Butterflies ...

What does fruit and butter have in common, they both fly?

Did you understand the last sentence, if not, best not read on ...

I am sure many reading this know of the butterfly effect, the notion that when said creature flaps its wings in the rain forest, the chain of events cause a hurricane in the Caribbean.

Maybe this is a little far fetched, but in the complex systems that govern the way we work, interact and educate, it is sometimes the smallest flutter that can have the greatest impact. Often with unintended consequences.

I cannot claim to have mentally comprehended the entire UK education system, in fact my view is that it is a myriad of many complex interconnected systems. All vying for dominance in their local domains. As each vies and strains against each other, different systems rise to the cesspool surface to have their moment and show their preference, indifference or defend what they are doing.

At the moment the GCSE system, is getting a mixed preference and defensive profile, being seen as something of a political football and having to defend its value in a system that has seen grade increase ever since the late 1980's (just after I had left school with my O' Levels).

Trouble is, now there is less trust of someones grades with their GCSE's, when did you do it, what grade did you get, is a B a C, an A a B, or has any of the grades the same currency that was 'once' in the minds of parents, voters and employers.

Many educators have long understood the real value of GCSE's having long managed to 'see beyond' the grades and look at what is inside the young person they are interviewing. You can have a string of A's but this is often not what we look for, only letting this be the arbitrary sort, to set the student from the crowd and give them a goal to accomplish.

Butterflies may flutter, but chances are little will change in higher and further education. The damage alas with will be with the wider public and those offering our youth their career chances.



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