Comments for en-gb 30 Sat 29 Aug 2015 06:09:34 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Raymond Hopkins Sorry (Peter 1st, number 384), I think you'll find it takes a bit more than sitting in rows to get a decent education. I sat in rows more years back than I care to remember, first in a class of 56, then in a 'small' class of only 44. Discipline was strictly enforced. No talking allowed on pain of punishment. Only rare errors permitted on pain of punishment. I know quite a lot about rows of pupils. I know quite a lot about blackboards, especially when being seated so far away I couldn't read what was on them. I left school literate and reasonably numerate (though not as much as I feel I ought to be). Others, far too many, were not so fortunate. Not everyone started work with the ability to read much more than their own name. Not everything was better in the olden days. Whatever the problems of the present education system, children are much better taught than they used to be. Whether they learn any better may be open to argument. Fri 26 Feb 2010 17:43:05 GMT+1 Erkules Phosgene wrote @ #371If you think there's an apostrophe in the "Three Rs" etcCorrect, I made the error myself (Twice !!), much to my shame Fri 26 Feb 2010 14:31:13 GMT+1 androstempest 387. At 12:02pm on 26 Feb 2010, chris wrote:If governments didn't constantly meddle with education there would be no labour-pool to exploit, fewer voters and more people would see how ignorant these law-makers really are. Hardly rocket science as the saying goes.I have friends who are former teachers and they say much the same thing, if the government didn't keep changing the curriculum or introducing this new system or that new guideline, then they could actually get on with teaching.Though Labour have made some improvements to my life during their time in office, they have also caused a lot of damage with their fickle experiments. What annoys me is that many of these changes really ought to have been debated in parliament, but instead they were left up to civil servants and the education minister to just make it up as they go along. Children NEED the basics, Literacy and Numeracy, without them they cannot function in a working environment. It has been proven in studies throughout the world that young children, even babies, have a better capacity for learning language skills than adults, so doing away with the three R's at the time in their life when they would absorb that knowledge best is just a recipe for failure. Continue down this path and the "benefit" class will increase and the "working class" will disappear. Fri 26 Feb 2010 13:39:04 GMT+1 TomNightingale Is this the 3R's HYS? I can't tell..I've confirmed my email 3 times, agrred to supply extra info rwice and had to click the "post a comment" button about 6 times. I've had to verify me email twice and had a page telling me it isn't working more times than I can count. 3 R's? What do we mean by that? I know one person (David, who works in education at a well know London University) who thinks it means rote learning. My view is it is about "thinking skills"...comprehension of what is read/heard, the ability to summarise, in writing and orally and to do that with words and numbers. Such are the skills required for other learning. The new(ish) A-level in critical thinking could be supplemented by a GCSE. Ramming people through "Uni's" will not solve the problem we face in the UK. It is just an attempt at social engineering. If you move a chair, it will stay where you put it. If you move society it will revert to its natural "equilibrium" unless you change the equilibriating forces. Ramming non-to-bright people through universities will not make them bright. Thinking we can solve problems by having "more graduates" will not. Graduates are not all equal; many now are uneducated, barely literate or inumerate. Question:WHY DOES THE HYS CONSTANTLY FREEZE MY COMPUTER? Answer:IT'S THE BBC!!...where they employ loads of graduates! Nuff said. Fri 26 Feb 2010 13:00:24 GMT+1 Del_Herts How about replacing the three Rs with ARW, that is Arithmetic, Reading and Writing? No wonder school leavers can't spell! Fri 26 Feb 2010 12:51:35 GMT+1 milvusvestal I rarely agree with anything this government says but, for once, fully approve of schools concentrating their efforts on the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. Without these fundamental skills, people can never improve themselves.Education standards over the last 30 years or so have a lot to answer for. Having watched, with considerable dismay, a programme this week about immigrants allegedly taking British jobs, it is clear that many on state benefits are barely literate, have never applied themselves, are covered with rings through their noses and tattoos, have no sense of pride and don't stand a chance of employment. All of this stems from the lack of decent education and discipline when they were young.Even those with university degrees are unable to spell or add up. Fri 26 Feb 2010 12:40:06 GMT+1 chrislabiff If governments didn't constantly meddle with education there would be no labour-pool to exploit, fewer voters and more people would see how ignorant these law-makers really are. Hardly rocket science as the saying goes. Fri 26 Feb 2010 12:02:39 GMT+1 Herr Transplant This is just more interference; with a long screwdriver. The education system in the UK was a model of success until relatively recently (30 years ago). Then governments decided to tinker with it to improve it. The old lesson, if you fiddle with something that works well, the best you can hope for is to have no effect, more probably you will damage it.We have actually shunned the education of facts in favour of the indoctrination of social attitudes.I preferred the previous HYS style, it was easier to flick through Fri 26 Feb 2010 10:49:43 GMT+1 rowlands we could replace the three R's with an R, W and an A for a start!!!!lets sort the basics out first before we do any more damage to "skools" Fri 26 Feb 2010 10:11:07 GMT+1 Peter 1st When I was at school in the 60s, teachers taught with the children listening properly, sitting at desks in rows, facing a blackboard. Old- fashioned, but it worked. Teachers didn't chase targets and follow top-down directives, because they didn't need to; they were good at their job and they knew what they were doing.....................................................Dont know about blackboards, but I do remember this about sitting in rows: Tests done by the UN on education in various parts of the world (TIMMS) result in the following countries persistently doing well: Japan, Norway, Hungary, Singapore, Slovakia. No connection between them, except that many children are taught in rows............... Fri 26 Feb 2010 09:39:19 GMT+1 alexicon Three words to sum up a good education? Thats a stupid idea - is this some kind of slogan competition?? That type of question sums up what is wrong with the education system - unreasonable demands and poor objectives.My daughter is at primary school and I am very pleased on the whole. The trouble is that people (politicians, voters, media) seem to be unhappy and to want instant and evident change. That is a "cake and eat it" requirement.Facts: 1. The education system is much better than is was, in terms of the proportion of children that reach good basic standards. Compare now to post war years and the change is obvious.2. We have higher standards for the system, we expect more from our schools than the basics. We want inclusion, special needs, wider learning. 3. The system is geared to passing tests and so less geared to actual learning, hence the issues with basic skills in otherwise educated people. One of the reasons is that decades ago, the gaining of qualifications was seen as the passport to success, making the system shift to pushing for greater exam success and so devaluing the qualifications.Essentially we want it all to work without waiting or contributing.We work with our daughter on her education. We don't just leave it to the school and she benefits a lot. If more parents did this, then the schools could target more resources to bringing on the less able. And the more we do this, the less pressure there will be for new initiatives all the time. The biggest thing we can do to improve education is to increase the support given to it by parents; maybe the intitiate we need is parental education guidance. Fri 26 Feb 2010 09:33:44 GMT+1 LeftLibertarian Surely the essential point should be no child leaves primary school unable to read or write and without a minimum level of numeracy.If the child does not have this grounding what chance do they have at secondaty level or what hope of going onto further education.The government should put much more emphasis on primary education.There should be an expectation of success by teachers who should aim to get the best from their pupils, this can mean a PhD for some and an apprenticeship for others but teachers should not reduce a child's life chances with poverty of expectation.Parents must support their school's discipline procedures snd also encourage their children to do their best. Fri 26 Feb 2010 08:44:13 GMT+1 Neil Probert It's a pity that successive governments haven't taken the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach to the 3 Rs...the same could be said for BBC 'have your say'. The 'new' format is dull and scrapping the 'recommendation' button has, disappointingly, removed the fun from HYS. Fri 26 Feb 2010 08:41:16 GMT+1 Raymond Hopkins Andy, 340, wrote "My generation (educated in the 60's & 60's) learnt to read, write and do everyday maths perfectly well with what we would now call 'traditional' methods - what's wrong with re-adopting the old ways, which obviously worked? "I assume you mean the traditional methods of the 60's. They were a distinct improvement over the traditional methods of twenty years earlier, and were often much disliked at the time, as it was thought children were not being taught properly. I do recall my own education of the earlier time, and I can assure you that far too many children left school unable to read, write, or add up a simple shopping bill with any degree of accuracy. Some things obviously do not change, except for the demands made in the ever increasing complexity of the modern world. Fri 26 Feb 2010 08:26:20 GMT+1 Raymond Hopkins "At 1:14pm on 24 Feb 2010, Breakfast-Maker wrote:You dont need much more in life than a good grasp of the 3r's."Sorry to disagree, but we all need a great deal more than that, and have done for decades. My own education in the 1940s placed great emphasis on Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, and precious little else. While I don't blame the teachers of the time, it took me twenty years or more to catch up with the fifteen percent who went to grammar schools, and no, I'm not envious. Good luck to them. Having said all that, there is no doubt that a thorough grounding in the basics is essential, as they are keys to further study. Perhaps we should trust the training we give the teachers, and allow them, as experts, to do the job they get paid to do without what appears to be constant change for the sake of it. If that training cannot be trusted, then the answer is obvious. Fri 26 Feb 2010 08:11:49 GMT+1 Dawn We should go back to the 3R's as it was a perfectly good system and worked. Perhaps we should be dealing with this from the other end which is why are teachers who cannot even do maths themselves being allowed to teach our children. Some teachers are barely out of school themselves and this causes a friend and pupil scenario when it should be a teacher pupil scenario as without this there is no respect and this causes no discipline and without this control there can be no learning. Fri 26 Feb 2010 07:35:38 GMT+1 professor plum My three words to describe a rounded education for our future productive taxpayers and providers of our wealth would be... Perseverence. Initiative. Study. I would however double those three to five or six with the addition of another two or three words as follows... Perseverence. Initiative. Study. Singing. Endurance. Determination. I think these half a dozen or so words sum up the qualities that made this nation great. Fri 26 Feb 2010 03:43:51 GMT+1 Andy how about we replace it with RWA for Reading, writing and arithmeticNo idea what the Three R's stood for... Reading, Running and Rulers maybe? Fri 26 Feb 2010 02:12:06 GMT+1 SirReausThought Re 346 Objectivereality You are a bit rusty on your modern history, Clause four went out when Blair came in. He claimed that there was no longer any need for clause four as it was no longer “Them and us”. Most employers of today are socially responsible. He was wrong then as he was wrong with the WMDs Fri 26 Feb 2010 01:09:27 GMT+1 D_H_Wilko 372 Agree about the recommendation.No offence meant just making a point but what is the point of the use of 'Dozen'?(apart from the fact that'the Dirty 12' would be a rubbish title for a film).Why not just say 12 or 6? I think that not knowing what a dozen means is strange but its not really a serious problem as long as the person knows numbers.I suspect education standards are actually improving the article is about the slowing down of the improvement. Not as the HYS provocatively suggests the removal of RWA(3R's). Fri 26 Feb 2010 01:01:49 GMT+1 SirReausThought Ofstead is what is wrong with our education system. I was a governor of two schools. And at one there was a male teacher who had children eager to solve problems at home. They did not realise that it was homework. His hobby was making films about local history. And children were bringing their video cameras to school for out of hours instruction. Ofstead report labelled him as wanting, unable to hold the children’s interest and totally lacking in his artistic ability. They had not witnessed the children’s penchant for this teachers praise. He immediately took early retirement and was replaced be a new graduate who’s grammar was rubbish. In the sentence “The policeman caught the boy but he lost his hat.” She had not a clue who lost the hat She was also lost on, how many posts do you require to support eight fence panels?Ofstead also has targets and must find fault with some school or they will be considered as not having done their job properly. Which idiot brought in that alphabet with the A and E stuck together. That set children back at least four yearsNow see if you can correct my grammar. That was another trick the old teacher employed. Fri 26 Feb 2010 01:00:08 GMT+1 MARTNAL2 A couple of years ago a friend went into a shop and asked for half a dozen boxes of matches. The oik behind the counter said, "What's half a dozen?"That was the day I realised something was VERY WRONG with schooling in this country.THe old recommendation system was so flawed, invariably favouring early posters. It will not be missed. Thu 25 Feb 2010 23:18:10 GMT+1 Phosgene If you think there is an apostrophe in "Three Rs", you need some revision on one R in particular.Simple rule: spostrophes NEVER make a word plural. Thu 25 Feb 2010 22:25:03 GMT+1 wfhflyer This government has had the mantra Health and Education since it came to power. Due to their constant interference and changing policies both have suffered. Teachers are unsure of what they are going to be teaching in the near future. Parents are unsure how to help their children. It is time for politicians to stop interfering and let the professionals get on with the job they they trained for without the paperwork associated with targets. Thu 25 Feb 2010 21:45:51 GMT+1 FotheringtonTrouserblanket 1) Reading 2) Riting 3) Rithmetic - of course they should be replaced with Writing, Arithmetic, Reading - An easy acronym to remember - WAR Thu 25 Feb 2010 20:24:45 GMT+1 Jonathan Reading, Writing, Arithmetic.Education, Education, Education.This is my supposedly humble opinion of the nature of the argument that is put forward about the £4.5 billion investment in Labour's school reforms. School's need to be reformed well in my opinion they need to be taken out of there stuffy environements shaken down and sent back in with a refreshed and honest approach to teaching and education. First of all the 'three R's' haven't worked whatever is to be believed to the contrary has obviously never read reports or watched television programmes discussing the issues of 'hug a hoodie' or 'binge drinking britain' these are the main reasons why the 'three R's' are not working it is not so much the new modern curriculum that has recieved investment and is excellent it is broken britain, facts young adults learn best when they are stress free and motivated for the future those are the keys make society a better place then education will look after itself. It is an absurd notion to think that if the community is falling apart that suddenly people will walk into a classroom and somehow be transformed into diligent, enthusiastic students. Ridiculous yet this I personally believe is what most of the decision makes do actually believe. Now I am not saying I have the answer to societies ills and I am not naive enough to pretend that things will change over night but the fact that some form of change will be better than nothing is undoubtedly true and it is up to us all collectively not just one person bleating away, is going to solve anything it is as much your responsibilty as it is mine. Thu 25 Feb 2010 19:59:51 GMT+1 Demon Lee "Whats the VAT on an order of £2395.99 and I occasionally offer 10 or 20% discounts what is the value of the order after the two discounts have been applied."It's a badly written question that could result in a number of answers, for example...If the total is £2395.99 BEFORE vat, you would add 17.5% (£419.30) and hand your client the invoice of £2,815.29.If the total is £2395.99 AFTER vat, you would divide the total by 23.5, multiply by 3.5 to find the sum of £356.85 VAT (17.5%) or if it was still 15% Divide the total by 23 and multiply by 3.Therefore, if you want to deduct 10% or 20%, you need to know if the original figure you gave was inclusive or exclusive of VAT as that would alter the 10% or 20% value. Thu 25 Feb 2010 19:58:12 GMT+1 thinkingandbeing The theory is that teachers can't be trusted with teaching without the guiding hand of politicians.Except that you wouldn't trust a politician to teach anything except expenses fiddling.Leave the teachers alone. Thu 25 Feb 2010 18:54:14 GMT+1 Erkules To find your postings is not difficult.1)Click onto your signing in name located just before the comments start.2)A list of your postings will appear with time & date.3)Click onto the comment you wish to see which will bring up the blog in question.4)Scroll down to the time noted @ point (2)Admittedly not quite so direct as the old HYS but not so difficult.Someone may know of an easier method Thu 25 Feb 2010 18:50:31 GMT+1 England is Ruined The method of teaching in the 50's & 60's was so much better, i.e. talk and chalk.Children are leaving school now less educated than ever before. To make it appear standards have improved, this numptie NuLabour Government dumbs down the exams rather than lifting teaching standards.On another note, this new HYS site is absolutely awful! Thu 25 Feb 2010 18:14:17 GMT+1 Ellie Replace them with what? Perhaps I am getting old, but I always thought that the 3 Rs were the basis of education. Thu 25 Feb 2010 17:25:05 GMT+1 JonnyStort I was talking to someone who is a senior executive with a German-owned multi-national the other day. He's been recruiting graduates to join the company's marketing team. He said he's appalled by the number of (British) graduates who can barely write concise English, and cannot spell or punctuate properly. Small wonder he's starting to look to recruit European graduates. It seems thay are usually able to write intelligible, properly spelt and punctuated reports in their own language and in English.My point is that without a good foundation in Reading, wRiting & 'Rithmetic anyone starting a British education will ultimately fail. So - please, do not replace the Three R's with another system designed by someone with limited or no grasp of teaching. Please do not let Ofsted (comprised so far as I can tell mainly by people who's connection with education is limited to once attending a school) try to tell professional teachers how to teach. Thu 25 Feb 2010 16:57:32 GMT+1 Les Bowring The reason we have so many semi ilitarate pupils is the trendy teaching systems in use, accepting a close aproximation of a word is not good enough it has to be spelt right, not teaching how to hold the pen or pencil correctly, using calculators for every mathimatical sum. During my school years we didnot have caclulators we used the greatest callculater you posess your brain. More also needs to be done at home don't just stick them in front of the tv, engage with your children read with them, help them with their writing, show them basic maths Thu 25 Feb 2010 15:39:57 GMT+1 Cydevil Never! They are the very baseline of traditional schooling and pre-schooling at home. Thu 25 Feb 2010 15:24:37 GMT+1 Jim Kerrigan We all know what thius means. Political indoctrination will replace the ability to read write and do sums. Don't the clowns who put forward this agenda realise is that if you don't have the three Rs you will be forever at a disadvantage in the job market. Thu 25 Feb 2010 15:24:04 GMT+1 Josfroze Politicians are constantly interfering with education. They come up with an idea and if it doesn't produce instant results they drop it in favour of something else. What children need is consistency of education from teachers who aren't stressed out through jumping through so many pointless hoops. Thu 25 Feb 2010 15:20:54 GMT+1 fisher85 They should return to the old fashion 3-r's that I was taught at school Thu 25 Feb 2010 14:57:34 GMT+1 LYDIA-REID It is more than time political parties left teaching to our teachers. Let our children get an education before we have another generation of illiterate children. Thu 25 Feb 2010 14:00:17 GMT+1 DPressed Why do I now have to scroll through hundreds of comments to view the most recent ones?Is this what passes for improvement at the BBC? Thu 25 Feb 2010 13:43:40 GMT+1 DPressed I recommend comment no 252 Thu 25 Feb 2010 13:42:19 GMT+1 Nickjg There only ever were two so those who favour this expression manage to be illiterate and innumerate at the same time. The drive in the 1980s towards 'core subjects' not only undermined the richness off the educational offer and took it back to the 1930s, but also, it alienated thousands of children each year from the learning process altogether. Teaching the 3R curriculum is like teaching surgery from a diagram or driving from a handbook. Only instilling a love of reading and emulation will make people literate and only a love of accuracy will make people numerate- If they are going to manage a diversity of activities in outside life school needs to provide a diversity of learning. Thu 25 Feb 2010 13:36:31 GMT+1 JonnyStort No, I don't think the '3 Rs' should be replaced. What I think should happen is (a) sundry Government ministers / Secretaries of State / Civil Servants should stop meddling with the system & ask educational professionals to identify any changes that they think are needed, obtain funding, and implement them. That means asking teachers. I've been a Secondary school Governor & am a Primary school Governor, & have seen too many stupid, in-thought out changes that do little or nothing to improve education. Some seem to harm it. It takes time to implement changes & often they have to be made 'now'. Many 'improvements' lack any knowledgeable input & seem to be knee-jerk attempts to catch votes.So - the '3 Rs' should stay, but Government please back-off from other changes. Thu 25 Feb 2010 13:33:04 GMT+1 Simon Harpham "programmes were not evaluated fully before new initiatives were thrust on to schools".So why don't we take some time evaluating any new programmes fully rather than just letting our knees jerk us one way, then another? Thu 25 Feb 2010 13:16:10 GMT+1 The remastered Ben Terrion As an ex Special Needs leader, I think that the three Rs are massively important. Literacy and numeracy are vital skills. The problem was that this initiative was poorly planned out and involved amendments every few months. When teachers are given directives by the government, they should be allowed to put them in place and review their efficacy before some "expert" from the the bowels of Westminster wants to play politics with our future. Thu 25 Feb 2010 13:14:46 GMT+1 coastwalker The initiative is a well placed one. As always with anything that goes on under this government its the implementation which has failed to meet expectations. You wouldn't believe the size of the education industry and the sheer number of advisor's inspectors and busybodies who do no teaching and whos entire reason for existence is to make the life of teachers more difficult. Its a miracle they manage to teach anything. Stop changing the system every six months and the results might start improving. Thu 25 Feb 2010 12:47:38 GMT+1 Capn Corona nuffin rong wiv skools. day is reel sick I recently attended the loading of a vessel where the young degreed surveyor unholstered his blackberry and started thumbing away in order to divide 1235 by 10. Yes. By ten. OOOOOps! something has gorn wrong with the system here..... Thu 25 Feb 2010 12:29:04 GMT+1 McM @objective_realityA genuinely funny HYS post, my life is complete.Sadly you are right, teaching is no longer seen as a respected profession. I'm currently studying at oxford and none of my peer group even give teaching a thought. Thu 25 Feb 2010 12:20:07 GMT+1 Objective_Reality Yep, they should replace them with reeding, righting and rythmatic. All kids will pass because all kids are clever. This success will be jeopardised by the Conservatives, because they are all toffs who want to ruin our good wholesome socialist education system. I mean what a disgusting toff idea making our teachers pass basic tests to ensure they are fit to teach. Anyone who leaves the republics teaching college has more than enough ability to teach if they can recite clause four my dear proletariat brothers and sisters. Thu 25 Feb 2010 12:03:10 GMT+1 goatie The only thing that needs to change is preventing politicians from meddling and let the professionals of the day sort it out. The three 'R's is the foundation of everything else taught in school. Everything else comes after these, so if we cannot get the literacy and numeracy right, we're stuffed. End of. Period. Thu 25 Feb 2010 11:35:13 GMT+1 Country Jane I sincerely believe that the continued intervention from the Goverment with regards to schools education, is the main reason that many children fall through the system and leave school without any certificates and unable to read and write. The subject of Education should be left to the people trained in the education of children not politicians looking for a quick spin there dabbling has made the last decade of children look a lot worse that they are, but they have the mill stone of Goverment satistics hanging round there necks. Thu 25 Feb 2010 11:12:27 GMT+1 Curious_George Yet another monumental failure of this government - they've been coming thick and fast ever since 1997! Thu 25 Feb 2010 10:30:24 GMT+1 1stTopic I don't believe the 3R's are being implimented properly now and the only thing this government seems to do is make things worse.I do not now like this HYS site , this is my last comment Thu 25 Feb 2010 09:56:54 GMT+1 teedoff If, by "3R's" you mean the Gov't policy, then of course it should be scrapped, along with all the other strategies that gain a promotion for someone but add no value.Instead we need to actually get back to the real 3R's and teach our children the importance of reading, ensure they are able to write accurately and legibly, and instil the fundamentals of arithmetic in them.I learned my times tables by rote, as I did my spelling, and that gave me a grounding from which I could then question those and other assumptions. Even those who didn't understand were able to do basic arithmetic and to spell properly. Maybe there's something to be said for that "traditional" approach. Thu 25 Feb 2010 09:54:02 GMT+1 Andy The trouble is, we have already replaced them with namby-pamby discussions about 'feelings', 'caring and sharing' etc. My generation (educated in the 60's & 60's) learnt to read, write and do everyday maths perfectly well with what we would now call 'traditional' methods - what's wrong with re-adopting the old ways, which obviously worked? A bit of discipline might help as well. Thu 25 Feb 2010 09:39:32 GMT+1 Rene Descartes "I get all job applicantes to answer some questions for example:-Whats the VAT on an order of £2395.99 and I occasionally offer 10 or 20% discounts what is the value of the order after the two discounts have been applied.Last year I interviewed nearly 40 18year old school leavers and attended one school jobs fair. Only 6 of the leavers asked (even using a calculator) got all 3 parts of that question right, yet all had good GCSE maths and most have A level maths or physics"I find it hard to believe you interviewed 40 18 year old school leavers where "most" have A level maths or physics who would not be going to university. There aren't that many who do maths or physics (and if you do physics you normally have to do maths) who aren't going on to higher education. So, I find your anecdote somewhat hard to believe. Thu 25 Feb 2010 09:23:24 GMT+1 Alison Nice spin BBC. Suggest that Labour always included the 3 R's when in fact it was they that did away with them!I think you mean "Should Labour stop meddling and go back to basics" Thu 25 Feb 2010 09:18:21 GMT+1 Pamela Read To no.315Spot on G K. Thanks. It's worth trawling through the garbage to find a G K jewel. Thu 25 Feb 2010 09:12:58 GMT+1 One Marble Left The 3Rs are very important and need to be taught to an acceptable standard by the age of seven. My personal feeling is that we do not have enough "kindergarten" style provision whereby kids can become accustomed to the school environment on a part time basis well before they attend "proper" school. Thu 25 Feb 2010 09:12:56 GMT+1 SurfandTurf Education, like everything else, has dramatically declined under this government.This new HYS is a disgrace. Coming up to an election, it is a blatant political move. Thu 25 Feb 2010 09:10:14 GMT+1 David The 3 R's works well for many children and for many schools. It fails when there is insufficient or inexperienced teaching resource, lack of parental teaching and in schools where social disadvantage is allowed to be an excuse for not delivering good education.We do not need to tear up policy, invent more legislation, we just need to try harder and be patient. Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:49:01 GMT+1 Inspector Green Pen Those complaining about the site might care to read up on the reasons why it has been brought up to date. The main one as far as I can see is to speed up the moderation process and allow postings to appear much more quickly, rather than several hours later, one of the main criticisms of the previous version.I like it, well done BBC, for responding to this criticism. Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:47:28 GMT+1 Tom_in_Exeter I'm not sure what is the suggestion. Don't bother with the three Rs, or replace the slogan with something else? Either way, it's a stupid idea from people who have little clue about education. The three R's are essential fundamentals to any definition of education, and a concise, accurate description of them.Well done on the new HYS. I would have thought it impossible to totally destroy the vibrancy, functionality, and simplicity of the old format - but you have managed it. Whoever is responsible should be relegated to assistant toilet cleaner - under very close supervision to ensure that they can manage the job. Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:45:03 GMT+1 Inspector Green Pen Standards have been going steadily downwards since the 70's when governments started interfering. When my son started school in the 80's he could already read, write, add and subtract numbers. His mother was told by the school that he was too advanced for the rest of the class and they would struggle to keep him occupied.So, what happens? Standards keep dropping to the lowest common denominator. When recruiting for staff in the finacial services industry in the 90's we gave all applicants a simple test which involved 1. writing a business letter, and 2 adding up a column of 20 amounts of money. The fail rate was horrendous, especially as many applicants supposedly had 'A' passes at GCSE. Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:43:54 GMT+1 The Big Fish Why can't these educational gurus stop meddlingThe reality is that education is in decline as a direct result of an increased number of so-called experts.Education is what's left after what has been learned has been long forgotten.So - we need to be clear - vocational and academic learning should be provided. Colouring in, drama, PE and RE merely add to the necessary curriculum and should not be instead of it.Sex education has only led to more sex !!! Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:43:45 GMT+1 icewombat I get all job applicantes to answer some questions for example:-Whats the VAT on an order of £2395.99 and I occasionally offer 10 or 20% discounts what is the value of the order after the two discounts have been applied.Last year I interviewed nearly 40 18year old school leavers and attended one school jobs fair. Only 6 of the leavers asked (even using a calculator) got all 3 parts of that question right, yet all had good GCSE maths and most have A level maths or physics. Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:43:44 GMT+1 Iorek-the-Fair Ps please put the HYS "Your Comment" box next to the topic description so we may refer back to it whilst composing our HYSs. Placing it at the bottom of the page is very inconvenient. Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:41:10 GMT+1 icewombat Having tried over the last 3 years to employ school leavers, i'm shocked at their lack of skills. I'm understanding on spelling being dyslexic my self, but accross the board their skills are appalling.No money managerment skills, no client facing skills, poor timekeeping and only able to focus on a task for a very short time.And as the job adverts im allowed to advertise for a gradurate or newly graduated but im not allowed to advertise for a school leaver! Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:36:46 GMT+1 Iorek-the-Fair No, Ofsted are ignorant, they know nothing. It is important to concentrate on the three Rs. We have a great education system and we don't want politicians or Ofsted tinkering Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:35:28 GMT+1 Rene Descartes Papa Demos Wrote"I'm now looking at options for moving abroad and away from this ruined country. Nu-Labour you should be totally ashamed of what you have done. All your promises were lies. Education, education, education. Tough on the causes of crime. A referendum on Europe."Interesting that those who claim they want to move abroad also appear to want to leave the EU (based on the claim he wanted a referendum on Europe). The only countries where Brits have an unqualified right to live, work and own 2nd homes in are the other 26 EU countries. Everwhere else the right to live and work is qualified based on age, skills, qualifications, assets etc. So, if you do want to leave the EU countries are your best bet and were we to leave this option would be closed to you.Those who don't feel they have the skills, qualifications etc to improve their lives here should ask why another country would think they have anything to contribute to their country. Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:33:56 GMT+1 totallystressed Cannot use this site. Put a posting on yesterday. How do I find it? Lacking any information. No pages, no commenting, in fact no discussion at all. Maybe you didn't like what people were saying, but that is surely democracy and freedom of speech. It is supposed to be our say, not yours. Who decided to take all the teeth out of it, not that it had been worth commenting on for some time as you decided not take put any serious questions in there but a load of tittle-tattle. Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:29:58 GMT+1 John Stratford I read this in disbelief! Anyone who has employed recent educational leavers will recognise many have little arithmetical or reasoning ability. Moreover, their powers of communication are modest and thereby limit usefulness to employment and the wider economy. We are either breeding some very 'thick' people and/or teaching of the 3 R's is going seriously wrong. I'm not just talking about secondary school leavers. I really wonder how some graduates got through the educational process. It's all deeply depressing and doesn't say much for our future economic prospects. Moreover, whither society with the large number of such peopleforming tomorrow's citizens?Not sure I like the new HYS Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:24:14 GMT+1 Jack Orion Readin, Riting and Rithmetic. Well, that's spelling sorted out for a start! Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:14:42 GMT+1 peter the three Rs worked well enough for my generation so why dosent it work now is it because the kids nowadays cannot do anything with out a iphone or computer with a spell checker system and do not know how to read books to search out information, its to easy to just Google the infomation, what would the kids do if the internet crashed and they could not Googlealso they should be taught RESPECT for themselves and to others as this will benefit them when they leave school and try and get a job by the way hate the new look HYS site why alter it Thu 25 Feb 2010 08:00:47 GMT+1 Erkules Although I said @ #221 that the new HYS is better, that doesn't mean it can't be improved, for a start:-1) Limit the No of characters to say 1000 (500 is too few)to stop the endless,self important ramblers2) Limit the No of postings from individuals during (say) a 24hr period This may not stop the multi I/D hi jackers but it's a start3) Introduce pages, most recent first, to enable easier surfingThe so called 3 R's are essential, they underpin everything else. They need to be taught better & more rigorously. Simply moving the deck chairs doesn't do it Thu 25 Feb 2010 07:42:23 GMT+1 I_amStGeorge Number 262 And, there has always been, and always be "influence" homegrown or otherwisw,,,,lets face our own problems before blaming others, which has also become endemic in our society.The Americans profess to speak English. To the point of listing on these computers choices of English Canadian English American American Outer Territories English etc, etc but in some cases no listing of UK, GB or England English. As for the words, you know them Color, Flavor etc the hypenated words Sem-i Ti-rade Co-lin then the totally altered words Keribyan=it means Caribbean of course, theres also Fanny and Spunk Totally different meanings. Americans speak american not the bastardised English version of it they use. Next we'll be seeing Pidgeon English on the National Curriculum. Is there any wonder our kids are confused and at a lower academic standard than 50 years ago Thu 25 Feb 2010 07:41:13 GMT+1 Chris Very poor new format to HYS. Time-consuming to log in.This is my first and last comment on the new format:Perhaps we could replace the 3 R's with sex education (oh.. we've done that already!), threatening and menacing behaviour (oh... we've done that already!!), teenage parenthood (oh.. we've done that already!!!).No wonder we are the most illiterate nation in the Western World.Goodbye HYS. It's been a blast, but I just can't be bothered with the login hassle anymore. A huge step backwards I'm afraid. Thu 25 Feb 2010 07:36:35 GMT+1 SnoddersB Once upon a time children learned their Alphabet and numberacy by rote. this was considered to be the wrong way by the liberal left and has been dropped. It is strange that most of those who learned the times tables can multiply in their heads while modern children need a calculator. The inability of the modern generation to write in English without using txt is also causing problems. It is time that for young children the calculator was thrown away and they were taught to use their brain and the same goes for reading and writing. Correct spelling is a must and there is no excuse for using text short cuts. Thu 25 Feb 2010 07:09:12 GMT+1 mickthewhite The three R's have already been reassigned.If you look at the numeracy and grammar of todays so called educated youth, it is clear there has been far too much emphasis on 'modern political correctness' issues than on basic education.There are too many obscure and PC rules. Lets get back to basicsR - replaceR - reactionaryR - ruleswithR - ReadingR - writingR - arithmetic Thu 25 Feb 2010 06:50:10 GMT+1 G_K___ All this handwringing over the "three Rs" is nothing more than idle musing over the icing on a cake that is worm-ridden to the core.Despite the efforts of a small number of fine individual teachers, our education system remains nothing more than a production line designed to churn out efficient drones to fill the small human-shaped boxes between the cogs and bearings of our societal machine.Our education system exists to prepare people for lives of mental drudgery and imaginative slavery, in which the higher faculties and potentialities of our species are subordinated to degraded mechanistic patterns, in the unresting service of sterile money-generation.Our entire society is enslaved to Greed, and the education system exists to service its needs.Debating which subjects ought to be stressed is like debating which deck games to play on a plague ship. Thu 25 Feb 2010 06:46:09 GMT+1 colonelblimp This post has been Removed Thu 25 Feb 2010 06:15:11 GMT+1 clamdip lobster claws I think the whole concept of education is wrong. Children don't really get what they need at the moment they need it. Like why do ants follow each other along the same trail? It's frustrating to children when they ask a question and the adult next to them can't answer it. Young children show great interest in the world around them but they rarely get to explore it because of the way school is structured. Young children are excited to learn when they're young then start to hate school when they're older. Why? School destroys a child's natural inclination to learn. I think the concept is wrong. Thu 25 Feb 2010 04:23:37 GMT+1 Droschke Hmmmmmmmm one thing most people have in common here is that no one seems to like the new format and the fact that you have to read or scan through ell of the comments to see if you have been posted. We really need the recomend button back. £ r's are necessary but the R,W & A would be better Thu 25 Feb 2010 03:30:54 GMT+1 moionfire I like the new board. I hated not being able to read the comments from oldest to newest. I just wish the BBC would bring back the "recommend" feature back....As far as the topic, I say primary school should teach only 4 subjects: English, Math, science, and geography. Everything else should wait for secondary school... Thu 25 Feb 2010 02:36:46 GMT+1 Ego non 159. At 4:36pm on 24 Feb 2010, Joss wrote:One of our kids was being taught about tens and hundreds in school. I asked her about thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands, millions and so on. Oh, she explained, we have been told we wont be taught that yet.When I questioned the teacher why she wasn't carrying on up the columns, she told me "above hundreds is far too difficult at this stage."...I took the columns issue in hand, and by the following week, our 7 year old was happily writing out a Googol (one with one hundred naughts) in chalk in the playground. It is not hard this stuff.Perhaps this is the real problem. Some children find numbers above a hundred difficult so no children get taught about them.Anyway, you should get your seven year old to start writing out a googolplex now. That'll keep them occupied for a bit. Thu 25 Feb 2010 02:03:36 GMT+1 matt mackenzie maybe concentrate on basic education instead of pushing kids further and further onto google, past few years it seems all of a sudden a PC is a must for homework, they now find answers in an instant where as having a good half hour read might teach them alot more than the answer Thu 25 Feb 2010 02:00:00 GMT+1 David Lilley When we introduced state education in the 1830s it only cost £30,000 in the first year. The big discussion was "imprisonment", taking children from their parents and forcing them into school. The argument was won by the three "R". Your freedom would be enhanced by learning the three "Rs" and this would more tham compensate the imprisonment of school.It is still the case today, that the ability to read and write is the greatest skill you will learn at school. And if you couldn't count, then or now, you wouldn't be able to check your change never-mind get a mortgage.We have forgotten the bargain that was made in 1830, imprisonment versus the freedom provided by the three "Rs". John Major, our least educated Prime Minister, said "We are failing too many children, 3% leave school unable to read and write and 7% leave school with no qualifications, do they all want to be Prime Minister?" We probably fail more today because we have forgotten the bargain and only concentrate on the numbers getting 5 A to C grades at GCSE and never mention the children we fail.Their parents, the biggest influence on their life chances beat the system despite the £5,000 cost of state education per child per year. And when I say beat the system, I really do mean that they have won the argument. "Listen to me son, I'm not on benefits because I am a failure, the future is orange, working is a mugs game, forget about school." They follow their parents good advice and 14,000 are excluded from school for bad behaviour and will get a golden hello from the benefits system, a free ride for their whole life, no early morning starts. And they will hand this key to the door to their offsprings. 50% of council house tennants do not work but 75% of younger tenants don,tI will always defend them on the only defence there is, they are behaving rationally. We cannot ask for more or less from an individual. Show me an egotist and I will show you that he is rational, show me an altruist and I will show you that he is rational. It is society that is failing them with benefits and not reinforcing a sense of responsibility and self discipline. If we continue to bless them as "the most vulnerable in society" we will only we only succeed in "manufacturing the poor" and that is not relieving misery, which is the only mission of politics (Popper).We have a new opportunity in education. We can teach them all to read and write and if they want more knowledge they can Google it. We can remember the "bargain" made in 1830 and let them go once they have life skills like reading and writing and they can Google the rest or go on courses in HE as and when they need them to enhance their employment prospects. Chomski taught us that we all have the same intel inside.HE should be about learning skills that will enhance life chances and not about learning things that we could access with the three "Rs" or simply Google them. We only learn from the "search-light" theory of knowledge and not from the diminishing returns of increasing the school leaving age from 14 to 15 to 16 to 18 and increasing the cost of state school education from £3,000 to £5,000 pa in a decade and seeing no return.One illiterate school leaver will rob 20 so called "pushy parents" of 1/3 of their life's income. The cost to the taxpayer of a truant was £2m 10 years ago. We must congratulate the so called "pushy parents" who built the nest, hatched the chicks and taught them to fly such that they could make the 3,000 mile migration to Africa and survive in the noughties.To continue the lessons from the animal kingdom, althought this was trashed by David Hume in one sentance. An elephant spends 10 years teaching its young the ropes, survival skills, humans take longer, but we have trashed the dual parent family and increased the single parent family threefold in twenty years by enticing its growth with benefits which you would be a fool to reject (none rational behaviour is bad).I could go on and on but I would love an anti-thesis and be able to throw off my shoes and be Socarties and rat-sh-t all comers. Do I have any takers? Thu 25 Feb 2010 01:58:35 GMT+1 crash The three 'r's is way to complicated let's reduce it to one 'r' that would be much less hard and so much better for their feeling's maybe we do away with all forms of grading and that way they wouldn't be classified.Lets make it a perfect world where nobody ever rates anyone.Because in the real world nobodies ever rated,right ! Thu 25 Feb 2010 01:44:54 GMT+1 JamesStGeorge Leaving a comment on the blog is not the same as making a formal complaint. To do that, please do so via the first information only thread in the new HYS. Take them at their word. They will ignore all complaining in here. You have to do more or they will claim the change a success. Thu 25 Feb 2010 01:42:57 GMT+1 Fast Neutron What the devil does it matter what mnemonic or acronym we use?Our children need to read, perform basic arithmetic and communicate before we consider any more high-minded goals.Devote enough time to each of these where's the problem?Like the meercat says, "Simples."Maybe all the folk that waste huge quantities of time arguing about the best way to do this would be better in schools teaching the kids? Thu 25 Feb 2010 00:52:20 GMT+1 Eponymous Cowherd @#141 Peter SymIt might have escaped your notice that there was some bloke called Tony in charge between Major and Brown. An 18 year old today would have been 5 when Labour came to power, so their entire education has been under Labour.In addition it is eminently possible that an 18 year old could have several kids.The bottom line is, Labour came to power with the slogan "Education, Education, Education". 13 years later they still haven't delivered. The same goes for all of Labour's failures. Whatever the Tories did, or didn't, do is irrelevant and, 13 years after they lost power, has very little bearing on the current dire state of the country. Thu 25 Feb 2010 00:42:27 GMT+1 ThoughtCrime Is it really so difficult to allow people to give posts either a thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote, as you claim? Just about every other site can do it. Out of interest I looked at the code and database requirements for it, and figured a solution in about 5 minutes.So either your developers are truly, truly useless, or there's a hidden agenda here. Thu 25 Feb 2010 00:30:17 GMT+1 Ollathair I think this might be comment #302. My expertise is not education. However I've heard opinion from professionals who claim that they are educated in educating. What they say is that there are two main streams of knowledge: 1) mastering language & 2) mastering numbers. If you do both of these, with mastery, you are on a good grounding. This grounding can then take you anyplace. Main point #2 would be that we need to eliminate all of the planned social engineering subjects that today pass for knowledge-building. Thu 25 Feb 2010 00:28:36 GMT+1 Phosgene The three Rs are essential, just need to be handled better.As for the new look HYS, good. It should stop certain people misusing these BBC sites. Thu 25 Feb 2010 00:05:00 GMT+1 PAUL WILLIAMS The 'HYS changes' comments illustrate perfectly why meddling for the sake of it (i.e with 'the three Rs')causes unnecessary problems. Were lots of people really opposed to the recommend buttion ? Can't see me making many 'complaints' about entries , why would i want to? It seems very negative. I like the spirit of the 'debates'. I used the 'recommend' button quite a lot though..good idea flawed or not. Don't mend , what isn't broken; no system is perfect New HYS is less perfect than the my opinion, but I'm just a user,what do i know? Wed 24 Feb 2010 23:55:36 GMT+1 richard bown New have your say not an improvement, whole point was being able to recommend posts - now it's just a list with no way to gaugue popular opinions on a subject? Or was that the point of the change? Wed 24 Feb 2010 23:43:53 GMT+1 Andrew Lye Children need the grounding in subjects that will get them through a working career and life.Many of the subjects I learnt are not really that much use.The fact everyone is up to their eyeballs in debt makes me think that children should be educated in money management.Mathematics at school has no bearing whatsoever in my life. I never got my O level in Maths, yet cope perfectly with arithmetic, for example, without using a calculator! Wed 24 Feb 2010 23:24:41 GMT+1 Rebecca Goldsmith This government has already replaced the three Rs with sex, political correctness and climate change propaganda. Wed 24 Feb 2010 23:03:10 GMT+1 Antony Webb Replaced ? That will never happen while there are parents who value their childrens education.This would then mean the children of parents who do not care would receive less of an education than presently.The 3 R´s are the basis for everything that follows, remove this base and you will be left with adults who can´t read a contract, sign everything with a cross and are constantly in debt without knowing it. Replaced ? This new HYS format is another example of useless changes. I hope it wasn´t consultant inspired. Wed 24 Feb 2010 23:01:23 GMT+1 androstempest what I'd like to know is, if all comments are pre-moderated, why are the moderators allowing so many to be posted which aren't about education? not that I disagree with the comments about the new have your say being terrible compared to the old have your say, but non of these comments are relevant to the debate. what exactly does this "pre-moderation" actually entail because at the moment I picture someone who has left school without learning their 3 r's just pressing "accept" repeatedly without making any effort to read the comments posted.or it could be automated to check for swear words. Wed 24 Feb 2010 22:50:28 GMT+1 Hemmers I think Gordon Brown and his advisors should spend some time learning basic science. A year 7 class would match their level. All scientists know that if you're trying to discern the impact of something in an experiment, you change just one variable at a time.Labour's policy seems to have been to hurl a million new policies, initiatives and course materials (variables) at schools all at once. Having drowned them in paperwork, and not seen standards instantly shooting up, they declare the new schemes a failure and change it all again 5 minutes later. We've now had stages where teachers have threatened to ignore the demands of the national curriculum and boycott SATs.The 3 R's worked for me. None of this phonics stuff, or funky "alternative" teaching methods. That said, maybe I just got lucky. I was astounded at the poor levels of writing ability in some of my peers at University. Basic grammar, syntax and spelling were a foreign concept to them (although not generally to the foreign students!) and I found myself frequently taking the lead in correcting and proofreading material they had produced for group reports and projects. The quality of writing in the student paper varied as well, which was astounding when you considered it was run by people with an active interest in journalism and writing. You'd think they'd get basic grammar down to a tee! Quite amazing. Wed 24 Feb 2010 22:49:42 GMT+1