11/10/13. British Children May Start School at Two. Richard Palmer, thetrumpet.com
“There’s a growing movement among Britain’s educators to encourage children to spend less time with their families and more time at school. Baroness Sally Morgan, the chair of Britain’s school inspection board, Ofsted, called for a “big brave move” toward children starting school at 2 years old, in a November 4 speech.
Education Secretary Michael Gove is changing the law so that schools can choose how much time children get off school. He’s encouraged them to give pupils less holiday time and wants to extend the school day.
Why this push? At first glance, it could be easy to assume that this is yet another left-wing agenda to break down the family by taking kids away from the influence of their parents and entrusting government approved teachers with their upbringing. But there’s more to it than that.
Lady Morgan is indeed a left-wing politician. But Michael Gove is probably the most right-wing minister in Britain’s government. He’s passionately hated by the left-wing educational establishment for his push to raise standards, make exams harder and make history teaching more patriotic, for example. Calls for longer school days and shorter holidays having been coming from the new breed of solid headmasters that Gove has allowed to flourish.
Again, why? Some of these headmasters who have schools in poor areas find that much of their good work with disadvantaged pupils is undone as they go back to their families over the summer.
Lady Morgan is worried about a similar problem. A recent study found that children from poor homes were 19 months behind their richer peers by the time they start school at age 5. “They’re not ready to learn at school,” said Lady Morgan, because of “weak parenting, low educational attainment of parents, poor diet, poor housing and so on.” In extreme cases a child can arrive at school not potty-trained, unable to talk properly and not even knowing his own name.
This new push for earlier schooling isn’t an attempt to break down families. It’s worse: It’s proof that families have already been broken.
Michael Gove and company are strong believers in the importance of family. But after seeing so many parents doing an appalling job, they want to bring up the children instead.
Part of the problem may be a money issue. The government is doing all it can to push mothers out to work by rigging the tax system and offering financial incentives to women that will leave the home. Better-off parents will find it easier to afford to keep the mother at home or afford a daycare service that can at least make sure the children are potty-trained and ready for school.
But the parents of many of the children that suffer are on welfare—they’re not going out to work. The government is paying for them to stay at home—they should have plenty of time to spend with their children.
The real solution to this problem is not for the government to try and do the job of parents—it is to fix parents. But there’s little a government can do solve that problem. A good start would be to scrap all the anti-family policies in place. But that still leaves a whole generation of parents that haven’t been taught the knowledge or who haven’t built the character necessary to do the job.
Almost all of Britain’s problems—from its bloated welfare state and huge national debt to the obesity crisis hitting the National Health Service—can be traced to a breakdown in families. Britain’s educational system is constantly sliding down the ranks of developed nations. The dysfunctional education system that Gove is trying to fix is part of it. But he can only do so much. The improvements he can make are simply limited by the poor quality of Britain’s families.
Family, as the Trumpet has often said, is the foundation of a nation. Britain has fatally damaged the fabric of its family life. The government is trying to step in and do the job that families should be doing. But it can’t afford to. And it could never effectively replace parents properly fulfilling their God-given role.”