In many ways, we are not often aware of the fact that we are fortunate to live in the UK, for a wide variety of reasons which are not necessarily obvious. For one, we have an educational system which is the envy of the entire planet. Many feel that we have some of the finest universities anywhere, and obviously, names such as Oxford and Cambridge are known worldwide. But what sometimes gets lost in the self-congratulatory noise about our education system is the
fact that we do have several areas that need improvement. Probably our biggest challenge is providing an equal public education everywhere across the UK.
The Postcode Challenge
It would be easy to assume that some the more affluent areas all have excellent schools and that any neighbourhood in these areas is a safe bet. But that is actually a false assumption. The facts are backed up by the release late last year of the Ofsted report by Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills. While it proved that, as we might unfortunately expect, areas of the UK that have lower incomes tend to also have worse
there are also other major metropolitan areas, such as London, Norfolk and Nottinghamshire which have fairly wealthy neighborhoods that still have pockets where the school systems are subpar. Sir Michael described it as a tale of two nations, one with access to quality education and one without. Recent updates to the Ofsted reports show that only about 20% of the schools in the UK are considered outstanding. Unfortunately, it’s downhill from there.
Would you pay more for your children’s education?
This is the rhetorical question, and most parents would answer unquestionably yes, especially if they can afford it. It’s worth pointing out that in China, whose economy is currently on the rise, parents on average spend about 20% of their household income on education. They realize that it is the key to their children’s future success. The Nationwide Building Society did a survey practically a year ago, asking parents if they would pay more for a house if they knew it was in a neighborhood that had an excellent school system. Over 25% of parents that had children between the ages of 5 and 16 indicated that they would in fact be willing to pay anywhere from 2% to 10% more for a home to gain access to a better education. The implications are of course a little chilling. If you don’t have the money to pay for a better home in a better school system, your children could have their future potential literally taken from them.
Making Sure Everyone Has a Chance
Any student who either attends a school that does not provide the highest quality education, or for whatever reason is not able to fully understand the course material, deserves a chance to improve. After all, their entire future is ultimately at stake. Fortunately, there are tutors in west London who are able to provide all the help that any student might need. English tutors in west London can help any child struggling with their language skills, especially if they come from a foreign country and are having a difficult time adapting to English. If we are going to move forward boldly into the future as a nation, we ultimately need long-term solutions to provide better quality education no matter where the student lives.