Loving learning in the time of Coronavirus and remembering Labour sending £1.5 billion back

By ArtyHetty:

Have had several conversations about education recently, in relation to parents having to ‘home school’ and take the place of the ‘teacher’ while working from home.

I was a home educator, (not by choice, that’s a long story of neglect in not providing support to a child with autism, by the Labour run LA and Labour run Holyrood a few years ago, all about £’s but they did send £1.5BILLION BACK to Westminster at the same time!) and yes it is a whole new way of thinking, not handing your child over to the state to be spoon fed what someone else decides they should know, or not.

School is great for some kids, not so great for others. The present situation lends itself to revisiting how Scotland educates their young people. What form should it take? Who is it for, what do children need to know? Children are natural learners. With the internet, interactive learning is a brilliant resource, and in can be geared to the ‘age, aptitude and ability’ of the child, a requirement of what the schools should be providing.

School is not compulsory, ( nor is homework, shhh!) education is however, up to age 16. That can take many forms, and with good guidance and a bit of imagination, children can thrive and excel at what interests them, the tools are there, like never before, and though it is by no means easy for parents, for some no doubt impossible due to circumstances, home education is a brilliant way to allow for self led, as well as guided learning ( a child would be lucky to have 5mins of one-to-one time with their school teacher in a week).

A bit of imagination, spending an hour a day if that, giving children the freedom of finding out for themselves their strengths, more autonomous learning with good guidance is to be welcomed.

We spent lots of quality time learning about the periodic table, interactive subjects online, my son taught himself to speak Japanese, he is fluent and does some translation now, drama, writing classes, all part of the social engagement and interactions, which most kids crave, has had a positive outcome, when school was such a nightmare for my son. It was also an education for me, school in England was about crowd control, factory fodder, very little else quite frankly. ‘Which factory do you want to work at?’ Literally.

Children learn by play, they are quite often visual learners, they all learn differently though. One size fits all is not good enough. The state can only do so much, parents are responsible for their childs eduaction, even more so right now, they need all the support they can get to enable them to have confidence in facilitating their kids to learn and interact outside of the school classroom. Education does not stop at the school gates, in some cases it starts there.

Here is Ken Robinson, educationalist, we spent many hours learning from TEDtalks, a brilliant resource.


I also discovered this recently, for any parents out there struggling to find exciting sites to share with their children re interactive learning, it’s brilliant, wish I had more spare time for it myself.


Lastly, anyone home educating, by choice or not this is an excellent site, specific to Scotland. http://www.schoolhouse.org.uk/

Footnote: Over its two Holyrood administrations from 1999, Labour had managed to under-spend the Scottish block grant to the collective tune of £1.5bn – money which was returned to the Treasury at Westminster because, incredibly, Donald Dewar, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell just couldn’t think of anything to spend it on.


4 thoughts on “Loving learning in the time of Coronavirus and remembering Labour sending £1.5 billion back

  1. I’ve never been an educator, so can only talk from the perspective of someone that has been educated, and having done a fair amount of further learning – turns out I learn better from written material versus spoken etc. I have heard that a move away from rote learning is actually disadvantaging dyslexic children – who would have thought?

    You are so right ArtyHetty that one size does not fit all – I have heard that in Germany they split children at one point into more academic and more vocational tracks so that the type of teaching suits the child a bit better (how it is done I have no idea, but the principle behind it seems sensible). Do we send our children to school too young as well?

    I suspect that most parents would not be in favour of home-education on a permanent basis though. Well done you for learning how to learn so well!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. O/T

    Having just watched Reporting Scotland I’m wondering about mounting a public petition. It would be aimed at BBC Scotland and would look to get endorsement from mental health and human rights charities.

    The aim would be to have the length of the Reporting Scotland programme extended by 100%. Why?

    Well if, as seems certain, the aim of the BBC is to undermine the mental health of their viewers by persistent, manufactured negative narratives; to undermine public morale in Scotland during a deadly public health emergency; and to undermine public confidence in the Scottish Government in just about every element of its response to Covid-19 then it’s cruel to prolong our agony – the BBC must put in the extra resource to just get on with achieving its objectives, faster!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ah, the blast from the past on RS tonight.

    Every year UCAS produces reports on University Application. In 2018 their February report analysed all applications back to 2006. They applied the POLAR 3 criteria to all the applications from each of the home nations.

    Comparison of applications from the most advantaged group compared to the most disadvantaged group showed that for Scotland the ratio in 2006, when Labour had been in power for 8 years in Scotland, was 4.5 to 1. In 2018 after 11 years of the SNP the ratio was 2.6 to 1 and that closure of the gap was down to the increase in applications from the most disadvantaged group.

    Closing the attainment gap. Maybe Labour should have spent some of the money they sent back on that. Thankfully Mr Salmond and his Government managed to get it back.

    Liked by 2 people

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