The Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) tests that are designed to measure whether students nearing the end of secondary school are well prepared to meet the challenges they will encounter in future life.assessments of 15-year-olds show Wales falling further behind since the 2006 tests.
READING: 2006 – 481 2009 – 476 CHANGE -5
MATHS: 2006 – 484 2009 – 472 CHANGE -12
SCIENCE 2006 – 505 2009 – 496 CHANGE -9
There will be many who will be blamed for this The Welsh Assembly Government, Local Education Authorities , Schools. Teachers and no doubt other some will blame the Westminster Government.
But there will be probably be few who look at the link at the amount of interest parents take in their children's education and the PISA results.
It would be interesting for instance to look at a Schools Stats ,and the relationship with the number of parents who provide extra tutoring
It has also been my belief that League Tables were always going to be misleading because the role of the Parent in aiding their children's education has been ignored
This could include.
- Ensuring their children attended school regularly.
- Ensuring Pupils did and presented their Homework on time,.
- They has access to materials with which to work with..
- They install in their children a belief that education is of value and if they work at it. Then they can archive a great deal..
- They had access to a computer (Important these days). And something that may be causing a divide between the have and have-nots which we have not seen for decades.
The solution cannot just be a matter of spending more money on schools or concentrating on the higher achiever whilst ignoring the failures.Something I suspect happens in some countries that appear to achieve better results. If you exclude the Poorer performers from the Test (which is quite easy) then the results will appear to be better than the actual reality.
It is unfortunate that children of parents who did not do this for them will probably fail to do so for their own .Some will argue that there is nothing we can do about this, but perhaps the solution is not to look soley at the education of the Children but to create a new era of Adult Education and to encourage those whose own experience of schooling was largely negative to undergo a new form of Adult Education. Which they can then mix with their own encouragement of teaching. their children.
We must realise this passing down negative attitude towards our children. We once had a suburb attitude towards education in
which began with the circulating schools of Griffith Jones (1684 –1761). The effect of this meant that in the 1960’s over 60% of children from Cardiganshire where Griffith was influential went on to Higher Education. Wales
Of course it can ne argued that we greater idea of the level of Education today as in former times those who were failing at School left at 14 or later 16 and went into Labouring and Manufacturing jobs, But these have gone and people who have failed (or rather been failed by) the education system are even less likely to find employment and this will in no doubt reinforce their negative attitude towards Education which they will pass on to the next generation increasing the class divide.
So we must look at Schools system but also the relationship with parents because I believe the answer is to get them once more involved in their children's education and break the cycle of negativity.