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Raising the school leaving age to 18

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Around 200,000 youngsters leave education between 16 and 18...

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      17.07.2009 14:51
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      A really bad idea

      I left school at 16 and it couldn't have come quick enough, I hated every second of being there and as a result I spent most of my time not going, This was nothing to do with the work, I was bullied for the last 6 years of school and I dreaded going and found it easier to avoid, I was also very depressed for the last 3 years of school and if I had been made to go for an extra 2 years I would have probably done away with myself.

      I enjoyed learning and luckily I managed to pass my GCSE's with reasonable grades. I believe if I had had the opportunity of home schooling I would have done much better.

      I think making children stay at school till the age of 18 will be a disaster, children have that choice already and the people who stay on are usually the ones that want to learn and use it to get better opportunities and further there education at university, making the disruptive children stay the extra 2 years will just continue to hinder the students who want to learn.

      I regret not staying on and going into the 6th form, at the time I didn't realise the children I avoided would no longer be there.

      I believe nothing good can come from making children stay.

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        13.09.2007 19:10
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        Instead of raising the school leaving age it should be lowered.

        It is ridiculous to suggest that the school leaving age should be raised to 18. It was bad enough when they raised it to 16. Many teachers will recall the consequences of the ROSLA years, when kids were forced to stay on after they reached 15 and spend another year being disruptive because they didn't want to be at school.

        Things have not changed much. Now we actually pay kids to stay on at school after the age of 16. True, many of them can't get jobs, or are not interested in working, so they stay on at school purely for the money.

        The result of this is that kids who genuinely want to stay on at school and study for more qualifications are having their education disrupted. The ones who stay at school purely for the money don't want to study after the age of 16 any more than they did before. This is not fair on the ones who work hard and want to gain more qualifications.

        And what about the teachers? Anyone who has first hand experience of teaching today in a high school will tell you that it is a battleground. Kids are unruly, teachers are not allowed to discipline them even when they are young. Imagine the backlash from a 17 or 18 year old who hates school. They are adults and deserve to be treated as such, but because they are at school they are still immature, but will claim to be adults.

        Look at today's pensioners, many of them left school at 14. People approaching 70 left school at 15 after the school leaving age had been raised. I am not saying kids should leave school at 14, but to force them to stay on until they are 18 is to keep them as children too long.

        Kids today mature earlier than ever before, they should be allowed to grow up and take their place in the adult world once they reach 16, if that is their choice.

        I know there are high levels of unemployment and not many training schemes available for 16 year old school leavers. But this could be remedied by lowering the retirement age for everyone to 60, instead of raising it. That way school leavers could be trained and have jobs and the elderly could have a longer retirement.

        It is time the government accepted that not every child is academic. For those it is torture to be made to stay at school and study subjects they are not interested in. Kids develop at different times, some are slower than others at learning, or may have learning disabilities. Often these kids have spent the whole of their life hating being at school and can't wait until they can leave. If they are made to stay on an extra two years they will become disruptive perhaps, or made to feel even more useless than they were before. I am sure many of us have experienced bright kids tormenting the not-so-bright ones in the classroom. These kids might not shine in the class, but allow them to leave and take a job where academic qualifications are not important and they will come into their own.

        If the reason for making kids stay on at school until they are 18 is purely because of a lack of jobs or training, then we should offer them an alternative to school. Enlist them into the forces for the extra two years, this would teach them discipline and keep them off the streets and that way the genuine keen students could study at school in peace. Or pay them their schooling allowance but make them do voluntary work to earn this.

        I just cannot see the sense in making today's kids stay on at school until they are adults in every sense of the word. We lowered the coming of age from 21 to 18, but now we want to treat our kids as children for longer.

        Has anyone asked the schoolkids themselves what they want to do? I don't suppose they have. Someone sitting in an office will have mooted this daft suggestion. If they ask the children I am sure they would realise that most kids hate school and can't wait to leave!

        Those who left school at 14 in the old days had to get menial jobs and had no qualifications. The brighter ones stayed on until they were 16 and got their school certificate. One thing they all had in common was that they grew up into responsible adults, and that was in a time when the age of maturity was less than it is today.

        Progress should mean that our kids are able to choose whether or not they stay on at school until they are 18. If they don't have a job or training scheme to go to at 16, then either make it compulsory to spend another two years studying at school and being paid for results, or enlist them into doing something useful for the benefit of the country.

        In Japan jobs are created to solve their unemployment problems. When you enter a multi storey car park, for example, instead of taking your own ticket from the machine, an attendant does that for you. May sound silly, and I am not suggesting we do the same here, but it is one way of making people work for the money they would otherwise be given for doing nothing except being a nuisance in the 6th form.

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          21.08.2007 00:45
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          A good idea, which could be good, but can have a side effect

          This topic will raise many different answers.
          A lot of people have their own opinions on this, but mine is if a child wants to learn, they learn and become better students, on the other hand if a child doesn't want to learn they don't learn and bunk off school or behave badly and fail academically and blam everyone but themselves and have problems getting a job because of it.

          My point is this I like the idea of upping the school age by two years, but how can we as parents enforce this onto our children? at the end of the day it is up to that child to decide whether or not they want to go further and carry on at school I think this has to be left to the individuals to choose what would be best for them. It could cause the child to rebel and resent the parents for their desicion.

          Another point I would like to make on the education side of thing is, carer prospects have change a lot over the last few years where as skilled trades were the most important to get a skilled job they could enjoy and get paid a decent wage were a must. Nowerdays english and maths are not top priority for a lot of students, all they interested in is getting it easy at school, and choosing the easier
          subjects at school rather than choosing the harder
          ones, and then trying to get straight into a higher position rather than progressing through the ranks (like I did) My little brother is a total computer boffin and starting building computers and systems from about 13 years old. He then left school with A's and B's grades and immediately wanted to get a job and become a manager straight away I said to him then he would have to start on the bottom of the ladder and work his way up, but he though he knew better than me, every job he has had he has left because he does not like being in a miniscule position. He has now just completed his first year as a senior at university, and got his A and B grades, and has got two more years to go, and he has just realised he has to take on a miniscule position to get himself an income whilst studying.

          We now live in an age of modern technology, where computers are the big thing at the moment and a lot of school leavers want higher wages for doing an easier, less manual job, which means there is more need for office workers, and people who are computer literate.
          This in turn means there is a call for more skilled manual workers with no positions been taken because of the trend for easier higher paid jobs.
          Workshops are no longer in use, and computer classes are being used frequently. I say bring back these classes, get the children interested in going to these classes, and watch the enjoyment from some of there faces.

          So my summary is, the upper school age should not be compulsory, but voluntary if the child wants to carry on their education, fine let them, but don't force
          them, if they don't want to do force them, and support their decision in the best way you can.

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            18.08.2007 11:47
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            If you dont want to be there...

            Well it’s that time of the year again folks when attractive middle class girls and boys jump up and down on the national news in celebration of their 15 A-Level passes. Not only are we jealous of their youth, flat tummies and sparkling eyes, but the fact the exams are getting really rather easy, three glorious years of a social degree to come at university for reward in tackling the multi-choice. But putting class and youth envy aside the kids can only pass what’s put in front of them (the dim twins from Big Brother got 4 A-levels between them) and if they are doing rather well and working the system then that too shows me the initiative required to get on in life.

            Its not that exams are getting easier but they are getting easier to pass. It’s all about re-sitting modules, the markets having to turn a blind eye to bad grammar and punctuation, the teachers subliminally teaching the kids the answers. The teachers are told and ‘encouraged’ to teach the key points the kids need and if the kids include those catch phrases in the exams then no problemo. The school gets higher passes and so more funding; the government is happy the passes go up year-on-year; and the kids go away to university to get drunk, laid and qualified (in that order) and the middle class right-of-passage is complete.

            Teachers and Heads will come on daytime TV and Radio stations and shout their students praises for passing the exams and slam down anyone who says exams are getting easier- then on the late night shows they will let slip the dark arts of ‘fiddling’ record number of A-Level students-some 97% passing A-E-and how woefully corrupt this system ultimately is. Some teachers actually have to do the work for the kids to insure minimum pass rates. Isn’t it amazing that the random people they pick on live TV & Radio to see what their passes are always seem to have loads of A-passes, which much suggest kids really are getting inflated marks and, of course, it’s only the posh kids that get them!

            With sciences, math’s and English A-Levels entrants tumbling and P.E and Media studies entrants shooting up its pretty clear what the kids want to study-and can you blame them? University wasn’t always about careers it was about getting to university because your parents expected it and your piers were all going anyway. But now you and your parents have to pay for it and so I think we will see a very different attitude by mum and dad to little Toby studying Science and Science Fiction at Swansea University. The days of the social degree are coming to an end.

            But what of the 18 year olds that were primed for unemployment and single parenthood by their coming of age birthday. Just as Ben and Sophia are being prepped for Uni as they turn into their teens it’s already too late for the one third of Britain’s youth known as the lower classes. Its not that these kids are not going to university because they are disproportionately thick, but just disproportionately disadvantaged or placed to go to university. Just as many of the later females will have babies by 21 as the posher girls will have degrees.

            Uniforms are one way to discourage poorer parents sending their children to the school their intelligence demands, the official school wear often sold in one or two shops and so very pricey. This is a very old trick that the ‘better’ schools have been playing to keep out the riffraff. Other tricks are employing certain exam boards to mark their exam papers, exam boards that can identify poorer student’s exam papers on grammar and punctuation, marking these kids down. It does happen I’m afraid. The last thing independents schools want are clever working class kids on miniscule government bursaries. It’s a business and they want to make money, hence education as divisive as ever.

            The main reason certain kids leave school at 18 is because they have been preprogrammed to by their environment and parents. I would have loved to have stayed on at a school when I was 18 but only one in nine went to university in the early eighties a place for the genuinely studious and intelligent, which I aint. Now its one in four and you can pretty much choose what you want to study. The carrot is there to go into higher education but only certain people can afford it. I think the fact you have to pay tuition fees has pretty much handed back higher education to the elite.

            To the actual question of making kids stay on until their 18 I would have to say no. The one thing the people who don’t want to learn at school do actually learn is that they don’t want to be there. If you have people like that in the school envirpment it ruins it for others, who also don’t get to learn. It’s hard enough for teachers to get kids interested in tedious subjects as it is.
            One rather dim minister had the brainwave of paying children to stay on in college and sixth form, the £30 pounds supposed to help them with books and study aids. It was a bribe of course and the kids did indeed spend it on e CDs and I-pods. After two years college and sixth form showed no increase in participants that actually finished the course. But the fact they can’t claim dole money at 16-17 meant many took the money and turned up at college to cause mayhem.

            If kids are forced to stay on then it should be difficult to pass the e xams. The teachers, like I said before, are pretty much forced to make the kids pass come what may and will no doubt be doing a lot of corrections for Daren and Mohammed on their GCSE woodwork papers. The days of exams testing children’s abilities to learn have long since passed and that will ultimately cost the country dear in the long run, our future doctors reaching for a spanner not a scalpel in the operating theater.

            I think its time to let kids leave at 15-16 and for companies to bring back apprentices. Take them on young and get them disciplined early on. With £120 quid in their pockets there’s no need to hang around street corners or mug pedestrians for kicks. We are not all going to be intelligent or able and for some the responsibility of an important career has never been in the equation. There really is nothing wrong with being a plumber or a painter. 405 of graduates are working in retail or call-centres from many good universities one year after they graduate.

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              18.08.2007 01:51
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              the age should definately NOT be raised..if anything, lowered.

              Personally, I think that raising the school leaving age to 18 is a terrible idea. Kids these days can't wait to get out of school and live their life without that authority and work. It's then that they can grow up and decide what they really want to do and who they want to be. Unless of course they want to stay on into higher and further education to enable them to get a respectable and decent job.

              In all honesty, I think that the school leaving age should be lowered to 14 or 15, but the kids should be advised to stay on for further education. This would give youngsters a feeling of freedom but choice at the same time and while being prompted of what to do for their future by their parents they would still have the choice.

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                14.08.2007 22:30
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                A great way to reduce unemployment figures,but education is not for everyone.

                Should the school leaving age be raised to 18?

                I stayed on at school until 18 out of choice, I then went to University for three years soon afterwards.

                I don't think the school leaving age should be raised to 18, but i think Children should be encouraged to do some sort of relevant development. Two additional years studying two or three additional qualifications such as A-Levels is not for everyone, in some ways, work related training would be better and should not be looked upon as a second class education or qualification route.

                It would probably be much more interesting to find out sooner or later if you like working in a factory or if office work suits you.

                A lot of kids go to school who do not want to learn, perhaps even 16 is too high an age for these children.
                Many are bullied and are glad to leave at 16. Not everyone is academic and it's wrong to keep those less academic in school longer than needs be. What additional staff and economic costs would there be for keeping hundreds of thousands of pupils in education for a further two years? Billions of pounds?

                Keep the age at 16 for now, don't pay benefits to 16-18 year olds that are not in work or doing some form of training.

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                  12.08.2007 19:13
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                  it will help

                  Raising school age to 18 is a good idea. It will decrease pressure on teenagers when they go to university or in work. It help those who can't find work and don't want to go into further education.

                  Raising the school age to 18 will increase the prospects of teenagers in terms of leading successful lives, gaining

                  Two extra years will help majority of teenagers, although those that hate school will hate it even more. Perhaps reshaping the study pattern could help.

                  Raising school age will help government also, youngsters on benefits will reduce in number and so will unemployed hanging around which government blames for all the problems in the society.

                  At the end of the day this system working is yet to be seen because it hasn't been tried yet. I feel very positive about raising school age and raising age for new drivers.

                  Starting degrees couple of years later could help although I suspect that won't be changed as leaving age is increased.

                  Another thing that schools could do is increase the number of study days. This way more could be studied. Cramping more into a school year could help. Education is the only thing in life that takes a big break throughout the year, in comparison, inwork you get a fraction of days off. Longer school year will also help working parents.

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