Letter: Children can see adult hypocrisy in the education debate

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The Independent Online
EDUCATION is a sitting duck. Schools are failing more often than not for reasons beyond their control. Improvement will not be achieved until the following conditions are met:

1 Remove education from the party political forum so that someone sensible can ensure that funding is evenly spread, irrespective of geography.

2 Make sure we are comparing like with like before branding "international failure" on the educational carcass. What kind of a deal do European children really get? What about pastoral care? What about extra curricular activities such as music, drama and sport?

3 Recognise that current 13- and 14-year-olds have suffered longest from the turbulence of educational reform.

4 Stop dreaming up lists of parental rights and establish enforceable parental responsibilities. Teachers can then teach rather than spend hours dealing with misbehaviour and truancy, or explaining reasonable decisions to unreasonable people.

5 Ask who it is that promotes an undemanding TV diet for children and accept that for many parents, encouraging reading or speaking skills is a lot harder.

Finally, if we insist that education delivers the highest standards, from maths to morality, we need to recognise that society must enjoy the confidence of the young. Children can see that adults fall short of targets they set for others - and that adults are failing to create a world which will give children something rewarding to do. So who is failing?

D J Fawbert

Malvern, Worcestershire

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