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Kids today mature earlier, let them grow up.
Raising the school leaving age to 18
Member Name: lellagrace
Raising the school leaving age to 18
Advantages: Kids should be allowed to do something useful.
Disadvantages: There will be some excuse!
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.
Summary: Instead of raising the school leaving age it should be lowered.