Is a Dream School the solution?

A new series has recently started here in the UK – Jamie’s Dream School. It documents a project by Jamie Oliver.  His project is about trying to ‘save’ some disaffected youths by getting them interested in their education once again. His plan is to do this by using some ‘stellar’ names such as David Starkey, Alistair Campbell and Ellen McArthur.

The first episode aired a few days ago and the full episode is posted below.

I think this is an extremely noble undertaking by Jamie.  Regular readers of the blog will know that I have a ‘thing’ for education – I fell it is one of the pillars of our upbringing and therefore wider society.  And the current system isn’t working.

And whilst the programme makes for good TV and I will no doubt be watching the rest of the series I am left wondering – what exactly will this prove?

Will it show that schools should look to hire professionals rather than teachers? That schools should provide an endless array of disciplines for students to pick and choose from?

There are many challenges for the current system to overcome – lack of quality/passionate teachers; lack of discipline and power given to teachers; too much focus on targets; not enough support for individual needs.  Some of these could be answered by legislation, stronger headteachers and partnerships with private sector (where part time apprenticeships could replace lessons on particular subjects).

Will Jamie’s series go on to answer these?  I don’t know, but in the meantime it is well worth a watch and I will keep posting the episodes (assuming they are good and have a subject matter worth discussing!).

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