Lives full of promise?

24 07 2007

How do you respond to the notion of a (half) GCSE in call centre studies? Is this simply a type of schooling that more accurately reflects the demands of the real world? Or does this not just institutionalise low achievement?

Manufacturing and heavy industry, traditional employers in the north, suffered major decline in the 80s as Britain embraced financial services and international money markets. Are the effects of Thatcherism still rippling out from the 1980s? After all, Nick Cohen thinks Tory constituents never had it so good. (Incidentally, that article should be read and re-read by Call-me-Dave Cameron and the No Ties Brigade.) Maybe he’s right. Hylton Red House school is in a Labour-held constituency.

The services industry is moving north. And as a result this Guardian report suggests the north/south divide may narrow (though the gap between rich and poor will continue to widen). Does it do kids much good if learning takes no account of workplace trends?

If you take the recent report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which highlights geographical segregation and economic polarisation in terms of the gap between rich and poor, the Sunderland proposition looks deeply suspect.

The stock gag about the US high school system is that it trained kids to say: ‘Do you want fries with that?’ Can a system that trains kids to say ‘Putting you on hold…’ really be the best use of time and resources? Is this not more to do with managing expectations for poor kids in Sunderland?

I’m horrified by the thought of call centre training. Check out the pic. That can’t be right, can it?

Instead, in terms of practical advice, I think this may be an excellent basis for going forward. The Education (Curriculum Minimum Content) Order is scheduled to come into operation next week.

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