If I Was In Charge Of Education:

     
       
I've got a cup of tea in hand, David Bowie playing in my ears and I am revved up and ready of day 2 of the 100 Day Project!!! Today's post is inspired by the lovely Savannah Brown and a video she made on her channel a couple of weeks ago all about what would be taught in schools if she was in charge. I've linked the video here. I thought I'd offer my 2 cents on the subject for day 2 of the 100 Day Project. As we can probably all agree that our education system is no where near perfect, and what with exam season fast approaching (eeeek:0) I thought this would be a fairly topical thing to kick off the 100 day project with. And so, without further ado, here's what education would be like if I was in charge!

The first thing (and main thing) I would change about the curriculum is PSHCEE. Now, for those of you who don't go to school in England or who haven't been paying attention in class, this stands for Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship, Environmental Education (I'm pretty sure some schools have more / less letters than this or call it something different), but basically this is lesson in which we are supposed to be taught important things like sex ed, human rights, drugs and alcohol, the environment etc. Sounds brilliant, right? Except..... it kinds sucks. For most people this is the ultimate chat with your friends, chew gum at the back of the classroom fest, which yes I know, makes a nice change from trigonometry and fractions. But, this ultimately isn't helping anyone.

My overhaul of this subject would include introducing better sex ed, that is LGBT+ inclusive and gives people the real facts instead of spending 6 lessons labelling various genitalia before spending one extremely awkward lesson learning how to put a condom on a banana. I mean seriously guys, it shocks me how many people I come across who have NO IDEA how much of a big deal consent is, or that you can still get pregnant on your period. I also see this as a good opportunity to learn about sexuality and gender, it's all very well for teachers to seem to live in these little heterosexual, cisgender bubbles, but the likelihood is there is more than slight chance that there is someone LGBT+ in their class, and they deserve to get relevant information just like heterosexual and cisgender people do. I used to attend a very Christian school and once had a teacher tell the class that they were NOT ALLOWED to talk to us about gay sex due to parents complaints, despite the fact that not 10 minutes earlier we had had the full rundown on straight sex, EXCUSE ME WHERE DID YOUR LOGIC GO??????  The government has a duty to us young people to educate us properly, and on this front it certainly isn't being met.

Ok, as you can tell that is something I'm particularly passionate about, I may even revisit it at a later date. However, the next thing I would introduce is compulsory political education, which is equally as important. I see this as making sure all students have a basic understanding of the different political parties and their main policies, as well as knowing how the voting system works and the arguments for and against changing the voting system to Proportional Representation. I hope this would encourage more young people to understand how politics affect our lives and hopefully more young people turning out to vote at General and Local elections, as only around 60% of 18-25 year olds voted last year. I also believe that If we were ever to lower the voting age to 16, this would without a shadow of doubt be especially important.

In school I think it would be really cool and refreshing to have a unit about the internet as it plays such a massive part in almost every young persons life. I really think schools should step away from the generic 'don't do anything of the internet ever because everyone's out to get you' approach. Although I cannot stress how important internet-safety is, (sorry if I sound like your ICT teacher), as the first generation to've grown up on the internet I think exploring questions such 'how is social media is changing how we live' or 'does the internet really make us happy' could be interesting and relevant.

As for actual subjects, the other main thing I would like to see introduced better economics education. I believe all students should leave school with at least some understanding of how money works, as despite what we might want to think, money does (at least in part) make the world go round.. This could elevate so much of the confusion and stress that comes with becoming financially dependant on yourself for the first time. You should know where you can go for advice and help when it comes to money, as well as basic things like learning about different taxes and bills you will have to pay as you go through life. It would also be helpful to have information about budgeting and saving money too.

Now, my final few points are all about mental health. The stigma surrounding mental health is HUGE and with more and more young people being diagnosed with mental health issues it's super important schools know how to help students who have mental health problems such as depression, anxiety or eating disorders. If every school had assemblies on mental health, and if every student knew where they could go to access help or advice surrounding mental health, this could help dramatically improve the stigma surrounding mental health. This would also come in conjunction with a serious look at how the pressure surrounding exams affects young people's mental health. Exams are one of the main events in any teenagers life, and there is a direct correlation between exams becoming more demanding and a deterioration of mental health that should be addressed.

Basically, there is a crap ton of stuff that I would love to change about what is taught in our schools. Hopefully someday we will start to see some of these things become a reality and just to let you know in the unlikely event I ever find myself as the head of the department of education or the PM (dreaming big guys ;)), feel free to wave this post in my face and keep me accountable :) :) :)

Hope you enjoyed day 2 of the 100 day project, only 98 days to go!

Sarah xx

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