the unwilling to learn... that's an exercise in futility that undermines education as a whole.

Perhaps the solution is to make education free to all those who meet the entry requirements - and behave appropriately... the penalty being exclusion for misbehaviour - and. with that, an inability to move on in life. If we separated the preposterous idea that people are principally qualified by their age, perhaps we'd get on better.

The only moral position is to not use threats of violence to force children to learn. If they want to learn, that's great - they should be given every opportunity to. If they don't want to learn, that's fine too. I would hope that parents would see the virtue in at least teaching their kids the basics, though. Ultimately, if the child is academically gifted, their salary is reasonably likely to reflect their higher level of schooling.

BTW, I'm not sure if you saw this posted the other day or not: http://www.khanacademy.org/

I've watched a few of the banking ones, as well as some of the basic maths ones to see what and how the teaching is done. IMO, it seems pretty good. I have asked my wife (primary school teacher) to have a look over the lessons to see what she thinks too. The point is though, this is free, decent quality, education. It is available to anyone with a half decent Internet connection and basic PC - you can even watch them on a smart phone (they're YouTube based)! I wouldn't be surprised if other people start up alternative sites too, improving where possible.

While we keep forcing people into centralised, compulsory schooling, we aren't going to see the economic benefit of such technology. If we need fewer teachers, fewer schools, along with more choice, flexibility and freedom, that's progress IMO.

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The trouble with the current "system" that it still too academic-based. A lot of students know by the age of 14, that they don't want to take this route, thus they can cause huge disruption in class, because they are bored, and have no interest.

So Chris Woodhead suggests that those who want to have a vocational career, leave at the end of year nine...It could possibly be a good idea - they would go into a trade that they would like to go into, and along with this, they would sign up to some sort of day-release course at college - this course could include extra maths & english units into it..

What if the trade they leave school early for (without any other GCSEs/Alevels to fall back on) disappears? What would they do then?

Perhaps the day release course could be allocated A level type credits in the future, so that if they decide that they want to go on to university at a later date (perhaps when they mature), they can..

An interesting idea, However this could degenerate into a quick way of gaming the system to avoid any nasty exams. I know I would.

Edited by PopGun

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So you want to force innocent adults into an open prison further education college under threat of homelessness and starvation. How Victorian.

Yeah right :angry:

Better cut off schooling at age 14 and let them survive doing prostitution/drug trade/pilferage or NMW £2.50/£3.93ph assuming one can find an apprenticeship/job at 14, is that what you are proposing?

Emotions aside, I can see how it would work though - abolish NMW together with lowering the school leaving age, and youth employment problem solved TPTB need to exploit your children directly if they cannot enslave them by debt.

Anecdotal: there are NO MORE paper rounds around my place which are available for children, all are taken up by adults.

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If you eliminate minimum wage, there can be full employment of every able bodied person... as I'd pay £1 a day to have people garden in public parks; sweep streets - clean footpaths with toothbrushes - whatever. There's no shortage of work of minimal worth for which minimal payments can be made. With effectively free labour, we could even manufacture in competition with China. All that's required is to stop raising the minimum standard of living... accept that the worst off will experience real poverty - and a lot of things work themselves out. The problem is that if you raise everyone's expectations to the median - there's no-longer motivation to be productive and there's a massive bill for skewing the natural distribution of wealth. I'm not saying that poverty is acceptable - just that relative poverty is inevitable.

Curiously, while I disagree that girls are 'ahead of boys' intellectually (biologically makes no sense - there's no common anatomical reference) there are some who argue that there's no point in educating girls - as their place is in the home and raising children. To a tiny extent, I follow the reasoning - but it ignores that the purpose of education is far wider than economic advancement... and to exclude based on gender - just like nationality or other stereotyped prejudices, is immoral.

My grandfather left school at 14. He explained that 'everything' he learned, he learned in the army... and, for that reason, WWII was positive in his life. I wonder if we should expect WWIII in the coming decades.

Are you on a wind up?

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What if the trade they leave school early for (without any other GCSEs/Alevels to fall back on) disappears? What would they do then?

An interesting idea, However this could degenerate into a quick way of gaming the system to avoid any nasty exams. I know I would.

How many of these kids actually go on to complete / pass any GCSEs at all? A lot of schools don't put forward these kids for their GCSEs in the first place, because it screws up their pass average.. They could actually go on and work towards NVQs, so its not an "easy option"..

How about a kid, called Dave, who is 14, and is not interested in school. He leaves at 14, to do some apprenticeship, say in a local garage, and along with this, he would do a day release course, with an NVQ attached to it.. Fast forward to when he's 20/22, and he wants to go to university to do Engineering, the NVQ should allow him to do this..

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Yeah right :angry:

Better cut off schooling at age 14 and let them survive doing prostitution/drug trade/pilferage or NMW £2.50/£3.93ph assuming one can find an apprenticeship/job at 14, is that what you are proposing?

Earning £2.50ph while gaining job experience (and maybe even training) is better than running around a classroom in a rage because you are full of hormones, hate the environment you are forced to be in every day, and lack the emotional maturity to deal with it or the freedom to walk away.

A relative of mine teaches adult numeracy in a further education college and his students generally do well. They leave compulsory education, spend a few years growing up and calming down a bit, and are then willing and able to come back and learn. This is a better use of state resources than babysitting angry 14-18 year olds who will barely even sit down, let alone open a book and start learning.

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Yeah right :angry:

Better cut off schooling at age 14 and let them survive doing prostitution/drug trade/pilferage or NMW £2.50/£3.93ph assuming one can find an apprenticeship/job at 14, is that what you are proposing?

Emotions aside, I can see how it would work though - abolish NMW together with lowering the school leaving age, and youth employment problem solved TPTB need to exploit your children directly if they cannot enslave them by debt.

Anecdotal: there are NO MORE paper rounds around my place which are available for children, all are taken up by adults.

The OP suggested scrapping compulsory attendance beyond 14. That is not the same as preventing attending school to 18.

If someone wants to leave school at 14 and earn a wage, why not let them? Forcing them, through threats of imprisoning their parents, is clearly not a sane solution.

As for NMW, making it illegal for people to work for less than some arbitrary government wage is daft too. A 14 year old who is not academic may well prosper for being free to gain a low wage (sub NMW) apprenticeship; they get a little cash and some valuable experience of learning on the job.

The current education is far too rigid and one size simply does not fit all. Pumping every kid full of academia until they're 18, under threats of violence, is a simple minded solution.

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What if the trade they leave school early for (without any other GCSEs/Alevels to fall back on) disappears? What would they do then?

Errrm... learn a new one? I learned ASP Classic in my own time. It is now almost redundant as a skillset. Didn't bother me. I learned ASP .NET since. I had to, if I wanted continued work on MS based web development.

Are you sure you don't mean, What would The State do then? More, bigger Government action seems to be the answer to everything these days.

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I actually kinda agree with this, but with a massive caveat: you would have to completely reform the education system from early years upwards.

The problem is we now have something like 25 percent of all school leavers leaving school at 16 functionally illiterate and innumerate; 50 percent of all 16 year olds dont even get the five A to Cs at GCSE including Maths and English. You just can't cut the school leaving age and not sort this out ... there are next to no jobs where you can get away with not being able to properly read, write or do basic maths.

Seventy years ago, this kind of thing was not so problematic. My grandmother left school at 14 with what would be probably A2 level English language skills and a fair grasp of Latin. All her siblings did likewise, and still had enough education to go on and train for good trades, or carry on at night school.

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How many of these kids actually go on to complete / pass any GCSEs at all? A lot of schools don't put forward these kids for their GCSEs in the first place, because it screws up their pass average.. They could actually go on and work towards NVQs, so its not an "easy option"..

A valid point, but I'm still sure most Children leave school with something. I'm not against the idea per se, but imo the vocational element should be more broadly based, and not limited to one industry or sector.

How about a kid, called Dave, who is 14, and is not interested in school. He leaves at 14, to do some apprenticeship, say in a local garage, and along with this, he would do a day release course, with an NVQ attached to it.. Fast forward to when he's 20/22, and he wants to go to university to do Engineering, the NVQ should allow him to do this..

And the £9k a year debt (or whatever it is by then) ;)

Edited by PopGun

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