The problem with old school buildings, reasons to reduce hours of education

In the days when many smaller primary schools were built, they were built for one class per year with kitchens, a playground and hall. In those days, kids were kept in line with either caning or other barbaric disciplinary methods so that one room per class was enough to keep them sitting down all day; with PE, meal and play breaks of course.

Today, we have new laws that forbid the smacking or physical punishment and often also certain forms of verbal or mental punishment, a measure I wholly support. But that means that schools have to deal with many kids of various behavioural or learning requirements still in those 1 class per building schools and that simply doesn’t work out.

There are now much better methods with greater variants, which have discovered a variety of learning disabilities like autism, dyslexia, HTAD and of course also gifted and talented pupils.

The hours of schooling get longer and longer with increasing attempts to send all mums to work all day long too. There are after-school clubs, morning breakfast clubs.

All these requirements need to be housed but the old buildings do not just expand, they are not like balloons that can be blown to expand.

Yet the government imposes the school league tables on all schools the same without giving them equal facilities to deliver the education services. Some Conservatives started to shout bring back caning and seriously held public meetings for that purpose.

I think the type of whole day education that the government is used to delivering is no longer deliverable in the facilities available and the nation cannot afford to extend all small school buildings 2 storeys higher or make buildings wider to accommodate the space needed to deliver all those extra education requirements. Instead they dismiss governing bodies, replace them with Ofsted selected boards or offer the ability to build Free schools with government funding.

New rules for free schools will mean they can open in offices,shops and places like hotels from this summer. This will make monitoring education for statutory quality much more difficult indeed.

How expensive excellent education can be is shown with the example of the Westminster School, an independent secondary school, that charges pupils from 5 – 10 1/2 K per term and uses splendid buildings and facilities.

City of London School for Girls charges around 5 k per term within splendid grounds. It is very concerning that education can now be delivered in back-street establishments and that the statutory monitoring of such schools is obviously more difficult and that facilities in shops or offices do not have the necessary facilities to deliver an overall excellent education that includes play time and sport.

The policy to deliver education in all sorts of cramped places obviously is couched around the primary concern that wants to see women go to work and not have to divert their way to work for bringing children to a local school near the place that they live.

I would say the easiest solution to the current dilemma would be to extend and build onto existing schools but since this government was so busy to sell off playing fields, an educational infrastructure is systematically being demolished.

It still seems like a downgrading of education to allow it to happen in all sorts of building crevices rather than well thought out school buildings that without any doubts include better social value.

Without a doubt it causes continuity of educational services to be more disruptive if education takes place in shops and offices as those sort of buildings quite often change owners, they become unaffordable if the rent goes up or workers using the building vacate to another location.  I think this concept greatly endangers children safety, I am very concerned.

One most obvious solution would be to follow the German model and reduce education to 4 hours per day and give more home work, that would be better manageable in existing buildings. Furthermore it would be much more sensible to reduce then the hours required to work by adults with child care responsibility too.

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