Should Students Have More Control Over Their Education?

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If students were given more control over their education would it prevent bad behaviour and exclusions?

School Exclusion Feature

Fresh out of primary school with high expectations and fear of what could happen in the scary world of secondary school, one thing I never expected was to get permanently excluded.

I started secondary school top of my class with the intention of doing as many GCSEs as I could and becoming the top of my school. I wanted to be a rocket scientist or inventor by the age of 18. However, four years (and over five schools later) this is far from the case.

According to The Daily Mail: ‘Figures from the Department for Education, disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, show that 1,169 children were temporarily excluded on at least ten occasions last year.’

Whilst my situation is not ideal, I have realised that there are actually a lot of opportunities for young people that don’t suit traditional education, for example apprenticeships and other vocational courses.

In my opinion, the current system in most schools no longer suits the new generation of young people forced to conform to it. Although teaching habits have changed over the years, (e.g. lesson structures and the way students are disciplined) I still think the system is outdated.

…If it was up to me, no one would be excluded because of their hair style…

I think that part of the problem that secondary schools face is class sizes. They are often too big and have such a wide range of abilities that not everyone is able to learn in the way that is most effective for them, leaving some students in complete boredom lesson after lesson. I also found that when met with work in school that was challenging enough I was less likely to make an effort, regardless of what the task involved.

I’m not saying the whole education system is useless, but it would be good for the government to hear from students a bit more, when it comes to the culture of school. Like, if it was up to me, no one would be excluded because of their hair style – one of the many unnecessary rules that isn’t going to effect the fact that a cube has 12 edges, or that a full stop goes at the end of a sentence.

Although I cant complain that the ‘real’, important rules are unreasonable I think the consequences when they’re broken are. Excluding young people, even if its only for a few lessons is ineffective and most are likely to become less engaged, rather than make a change.

If students had more control about what they learn, I feel it would prevent the exclusions of misunderstood teenagers (like myself) that just want a say and choice in their own education.

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