Many changes have been introduced in recent years to post 16 education in the UK, much of which frustrates me incredibly.
Previously in the UK at 16 you were pretty much “free” from any lawfully required education. Even so the vast majority of students would either attend a sixth form college or stay on at their school to study for A-level qualifications or attend a vocational college. Therefore the new law which stipulates that students must be in some form of education till the age of 18 (or be in full time employment) shouldn’t really affect post 16 students right? Well as a 17 year old A-level student I can say this is definitely not the case!
In fact this law has changed the WHOLE A-level experience in my opinion. Previously if you were studying for your A-levels you were not legally having to be there. Consequently the school did not have to strictly uphold a duty of care, previously at 16-(leaving year 11) you were then fully independent and had full pro-choice on your direction. However now because schools duty of care have been extended till students turn 18 the schools in question have to uphold more or less the same level of control over students as they would with under 16 students. This means that the introduction of responsibility and independence students would previously gain when in post 16 education has been eradicated.
This as created much resentment towards the education system, teachers, and the government by students. As a student I feel like I’m constantly hit with condescending treatment and lack of independence and responsibility for the way in which I want to carry out my studies.
Previously the government would actually give A-level students an allowance of £30 per week for continuing their studies, this money helping students provide books, uniform, and for trips during these two years. In my opinion the government introduced this new system in an effort to save money and force students to have to get part-time jobs, which sounds good for students to learn money and time management. However this need for many students to have to get part-time jobs (with far longer hours) just further distracts students from their studies and causes more resentment when students feel like their gaining independence earning their own money but at the same time still being treated like a 14 year old.
This in combination with the stark rise in university tuition fees only creates more of a disenfranchised youth population of frustrated broke students.
I can’t wait till the 2015 UK general election, (which will be my first opportunity to vote) were I can just hope and pray that the Conservative majority coalition can be booted.
(Just in case you don’t know what UK duty of care is : http://www.det.wa.edu.au/policies/detcms/policy-planning-and-accountability/policies-framework/policies/duty-of-care-for-students.en?cat-id=3457100)