Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Education, Wales and Finland

Let’s be honest as a nation we are not doing very well in education, but then again neither is England.

The argument that this is down to lack of resources does not wash. Take Finland, who are recognised as having one of the best education systems in the world, they as a percentage of GDP actually spend less on education than we do in the UK.

The Welsh Assembly has already accomplished a great deal, getting rid of league tables to start with, putting emphasise on play for early years another. But we can do much more, so why not learn from the education system in Finland.

Forget large schools, think small community schools. Prepare children and young people for the life ahead of them, and not just to pass exams. Remember that dry academic studies are not suited to everyone, we should develop worthwhile vocational training.

Buildings are important, so is equipment, but they don’t teach teachers do. That is why Finland is succeeding, it invest in its teachers, it trust its teachers to set the curriculum - We need to invest our trust in our teachers.

Forget England, Gove will see to that, lets us learn from the proven best and hopefully as a result become world leaders ourselves.

Post of the Past:
Education in Finland
Learning with Finland

Read More:
Worries over Wales-England school funding gap


Anonymous said...

I don't totally agree with your statement "lack of resources does not wash". Yes, it's teachers that teach, but in the recent weeks it's come to the point where schools are having to cut down on staff because of cuts ( This will lead to larger class sizes, teachers having to teach more than one subject (maybe even subjects they're not really familiar with), etc. i.e. standards will inevitably slip even more!

Rhys Williams said...

Maybe you are right in what you say based on the current education system. However we really should ask fundamental questions as to whether we have got the balance right. Is there to many Education Authorities for a start, should we work more with businesses to develop a jointly funded vocational training programme, does our education start when children are too young?

I’m no educational expert, as my poor grammar shows. I was simply asking if Finland can be world leaders whilst spending less as a percentage of GDP than we do, then maybe rather than saying we need to spend more money, we should change the system?

Anonymous said...

I'll concede the system is far from perfect, and yes I think maybe the curriculum as a whole is too wide, and not deep enough on the core subjects. Targets, political tittle-tattle, etc.

But the cuts do not help; on the contrary, they amplify the problems and make it a whole lot worse!

;) said...

Having read the letter written by the Angelsey headmasters that was posted on Photon's blog, it would seem that some problems are embedded in the system at the top.

As 'Pedant' wrote, the grammer of the letter leaves much to be desired. I would have expected a letter from all the secondary head-teachers on Anglesey to be grammatically correct at the very least.

Not that we don't sympathise with their dilemma of where to get the money to sack their colleagues - and I don't.

How about sacking all the head-teachers apart from the best one, who could run all the schools under his/her supervision? - after all its pretty much an administrative job nowadays.

That would save a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

"Forget large schools, think small community schools."

I like your post on this one, but take issue with the above extract.

We found horrendously provincial, feudal attitudes on taking our kids to a local village school. We shipped them out immediately.

You tend to think it's you as parent that maybe took a wrong foot, but in fact in the next, larger school we took them to, the headmaster said he had come across all sorts of nonsense at the village school he previously served at schools.

On hearing that, I think our view that some small schools can become too much of an instrument of power for some in the community was confirmed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with ;) to some extent.

I'm no expert (maybe suffering from bad schooling!), but what are the grammatical errors in the letter?