"With full encouragement from Gordon Brown, Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, has set up a team to organise the lifting of the age at which children must be at school, in training or in an apprenticeship from 16 to 18 by 2013.Not sure I understand the reasons behind this. One seems to be something to do with tackling unemployment:
Ten-year-olds who enter secondary school next year will be the first to have to stay in mandatory education until they are 18. It will be the first rise in the school leaving age since 1972, when it was raised to 16."
"The change, which will affect around 330,000 teenagers, will help to tackle rising youth unemployment, with unskilled school leavers finding it increasingly difficult to get a job."Tackle? That should say delay unemployment, surely? On a previous occasion Alan Johnson mooted raising the school leaving age in order to combat adult illiteracy. I think most teachers would agree with me that if a youth has managed to get through 11 years of compulsory education without acquiring the ability to read and write, the chances of this being sorted out with a further two years are pretty slim.
The other reason seems to be an aesthetic one:
"It should be as unacceptable to see a 16-year- old working, with no training, no education, as it is now to see a 14-year-old. A 14-year-old at work was common until the Butler changes [after the Second World War], but now you would find it repellent."Well, speak for yourself. If I have to see 16-year-olds with no skills and no education - which I do - I think I'd rather this was in a quarry breaking rocks rather than cluttering up my goddam classroom.
ROSLA Update: Apparently this insane idea is to apply on both sides of the border:
"Jack McConnell, the First Minister, told the Scottish Labour conference last November that he wanted similar changes north of the Border.Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgh!!!!!!!!!!!
Under the plans, which are set to form a key part of Labour's Holyrood manifesto, pupils would only be allowed to leave school at 16 if they were entering employment, training or further education."