Posts Tagged ‘school’

If your education came from a private school, you’re likely to earn more than those who attended state schools. While it’s not too shocking, it’s perhaps frustrating to see it in black and white, right?

People are reported to earn up to 30% more if they’ve been to a private school. Kent University and the london School of Economics have today confirmed this but believe that higher grades achieeved at private school are still crucial.

The study revealed that of the 30% pay gap, 20% was down to better exam grades and 10% down to family background. Researchers analysed data from 10,000 people that went to schools in the 1960s, ’70s and 80s.

According to the report, private schools “provide benefits for some individuals above and beyond those that accrue through qualifications and access to good universities.”

Now, I’m curious about this. Mainly because the survey took into account the salaries of those that attended school at least 20 years ago. This may mean that they’ve merely measured the last of the “old guard” and the results may not apply to those in school now or those of us that graduated univesities post 2000.

Does this mean that more people will consider sending their child to a private school? It’s the natural thing to want the best for one’s child and if the research points to private schools offering advantages, does that mean more will be looking to get their child in?

I, for one, thought such substantial levels of, well, snobbery, were a thing of the past. Perhaps I’m wrong and these figures do represent the last of the class-difference. Or is it still the case?

If you fancy it – read the whole story over at the BBC.


So for some time now I’ve been hearing talk of academies and learning academies in place of schools and all these new exams and haven’t had a clue what the difference is, a lot of those I spoke to on the matter didn’t know either. Cue a little rummaging for answers. 

The whole learning academies thing is a relatively new phenomenon and they’ve been replacing a lot of schools around the country over a couple of short years. It was one of those ‘wonderful’ ideas of the government back in 2000 to drive up standards, initially called city academies and later rolling out into more rural areas. The main difference between them though is funding. 

Academies are independently run – no government input – and in order to qualify for the status, schools have to raise £2 million from private companies, normally local businesses.  There’s also the fact that acadamies are all-abilities, there’s no limit (upper or lower) so children that would normally go to a state-run grammar school share classes to those that would sit at a normal comprehensive. There’s also bigger clases. 

It’s not a case that the curriculum is ignored, in fact the acadamies all meet the standards, but there’s a huge range of specialities at the academies such as sports sciences, that would normally be part of a higher-educatio course, and run more like a business. Which, at basic level, they are. They don’t have guidance from the government and seek advice from higher-education establishments like universities.

As the main difference boils down to funding, there’s a huge argument that learning academies are merely a way for the government to privatise the education system and farm out responisibility for funding the education of the country’s youth. There’s also debate around the teaching methods – is aplying the methods and courses usually found in higher-learning appropriate for younger students?

So for all their new-look and approach methods, are academies just a way for the government a way to get rid of the burden of the education system and allow businesses to teach skills they need in the labour market?

I was looking over the site for Accrington Academy – an academy in Lanchashire – at work today and was frankly gobsmacked by it all. It made me feel old. Not just because it’s stocked full of pictures of students but because of the way education seems to have changed in such a seemingly short space of time.

When I took my ‘A’ Levels the choices were fairly limited and taking Business Studies seemed something of an unorthodox choice given the wealth of people taking science and maths. Accrington Academy is offering sixth form courses in Lancashire in subjects like business and enterprise and ICT and specialise in sport and maths. I suppose it’s the difference between an academy and a school but my sixth form only seemed to specialise in boredom.

Given my current career an ICT course would’ve been a great head start but – and this ages me – the inernet probably consisted of 8 pages back then. This will make me sound old but: kids these days have it so much luckier! Am I right? Maybe I just went to a boring school but does anyone else wish their school or academy had offered more interesting courses?

Coming back from holiday and heading to work in the cold and snow is never easy. The last thing you need to find when catching up on your emails is this:


My favourite source of comic glee – Cyanide and Happiness – proclaiming me dead. I was tempted to run this post with the title “Rumours of my death..” but then I realised I’d be stepping on Steve Jobs’ current territory and I love Apple too much to do that. That’s right: I’m a mac trapped in a PC user.

So where have I been? I haven’t been ill, I’ve simply been off exploring the world and, as mentioned before, I try and keep away from the lure of the computer and social media while I’m away. You need to have a life in order to talk about it, right?

Crawling along the main road near my house that leads to a motor way is never fun, even without the snow. Mainly because it’s used by the school run and if I don’t time my departure from home just right, I get stuck in the traffic. Made worse today by an inconsiderate builders merchant and their ridiculous kerbside drop off in a hiab. It’s often while stuck in said traffic that I sit and as all the school children walk past I have to admit, I miss school.

Not so much the early mornings but when the only thing to worry about was getting last week’s geography homework done is surely favourable to worrying about sending off credit card payments on time.

The ‘working’ element of the day was so much better too. While I’m sure I created a stink and bitched about certain subjects, I’d be more than happy to finish up the day at 3;30 now and still have an hour for lunch. There was none of this time management concern either, it was done for us in neat little 50 minute chunks. It’s not like the English teacher burst into the Maths lesson with an urgent requirement for a one-off paragraph on Macbeth.

That’s another thing: teachers. They actually answered questions. Suddenly we’re expected to know the answers and finding them out is a damn site trickier than simply raising a hand and asking “what’s photosynthesis?”

It’s also a little strange that I didn’t appreciate P.E. True, in this weather nobody except complete and utter sadists would love to run around the rugby pitch, but now I actually want exercise and without the structured time-management the shcool timetable offered I have to fit it in around other activities whereas in school it was obligatory. Although I do think the gym with the iPod is preferable to cross-country running in the damp and teachers blowing whistles.

Friends, too. Back in school they were there all day with you and you could easily have a laugh. Now you have to schedule time and arrange meeting up.

Perhaps it’s the effect of winter, but I’m starting to think that certain people were right when they said I’d look back on my school days and miss them. These days there’s more fun involved in school. There’s all these learning academies where they focus more on fun and new technologies, it’s more about media studies, Business and ICT and sports sciences sixth form courses than learning about plant reproduction. Times are changing fast.

I can feel a rant / article coming on. Am I the only one that elements of being at school? Yeah there were some undesirable elements but it seemed like it was a whole lot easier back then.