In the final weeks of the reading period for GCSE exams, there usually isn’t much news about the education secretary. This year, however, has been anything but usual and as Liz Truss clings to her job after a series of scandals, it appears
that the collapse of this department could be imminent. Whether you see the collapse of a government department as positive or negative depends on your political views of course, but regardless of one’s political beliefs it is
undeniable that this department has suffered greatly over the last few months with no end in sight. From bungling lectures given by their own ministers about what constitutes an ‘innovation’ to forcing schools to put locks on toilet
doors — this department has lurched from one crisis to another. If things continue as they are now, it won’t be long before we know whether they will remain among those trusted with handling education in Britain or become just a distant memory.
The Importance of Education in the UK
Education is not just the imparting of knowledge and skills, it is the development of citizens. It is the process of helping students to participate and engage in society. That is, to become active and productive participants in their
community, in the economy, and in civil and political society. It is the process by which young people learn to question, to be critical, and to think for themselves. It is about learning to listen — and to share. It is about
empowering individuals to become independent and critical thinkers.
The Importance of the Department for Education
The Department for Education exists in order to oversee the development of British schooling. It oversees the curriculum, the exams, and the qualifications that students are expected to complete in order to receive their high
school diploma. Additionally, it also oversees the research and development of new education products, as well as
the management of the teachers in the country. The department is responsible for the hiring and firing of school headmasters, as well as the setting of guidelines and policies that will affect the country’s students and educators.
The department is also responsible for the oversight of the student loan system and the funding of British universities.
The Damage Already Done By Liz Truss and Her Ministers
Liz Truss has already done considerable harm to the development of British education. Her decisions to slash funding to important programs designed to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds have done nothing but harm the
system. Her decision to ignore the advice of experts in the field and not to include the teaching of the First World War in the curriculum has caused outrage amongst historians and educators. This decision has not only gone against
expert advice but has also directly harmed students. Her push to make use of standardized tests — as well as her poor implementation of the same — have also been damaging to the system. While standardized testing has its
place, Truss’s push has been excessive and has caused problems for schools. Students have been tested at extremely young ages, which has not only harmed the students themselves but has caused problems for educators as well.
What Is At Stake?
Liz Truss’s push to make education in Britain ‘the best in the world’ is admirable. Unfortunately, however, it is
impossible for the UK to be number one in the world in education without significant changes to their system.
Unfortunately, Truss’s poor judgement and ignorance about what is best for education in the country has led her to
pursue policies that will directly harm the system. If Truss’s policies are not changed, Britain’s status in the world of
education will slip. This will make it more difficult for students to find jobs after university and will make it harder for
British companies to compete in a global marketplace. If the Department for Education is not made a priority above
all else, it will be impossible for the country to improve its standing in the world.
Why All This Matters So Much: Brexit
British schools are one of the biggest advocates of a global approach to education. They believe that we must advance not just our own culture and language but that of other countries as well. They believe in fostering a culture
of respect and understanding amongst all peoples. Unfortunately, all of this is threatened by Truss’s policies. Her push for standardized testing has pushed British schools to focus on British students at the expense of others. This
focus on a narrow curriculum has left no room for the inclusion of other cultures. If Britain wants to retain its cultural status as a global leader, it must look beyond its own backyard.
Why All This Matters So Much: British Education Culture
British schools are famous for their creative and innovative approach to education. They have a long history of encouraging students to think outside the box and to come up with creative solutions to problems. Unfortunately,
this creative and critically thinking approach is being stifled by Truss’s policies. Her focus on standardized testing and a narrow curriculum has left no room for creativity or critical thinking. British schools are famous for their progressive
education culture and Truss’s policies threaten the very heart of this culture. If Britain wants to retain its cultural status as a progressive leader, it must look beyond its own backyard.
The damage that has already been done to British education is considerable. The reputation of our schools has been
damaged and their ability to foster critical and creative thinkers has been stifled. If the government wants to see a
better education system, it must act immediately. It must take education out of the hands of the Department for
Education and give it to responsible and qualified people. If it doesn’t, British education will suffer.