Education Detective

Whilst walking through university I came across a great bit of educational fate on Monday.  In a bid to appear clever and read up on the strange subject of world finance, (which actually interests me), I picked up a complimentary edition of the Financial Times from the Universities Cottesbrooke building.  It was only when I got home and started reading that I realised there was an educational article included.  This, due to Monday’s activities of starting my own blog, instantly gave me a brainwave which has now earned the article a place on here.

The article titled “Gove’s GCSE reforms diluted” –  is something I found very interesting.  Throughout the article the main focus is upon the influence that the Liberal Democrats are having upon the newly proposed reforms of the GCSE’s.  This I know at the moment is something which is at the heart of debate within many educational practitioners’ hearts, and is eyed with both support and scrutiny.  I would like to highlight that this blog is educational and not political, however when talking about education it is sometimes hard not to incorporate the politics behind them.

It is with this therefore that I would like to express that the views people may seem to gather from this blog are entirely my own and not those of the University of Northampton’s nor anyone else’s.

With this disclaimer aside we can get back to the article.

Cook and Warrell report that there are further changes to be made to the GCSE’s and will allow for a monopoly bidding system to be carried out for one exam board to own all rights to the examinations for the subjects.  It was with this that I thought that monopolies, (with exception to the game), are not all that great and realised that ’Edexcel’, which is owned by the Pearson group would be bidding for this.  This is something that intrigued me because the Pearson group also own the Financial times which funnily enough wass where I was reading this article.  Then it struck me, I may be wrong and many may disagree, but when did education become about lining the pockets of the private sector, and not about the benefits to the children that will be facing these “single examboard dictatorships” for the five year periods that have been proposed.  As a prospective educator I feel that it needs to run more like a charity and less like a business, do what is best with the money available, rather than sell out to private companies who have little or no essential educational experience.

As a history graduate I have been drilled to ensure that when making a point, firstly I have some background knowledge of the subject, but secondly, I dig a little deeper to uncover anything which could be used to argue for or against my point to provide a stronger argument.  It is with this that I went exploring and found some information which may surprise a few.

Pearson’s managing director has this biography on their website – “Glen has more than three decades of experience in business and finance, and is currently deputy chairman of The Financial Reporting Council Limited in the UK and non-executive director of Fidelity International Limited. Previously, Glen was deputy chairman and senior independent director at Lloyds Banking Group plc, senior independent director of Man Group plc, and acting chairman of UK Financial Investments Limited, the company set up by HM Treasury to manage the government’s shareholdings in British banks.”  Again I am going to be a teacher not the chancellor of the exchequer, or even a journalist, but ‘Glen’ obviously didn’t too well at Lloyds as the Government now have a 43.4% stake in the Lloyds Banking Group due to the issues Mr Moreno both failed to address and fix.

I think what I am trying to say is that knowing his financial background and knowing that considering that this is his forte, and that he has kind of messed things up at Lloyds, Would you really trust this man with being the managing director over the educational monopoly if Edexcel were to gain it?

This therefore reverts to my very long winded (I apologise) point, that education should not be run as a monopoly system as it does not allow schools, who are run by educators, to choose what would be best for their students.  This therefore concludes that I believe that schools should be run by educators and not by people who are involved within business or politics.  Leave the banking to anyone, but leave the teaching to the teachers!!!