What should we teach six formers?

The world of digital data and Artificial Intelligence poses interesting  questions about what young people need to learn and how much they should be able to rely on their personal computers and phones.

Clearly everyone needs to be given a basic training in how computers work and how they are programmed, as so much of modern life requires use of these items. Using AI in teaching and preparing answers is going to happen, so pupils need to be trained to check sources, question what the AI answer says, and to develop an understanding independent of the computer. There will need to be more reliance on exams  rather than coursework to check what young people know for themselves when the computer is turned off.

As an employer I have come to value enthusiasm for the job in hand, an interest in the issues and subject matter of the job, a sensibly critical approach to data and analysis and above all honesty about what the person is doing. A lack of knowledge or training can be remedied, but a lack of interest cannot. Ideally you find someone who has immersed themselves in what you are doing because it is their hobby as well as their future job. People who are really good at things do a lot of them. The more I practice the luckier I get.

Six formers do need to hone their language skills to communicate and to analyse problems . They need maths and statistics to handle data and resolve problems. Above that they can get started on more advanced study for whatever they wish to do as a degree or technical  qualification.

I would not wish to stop young people studying a few subjects in greater depth as preparation for university, or specialising in technical qualifications to set them up for a good job at 18. The A and T levels have a role going forward. Equipping all better in maths and English can be achieved by doing more before 16 and changing the maths and English options for GCSE.


  1. Lifelogic
    September 27, 2023

    I would want people to be aware of just how much mis-information comes from the BBC, MSM, big pharma, the crony grant farming industries like net zero, HS2, renewables and Government (Neil O’Brien, Javid & Handcock types) as we see/saw over the lab-leak, the lockdowns, the appalling attacks on the Barrington Declaration people and people who correctly pointed out the serious dangers of the rushed and government coerced Covid Vaccines. How corrupted the government “experts” and vaccine regulators have become.

    Also to understand why buses and trains are far less full on average than you observe/think (sampling theory you see the full ones far more often) & so make less sense than many think they do.

    Also for them to understand Milton Friedman’s four types of money and why high tax levels and lack of free choice (education, the NHS, housing, energy, transport in the UK) make almost everyone poorer. How to cook, compound interest, how current UK taxation can easily take 90% of your wealth over you over just 20 years or so…

    In short how to question and think rather than what to think – but so many people seem totally unable to do so.

    Some good news the absurd Alok Sharma is not standing at the next election. Not that I suppose he had any chance of winning.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 27, 2023

      Well said Isabel Oakeshott in the Telegraph today on the Tories/Osborne’s 15 years IHT ratting and why it needs to be abolished fully & right now. As of course does HS2, Net Zero, the war on motorists, small business and landlords (thus tenants) and some much more of this Con-socialist government agenda.

      1. Roy Grainger
        September 27, 2023

        Abolishing inheritance tax is only of benefit to those with estates greater than around £1 million and they are largely in the South East of England. As such it would be electoral suicide to do that rather than (say) reduce income tax. That’s not to say Sunak won’t do it though, he seems hopelessly out of touch with his potential voters.

        1. Lifelogic
          September 28, 2023

          It is actually 40% over just £325k (and this has been frozen for many years) for many people, the £1m is only for couples & who are giving a main PPR house to children or grandchildren.

      2. original pleb
        September 27, 2023

        The inheritance tax thing only affects a small percentage. Not a vote winner.
        I swopped accoms with an off sprog.
        Many won’t as they wish to retain power and control.
        It’s liberating doing the right thing.
        Why wait till you croke.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          September 27, 2023

          Tax has already been paid on that money. It is outrageous to tax it again!

    2. Ian+wragg
      September 27, 2023

      Manners, plumbing, carpentry, bricklaying and plastering.
      We have enough footballers, actors, weathermen and influences.
      Let’s teach them something useful and bring back indentured apprenticeships.

      1. Roy Grainger
        September 27, 2023

        That’s not going to happen with 50% of all school students going on to university. It happens in Germany but there they have maintained strict selective education at secondary school level.

    3. Wanderer
      September 27, 2023

      That would all be good, but you would need to import non-woke teachers to do it, from somewhere untainted by cultural Marxism.

    4. Enigma
      September 27, 2023

      Well said lifelogic on 🔥this morning 😂

    5. Ian B
      September 27, 2023

      @LL – ‘Milton Friedman’ isn’t that just maths? If you add up what you earn, then budget your spending wihin those parameters you get to move forward.

    6. Mike Wilson
      September 27, 2023

      I’d add to that teaching them about pensions – and making sure they understand that ‘financial experts’ rarely beat the market consistently.

      1. Mike Wilson
        September 27, 2023

        Oh, and explain that a mortgage is a ‘death o ledge’ and how much they will pay back over the (now often 35 year) term.

        1. graham1946
          September 28, 2023

          And of course how much endlessly increasing rents they will pay over the same period and not own one brick and that after the mortgage ends the big cost drops out which it never does with rent. You are paying mortgage with ever decreasing money value whereas with rent it is always up to date.

    7. hefner
      September 27, 2023

      LL: ‘how to question and think rather than what to think’. What a laugh, this from ‘the original thinker’ who on most days will quote the Telegraph commentators without any nuance, will tell us about the present dearth of CO2 (now 410ppm, 310ppm in the 1900s), is unable to consider anyone without a STEM degree (and judge everybody and his dog according to the degree they might have got 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago), but seems unable to present a properly thought scientific argument, and generally parrots the media and websites he agrees with.

      And his last hobby horse, the Sun not being a source of renewable energy, forgetting that an important rule in using physics arguments is being able to look at orders of magnitude: the Sun is likely to turn into a red giant in five billion years, which is likely to be several orders of magnitude longer than the potential duration of humans on this Earth.

  2. Wanderer
    September 27, 2023

    I have one suggestion of what we don’t teach them. I saw today that children in Vienna are to be given courses in how to spot “fake news”. Who decides what’s “fake”?

    1. Ian B
      September 27, 2023

      @Wanderer – your political leadership.

  3. Peter
    September 27, 2023

    A rather specific question and I am not in a position to dictate what the curriculum for sixth formers should be. Yes, people should leave school with good maths and English.

    As for computers, youngsters often know far more about them than many adults.

    ‘Enthusiasm’ is a difficult one. There are many jobs I have done just to earn money, particularly before I began full time employment. They were not things that appealed to me, but I did them well and to the best of my ability. Many jobs that need to be done are not particularly enjoyable.

    I note that school days are now shorter than when I was a pupil. Schools used to be 9 to 4pm. Now I see schools finish at 3pm and sometimes earlier. Then again, the building trade used to be 8 to 6pm but most builders now seem to pack up early.

    1. Ian+wragg
      September 27, 2023

      I’m not so sure youngsters know mote about computers. I worked in power stations with the latest digital technologies but the apprentices were only good on social media. They had no idea on practical applications.

      1. Mark
        September 28, 2023

        I agree. Very few master programming skills or learn about computational algorithms. I had already picked up 3 different computer languages before I left school (Algol, BASIC and FORTRAN), and added several others later, including 8080 assembler, which is the real nitty-gritty at chip level. Computer systems design is another world again – getting a payroll or major enterprise database to work are a different scale altogether.

    2. Elizabeth Spooner
      September 27, 2023

      Many sixth formers are only going into school on the days they have lessons in their A level subjects. This is not preparing them for the working world. In the past a more rounded 6th form education was given by the pupil being at school all day but also studying subjects outside their A levels – i,e, languages for science A levellers. Schools would benefit from having older pupils contributing in school as was the norm in the not too distant past.

  4. BOF
    September 27, 2023


    Also, all should be taught CRITICAL THINKING, to read widely and never to take for granted anything eminating from government, BBC or MSM, especially now that we are about to get full on censorship thanks to the disgraceful Online Harms Bill.

  5. Everhopeful
    September 27, 2023

    Never mind maths or subjects that dovetail with “sustainable” engineering careers.
    ( The notion apparently being that with a little application ANYONE can master maths, physics etc. which surely is not the case?) LL is so right about soft subjects etc!
    Sixth forms should concentrate on the history of the entire cultures, in tiny detail, of Russia, China and similar countries. And a truthful history of the U.K.
    They should also read and be tested on every warning novel written about dystopian regimes and how they came about.
    If this were done for young people they just might have a future!

    1. Mitchel
      September 28, 2023

      As the future is in the east and history is a good guide to the future,they certainly should learn about the history of eastern empires/civilisations/cultures although as these are much older and enduringly expansive the amount of detail involved is mindboggling!

      Knowledge of the Russian,Chinese,Arabic,etc languages will be more useful than German,Italian and probably even French.The BRICS nations will not be using English in their forums.

  6. John McDonald
    September 27, 2023

    Is this focus on Maths and English in the sixth form because we are not able to get all chiildren to a good standard in previous years prior to sixth form?
    The “O” level standard of the 1960/70 would be more than good enough for everyday use. But if the career choice is in Science, Engineering, or other subject requiring analysis then higher maths required, but not higher grade English.
    Prehaps woodwork, metalwork and technical drawing ( by hand and CAD) would help future generations to be a bit more pratical and improve the UK’s manufacturing capability.
    Work and study after the age of 16 is not a bad approach with oportunities to study at technical coĺege with support from employer or state into early twenties.
    However if the maths and English is practicing what should have been learnt in previous years no bad thing. But more applied to the real world, such as working out the elecrticity bill, letter and report writing.

  7. Lifelogic
    September 27, 2023

    Schools and the exam syllabus are of course teaching a lot of lies at school even in Science and Physics. Especially on net zero, CO2, lefty politics & economics, “renewable” energy (there is no such thing), woke gender change lunacy, climate change (it always has), the gender pay gap, the idea that if fewer women or other group do X or achieve Y this is evidence of discrimination, the idea that you can match diversity target yet still recruit the best people, that you can positively discriminate without actual active negative discrimination against others, that you can have big government and expensive intermittent energy and still have good living standards & economic growth …

  8. Bloke
    September 27, 2023

    Knowing how computers work is needed just as much as knowing how to calculate is without use of an electronic device. Advanced capability is more important for those intending to specialise in programming or repairing computers than the majority of users.

    Purists could make a case for many important subjects to be taught to all at advanced level: Health, fitness, economics, welfare, energy, defence, charity, languages, politics, transport, commerce, management, music and many more are highly valued.

    A solid grasp of essentials is more important in the limited time available. Teaching all pupils to advanced level how a clock works merely to find out what is wrong with a faulty one is wasteful. Virtually everyone knows how to tell the time, and when to switch to other priorities.

    1. Ian B
      September 27, 2023

      @Bloke +1
      If you dont have what it takes to just learn, the rest is meaningless.
      Your Purists list is not a list for learning, it is a list for indoctrination, indoctrination by the political will of those at the front of the class. All those subjects you list do not have a definitive result, they are of the moment and the political will of the educator. If you know how to learn, you get to be the next religious leader, or the person that defines your future

    2. Mike Wilson
      September 27, 2023

      Absolutely agree re. health and fitness. I’d throw in nutrition too. And a bit of meditation and awareness. If a child leaves school literate, numerate, confident and with enough self awareness to be happy – they can pick up whatever skills they need to do a job in a very short time.

      And, although in the past I have been dismissive of modern education, I have to say the children I know well – I’m thinking of various great nieces, nephews and first cousins once removed – are really bright and engaging. Well able to hold their own in a discussion and very confident. They might not have the same understanding of clause analysis that I have – but, seriously – who cares? As long as they can think and reason we’ll, a word processor will correct their grammar.

  9. Christine
    September 27, 2023

    “question what the AI says”

    With the introduction of your On Line Safety Bill, noone will be able to question the Government approved narrative. Free speech dies the day this appalling bill gets royal assent.

    1. Ian B
      September 27, 2023

      @Christine +1
      This Conservative Governments ‘On Line Safety Bill’ Is typical left wing think, the only people that are protecting themseleves. You are only right if you accept my beliefs without question. This bill is more to do with protecting those in Government than it does the people and the Country itself. It is anti freedom, anti free speech just pure indoctrination of this brave new Socialist World this Conservative Government is seeking.

    2. Iago
      September 27, 2023

      And they have forced the population to have its genes altered.

    3. R.Grange
      September 27, 2023

      From what I remember of school, by the time you were finishing the 6th form you were supposed to be capable of thinking critically, and the job of the teachers was to help you towards that outcome.

      There were mock elections, where you were expected to have your own view on current affairs and to be able to debate with others who had different views.

      But in those days we didn’t have a government that would ever have got a law passed that promoted media censorship.

      1. Mike Wilson
        September 27, 2023

        There were mock elections, where you were expected to have your own view on current affairs and to be able to debate with others who had different views.

        Indeed. But what good did it do? We, the boomer generation, have partied our way into what? A dictatorship by a political elite that is not democratically accountable because they hang on to a two party system where, really, both parties are the same. We’ve got our pensions and our expensive houses with mortgage paid off – and two generations after us are screwed.

        1. R.Grange
          September 28, 2023

          The boomer generation took responsibility for making their world a better place for them. If the following generations are too dumb or to drugged to see they have to do the same, too bad for them, I could say. Harsh message, but that’s how life is.

  10. Javelin
    September 27, 2023

    The demographic time bomb is far more important than the climate change nonsense.

    I think creating micro cultures of high birth rate and high productivity will be the most successful.

    1. Frances
      September 27, 2023

      We are overpopulated and natural resources are finite

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        September 27, 2023

        Who is ‘we’? Massive drop in many populations are imminent. 33% of the Japanese are over 65 for instance.

      2. a-tracy
        September 27, 2023

        Scotland’s population is projected to fall by 16% – 900,000 people – over the next 50 years, while the number of people living in the rest of the UK is forecast to remain broadly flat, the Scottish Fiscal Commission has said.

  11. Des
    September 27, 2023

    How about teaching them how to think for themselves, how government lies and steals and enslaves it’s people, how bankers plan to own us all and everything around us, how money really works, how the legal system is a wealth extraction and control tool for the ruling class? What about telling them the truth about the “green” agenda or the Ukraine war? Or really revolutionary- how they are sovereign human beings that should not have their lives run by faceless sociopaths.
    That would be a real education.

    1. Ian B
      September 27, 2023

      @Des Then again that is why indoctrination overrides learning, those that have stolen power, stolen our democracy live in fear of the people and being found out.

    2. Ed M
      September 27, 2023

      ‘How about teaching them how to think for themselves’

      – Well said. School work is all about ACADEMIC life. But so many successful people in business are NOT academic! Look at Sir Richard Branson!

    3. Mike Wilson
      September 27, 2023

      That would be a real education.

      But what would be the point? Mass depression?! We’ve got enough of that already.

  12. Frances
    September 27, 2023

    Allow them to explore and stop insisting on rote learning of useless facts. Instead of Maths teach personal finance.

    1. Ian B
      September 27, 2023

      @Frances sorry, but personal finance is maths. You cant understand and learn how to apply personal finance unless you know maths.

    2. formula57
      September 27, 2023

      @ Frances – to prove your point would you have any examples please where sixth forms of today are “insisting on rote learning of useless facts”?

    3. Roy Grainger
      September 27, 2023

      The days of rote learning in schools are long gone.

    4. Ed M
      September 27, 2023

      Most Maths I learned was useless to me. Related to Maths, LOGIC. My English S’Level teacher once gave us two hours of how of HOW TO THINK LOGICALLY – and I learned more in those two hours than than I learned in years and years of other subjects I was made to learn (and that were a complete waste of time).

      HOW TO THINK LOGICALLY. I’ve used it in:

      – MY CAREER (IT, Advertising Account Planning and Digital Marketing)
      – ENGLISH A’LEVEL (which I loved and hugely beneficial to me) and UNIVERSITY
      – LIFE IN GENERAL, including planning adventurous trips around the world, how to fix something in the house, and more!

    5. Lynn Atkinson
      September 27, 2023

      If you have no maths you will have no ‘personal finances’ 😂🤣

  13. Bloke
    September 27, 2023

    During early days computers were the size of rooms involving specialists entering turgid lengthy formulae solely to gain somewhat basic answers. Similarly, communication involved printing with slow and immensely complex skills and processes to reach wide audiences in black ink words on rough paper.

    Consumer demand has pulled simplicity into power. Now a child can create a 24-page full colour holiday brochure within a matter of minutes and reach an audience of millions almost instantly. The child didn’t need to be taught about making paper from tree pulp, composing lines of letters from hot lead or etching copper plates with acid to show photographs or any of the needless waste of knowledge.

    Their advanced education and capability were created simply by people with imagination who foresaw what they needed and did it for profit.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      September 27, 2023

      In the early days computers were programmed with machine language. Binary. Very very simple. You still need to address a computer as if it was a 2 year old child.
      Famously Seymour Cray could not wait to try out his first CDC supercomputer and toggled in the operating system, yes a toggle switch. One of my relations worked with him at CDC and built the fastest printers and card readers which previously slowed the computers down.

      1. Bloke
        September 28, 2023

        Well done to all those who improve the systems. In the context of teaching, it is better that pupils are trained to search, acquire and use imaginative problem-solving skills than to know all the details of existing ways of working. Education is about improvement for leadership toward better results, not following old rigid ways just because others didn’t know how to upgrade. Those who created the iPhone have eased more advancement than businesses trying to deliver yesterday’s news faster on paper with souped-up van speeds. Consumers choose the best to succeed.

  14. Ian B
    September 27, 2023

    Sir John

    If in the first instance you are shown how to learn, whether that is basic communications, as in the logic that creates the framework, that can then lead on to conclusions whether that is English as a subject or mathematics – have that behind you and you are 90% home and dry.

    An illustration would be my Son went to Uni to become and engineer, the first thing his Professor came up with is that the subject needed the students to get to grips with CAD(Cam) & CFD. Then he went on to explain the only real way to get a hang of those technologies is you first have to write the programs themselves. So that was the first exercise.

    The UK’s Education appears to have drifted into indoctrination, and political belief style indoctrination of the extreme Left. Learning has been left behind.

  15. 8agricola
    September 27, 2023

    I equate computers with electric drills, they are a tool that I need to learn how to use for my benefit. I leave their creation and in depth workings to the Alan Turings of this world. I would look upon them differently were I intent on building bigger and better versions.
    As to the information we might request of them, always bare in mind that this was put there by fellow human beings with all the fallability humans are capable of. For example they usually spell american rather than Oxford English.
    The teaching of sixth formers is normally geared to the university and ultimate career they wish to persue. Anything else is of their choice. Being able to speak clear understandable English and cope with maths to at least “O” level will be advantageous whatever career you choose, as anyone who has had contact with a call centre will confirm. I have never understood the logic of consigning the success of a business to the unintelligable.
    An understanding of the financial world would be a real advantage to anyone before they leave school. I would also add the knowledge of where to find information, how to evaluate it, how to learn and think logically.
    I see the Labour Party are continuing their war on excellence in education. From Anthony Crossland “If its, the last thing I do, I’m going to destroy every…………grammar school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.” who started the rot, which continued with the abolition of Direct Grant schools and now they are out the kill public schools with the imposition of VAT on fees. I sincerely hope it is yet another nail in their coffin.

  16. Bryan Harris
    September 27, 2023

    The most important thing to teach is the ability to think.

    After that the priority has to be common sense aligned with personally studied life data.

    Today we get indoctrination of ideology instead of educated minds. Time we were all able to spot this.

  17. Nan T
    September 27, 2023

    Adventure training.
    Get them out of the classrooms into our National Parks and allow them to develop skills in teamwork, navigation, personal organisation and problem solving, with one caveat – leave the mobile phones at home.
    The Ten Tors Expedition on Dartmoor enables 2400 young people each year in teams of 6, to gain these skills and compete together over distances from 35 to 50 miles in just 2 days.
    Great for character building and confidence.

  18. iain gill
    September 27, 2023

    I see the treasury has tweeted asking everyone for ideas for the Autumn statement. I hope you have filled their webform in?

  19. Paula
    September 27, 2023

    Most of them shouldn’t even be sixth formers. University and sixth form is a cover for the youth unemployment which would have to be declared and also the uselessness of our schools education system. At 16 years of age the majority of people (and the public) would benefit from learning a good trade – and by that I mean a trade that they can freelance with and earn really good money. But there aren’t really those sorts of jobs are there ! We prefer to import tradespeople.

  20. Ian B
    September 27, 2023

    We now get to see the Conservative Party in full flood, they have given up, they need others to direct them. Colchester Conservatives have decided that the best candidate to follow party lines and carry the Country forward, is a candidate that doesn’t believe Parliament should run the UK, that the UK should only be ruled by unelected unaccountable bureaucrats. The Colchester Conservatives have chosen a candidate that believes that the People and Democracy have no place in today’s Society. The Colchester candidate wants the UK back in the EU.

    Then you get to understand why indoctrination is the preferred Conservative Government education method in schools, if pupils get to think, they might get to understand, might get to realise the lies of those in the public eye.

  21. Everhopeful
    September 27, 2023

    Does the govt. want proper maths taught or the new “touchy feely” type?
    The sort that takes cultural sensibilities and feelings into account.
    So that facts are not immutable.

  22. Bert+Young
    September 27, 2023

    Sir John’s post today answers the question he puts more than adequately .

  23. Peter D Gardner
    September 27, 2023

    rather than whaty should be taiught , the questionm at 6th frm should by then be what are the pupil’s best subject and what must the pupil be taught regardless of best subjects. Answering those two questions would fill the timetable for most pupils. Three or four best at which the pupil can excel would decide what is studied next at university. The rest of the time should be tailored to what must be learned to round out the person but has not yet been learned to an adequate standard – subjects like maths & science for language, arts, history, religion specialists, or langauges etc for maths and science specialists.
    The above assumes a probable path to university. Pupils not inclined to academic studies should by the end of fifth form have acquired manual and practical skills suited to potential employment. Do they need to stay at school?
    Options for both academic and non-academic should include the basics needed for participating in running or at least understanding a business. But the temptation toi training rather than educating should be resisted. A balance is required and where that lies depends on the individual.

  24. formula57
    September 27, 2023

    “As an employer I have come to value enthusiasm for the job in hand, an interest in the issues and subject matter of the job, a sensibly critical approach to data and analysis and above all honesty about what the person is doing. “ – and as a realist you knew that up to c. 5 per cent. might typically exhibit all of those characteristics, perhaps towards 10 per cent. after a number of years with a successful human resources policy?

    In contemporary times the old presumption that absent warning signals to the contrary it was valid to trust others no longer seems to hold. It may well be beyond the scope of formal education to equip sixth formers to meet the world.

  25. Roy Grainger
    September 27, 2023

    If you make studies at A Level less deep and more broad then universities will have to introduce an additional foundation year for science/engineering/technology courses to bring students up to the level needed for the degree course (some already do) so students will have to take on another £15,000 of debt. This approach only works in places like Germany because university places are free – I assume Sunak isn’t proposing to implement that bit of the policy ?.

  26. KB
    September 27, 2023

    Does anyone recall, maybe 30 years ago, that a survey of the maths skills of MP’s was done?
    I seem to recall a large proportion could not even calculate percentages correctly.
    Anyone got any more information on this ?

    1. Mike Wilson
      September 27, 2023

      I do recall a MO or Minister being interviewed quite recently – an education minister I presume. Asked a few simple arithmetic (not Maths) questions, it was embarrassing to watch. There was a lot of ‘ooh, that’s a tough one’ and ‘is it 78?’? Even basic times table questions were too tricky. Didn’t stop the Wally becoming an MP.

  27. Fran
    September 27, 2023

    You should teach them the truth about Britains glorious past and not the misty eyed version being forever peddled that has got Britain into so much difficulty with others – others that don’t share your misty eyed version.

  28. Bingle
    September 27, 2023

    What should we teach six formers?


  29. glen cullen
    September 27, 2023

    ‘’Artificial Intelligence poses interesting questions’’

    AI as yet does not exist in any form that’s meets the definition of AI ….we have some very clever algorithms and software, but that’s all, it isn’t AI
    Just like net-zero, this government is making things up to control us

  30. XY
    September 27, 2023

    We need to be really careful with AI. It’s not really “intelligence”, it is statistical analysis.

    All digital models, once created, need to be “trained” on as much data as possible. In the case of ChatGPT (where the P stands for “Pre-trained”) it was trained on public data sets (since they are large). The creators go through a “cleaning procedure” to remove bias, discrimination etc.

    Of course, this is prone to the political bias of the developers. Also, when you’re in the world of politics, when you remove bias completely, the remaining data set is rather small.

    This research, published a month ago, looked into the bias of ChatGPT:

    These paragraphs suggest the reasons for the problem:

    “While the research project did not set out to determine the reasons for the political bias, the findings did point towards two potential sources.

    The first was the training dataset – which may have biases within it, or added to it by the human developers, which the developers’ ‘cleaning’ procedure had failed to remove. The second potential source was the algorithm itself, which may be amplifying existing biases in the training data.”

    So in the end, we may be simply swapping biased lecturers for biased AI. The more left-wing twaddle that is written online, the more chance of a left-leaning AI giving a tutorial to students. Particularly since the left infiltrate everything, so they will be in a position to influence the cleansing operation.

    Perhaps the right needs to fund its own version? After all, if you can’t produce something better, it is difficult to criticise what’s actually there, especially on largely subjective matters such as politics.

  31. Mickey Taking
    September 27, 2023

    Where is explanation of salary plus add-on costs to employer, the type of deductions from salary, which fund Government to spend on policies, those that maintain Health, Education, Defence etc…
    Then domestic costs, the householder’s bills and shopping and personal finance – banking, credit, rent or mortgage.
    If not provided for all by 16, then a must in Sixth form.

  32. a-tracy
    September 27, 2023

    Mitchel yesterday said “There’s the Bologna System-intended to harmonize higher education across Europe. Following an indication from President Putin in a speech in February 2022,Russia has,this year,withdrawn from the system.’

    It all starts to make sense. How many of these announcements are just Rishi complying with international system agreements for Higher education? Are we actually in control of what we teach now?

    The downside of international harmonisation is who will make the breakthroughs, give the UK economic advantages with design, advances and innovation and think outside the box as Dyson did? The EU tried to shut its designs down in the EU for years whilst German manufacturers caught up with bagless stick vacuums.

  33. Ed M
    September 27, 2023

    I went to university (not a top one but not bad either). Waste of time (although I did have good fun for sure).

    The only useful things I did at school, academic-wise were: English A’Level, Maths GCSE and a few classes of Logic (in S’Level English). Everything else was a waste of time (unless you’re really academic and / or want to become a doctor, engineer or scientist etc).

    If I went back to school now, I’d do English A’Level again for sure (and NOT go to University at all). And I’d try and do little courses instead of the other two A’Levels I did, such as: How to think Logically, Coding, Digital Marketing, Introduction to Setting up a Business, Robotics and Creating Robotic Systems, and more.

    I think there should also be a General Humanities A’Level which introduces you to (and you can choose – mixing and matching from the following): Philosophy, Economics, How to Use Historical Sources, The History of Art, History of Parliament, History of The Judiciary, The Art of War, The Ancient Greeks, The Romans etc).

    And far more focus should be spent on Sport and Combined Cadet Force.

    And I’d encourage kids to do as much Work Experience during school holidays as possible. And then after school, going abroad for a year on a travel adventure whilst also using it as a time to learn a language whilst working as well to pay the bills.


  34. Original Richard
    September 27, 2023

    Unless students intend to go to university to study a genuine academic subject they should leave the current educational system at 16.

    It would be better for them to undergo vocational training or apprenticeships to learn worthwhile money earning skills that the country needs and at the same time be taken away from the Marxist propaganda destroying the education of our children.

  35. forthurst
    September 27, 2023

    I don’t think Computer Science should be taught at the secondary level. It is far better at the secondary level to lay the ground work for tertiary level studies. The study of mathematics covers this well and can also lead to many other activities where the application of mathematics or abstract reasoning is required, apart from Computer Science.

  36. Lynn Atkinson
    September 27, 2023

    Norris McWhirter had an education campaign based on the 5 Rs. Reading, writing, ‘rithmetic, right and wrong.
    That would be a good start.

  37. Linda Brown
    September 27, 2023

    I agree pretty much with your comments on interest in subject. However, I think the current generation needs to tidy up on appearance, manners and general quieter behaviour. On the learning scale, I believe strongly in examinations as this is the only way a person can give a personal view of their learning. With assessments you have teacher preference for some pupils. Maths and English basics are essential before anything else in my opinion. Algebra and geometry come after basic arithmetic I believe. What about tattoos? These are not a good idea for interview techniques I would say.

  38. APL
    September 29, 2023

    JR: “What should we teach six formers?”

    If you look back over the last 100 years, in 1923 everyone could calculate change in base twelve, in his or her head – what used to be called ‘mental arithmetic’. The other day, I was in a shop the assistant couldn’t even calculate the change from £10 without getting her phone out to use the calculator function.

    So to answer John Redwoods question. The State has been an utter failure in education. The government has set up a cartel of teachers and administrators who have taken over the system and distorted it to their own benefit. ‘We’, Redwoods code for the STATE, should not be teaching anyone anything.

    It used to be an article of faith, that the Conservatives would hand out tokens to parents to purchase their child’s education from the best local alternative available. You don’t seem to hear much on that score ( indeed any initiative that might break the NUTs grip on the education system and promote improved education for British children, ) these days.

  39. a-tracy
    September 29, 2023

    We should teach 6th formers about tax codes, personal allowances, national insurance, SSP, SMP, self-employment taxes and tax returns, budgeting, savings schemes, pension schemes, how to manage a student loan, and how to find house shares if you are going to university.

    NMW, NLW, holiday allowances and how they work on an annual, monthly, and weekly basis. How to value full sick pay if you can get a job with that perk. Real-life, real-living financial solutions.

    I was taught if your
    earnings are £25.00 per week
    board £8.75 (inc breakfast/tea) or 35%
    insurance £1
    savings £2.50 10%
    Lunches & bits £5.81
    Pension £2.50 10%
    Transport £2.25
    National Insurance £2.19 8.75%
    Tax £0

    If you want more, take on a second job i.e. in a bar, cafe, serving food or collecting glasses so you get paid to be social.

    You didn’t start paying tax until you earned £26.44 pw

    1. APL
      September 29, 2023

      a-tracy: “We should teach 6th formers about tax codes, personal allowances, national insurance …”

      We should teach pupils how to use the rule of 72 as a very rough and ready method to calculate the rate effect5 the government’s inflation target will have on their attempts to achieve financial independence and help them explain why will always be financially ‘on the backfoot’, and why that goal they may dream about, of achieving, by their own efforts some financial independence, will always elude them.

      So they could then have a simple and quick ( because these days were all about convenience ) means to calculate to what degree their savings will be ruined by the governments stated inflation policy. They’ll also get an idea that under the current inflation rate which is more than double the governments target, they could figure out that their capital will be worth only half its current value in ten years as opposed to thirty years (@2.5%).

      Equipped with that information, who knows, these children may reason, that it will be utterly futile to attempt to make provision for their own sunset years, unless, like the ever ballooning political and administrative class, they manage to figure out a way to extract as much value from the country as possible, to allow them to live high on the hog at everyone else’s expense.

      Probably, politicians wouldn’t want that outcome, because the more of the population that emulates their behavior, the less stable the economy would be and it would bring their well padded retirement plans crashing down to earth. And that would be a very undesirable outcome.

      So, nothing will change, and the syllabus will continue to include gender pronouns and how to sterilize oneself, at the expense of the national health service, etc etc.

      1. a-tracy
        October 3, 2023

        Thats why the student loan interest calculated when inflation and interest rates were less than 2% is so wrong now.

        The twenty to thirty year olds I know have got mortgages, they house shared five to a house to save up decent deposits or stayed at home with their parents for six years, they didn’t buy in the most expensive areas, two are lucky they live in a city and have great public transport, those that don’t have far too much of their earnings eaten up by fuel.

        I too have fears that anyone outside the protected public sector’s retirement plans will be crashed down.

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