62 comments posted · 1 followers · following 0

3 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Cummings' skills set · 1 reply · +1 points

I can't comment on your personal circumstances, though it doesn't sound like a good experience. Everyone's experience is different and colours their personal views.

3 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Cummings' skills set · 2 replies · +1 points

FWIW I don't think there is an 'egalitarian' problem in the education system, almost the opposite.

My experiences and those I observe of my children seem to show to me that the education system in the UK allows for great success and the teachers will push and support those that are interested.

Oddly compared to the US, in my opinion, our education is very much a meritocracy.

In the US the absolute fear of failure, drummed in to them all the way along "die poor and alone" was a mantra repeated by teachers of 12 year olds has the effect of carrying most of the kids along as a stressed terrified herd.

Here in the UK the kids outcomes are very much based on the effort they are prepared to put in. If they can't be bothered the system wont catch them, if the kids are aspirational and are motivated then the system will pick them up and push them and they will do well.

To get the best out the UK system you need to be in the top or bottom 20%, the middle is not so well served, in my opinion.

3 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Cummings' skills set · 0 replies · +1 points

Therein lies my personal dichotomy.

I believe in a lot of what might be called socialist or left (or if you believed by Californian neighbours 'communist') ideals: A well funded welfare state, free health care and education, diversity etc.

At the same time I think people should take personal responsibility for their lives, should be free to be what they want to be but not look for scapegoats to blame if they can't be bothered to do things themselves.

What can I say I'm a product of 50% 80s Thatcherism x 50% Blairism = 100% Globalism. :)

You provide the foundations for all and support for those that needed it, but if people can't be bothered to make the effort to get beyond that then it is their look out.

"Also, there are many successful somewheres, and many unsuccessful nowheres."

Indeed there are it is simply, as I stated, my opinion that Brexit, Covid et al is going to do nothing to essentially rebalance the way the world works. It will still be the case that as Norman Tebbitt once said you need to get on your bike to find a good job etc, it wont come to you/where you live.

3 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Cummings' skills set · 3 replies · +1 points

FWIW I find the IRS in the States much more of a minefield (and way more expensive than dealing with HMRC) but that doesn't seem to slow Silicon Valley down.

I don't mean this as a personal slight but blaming HMRC could be read as another instance of blaming others for making it hard.

I think it is attitude above all and a country focused on short term-ism and fear of failure and fear sticking your head above the parapet and being seen to do something different.

Having said that if Estonia can streamline it all away and digitise it all then I fail to see why we can't. I think that's where my next endeavour will be based.

3 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Cummings' skills set · 12 replies · +1 points

There are any number of free online resources to teach programming etc if people are actually interested in it.

The sad fact is this country seems to have a real problem with lack of aspiration and actually being bothered to learn to earn, I see it the peers of my kids when I do stands at school careers fairs, its so depressing.

All so many of them seem to want to do is work in beauty, child care or join the Army, essentially because the entry requirements for college in those areas or the Army are very low therefore they don't need to try at school.

This seems to be based less on the idea of 'the state will support me' more on the idea of some kind of exceptionalism that they deserve a good job, life etc without actually putting in the effort to get there.

And I say this as a bleeding heart centre-left-ish person.

Being a Nerd/Techy/Academic is still seen as a "negative", except by those few who embrace it and will go on a prosper leaving their peers behind.

We do produce some fantastic technical people but it seems to be a much smaller pool than in other countries, such as those in Eastern Europe and Asia.

Frankly IMHO without a significant change in that outlook the Nowheres will continue to eat the Somewheres breakfast, lunch and dinner, and good look to them.

4 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The Government toughen... · 0 replies · +1 points

Purely circumstantial but looking at the countries we certainly seem to hire a lot of technical graduates from there.

Again I only have a personal experience and conversations to base this on but there does seem to be an issue in the UK matching those larger class sizes with sufficient materials and resources to allow them all to carry out hands on practicals etc

4 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The Government toughen... · 0 replies · +1 points

Germany 20
Ireland 20
Poland 20
Spain 20
USA 20

Central Europe and the Baltics are in the teens

I suspect its not entirely coincidental that tech jobs are moving East.

4 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The Government toughen... · 2 replies · +1 points

Hmm not entirely sure I'd agree that my sons 35 kid science classes are ideal, great though his teachers are.

4 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The Government toughen... · 0 replies · +1 points

I agree that the science is promising but it has been easier to stay open or re-open when they have more modern school buildings and much smaller class sizes.

We have the 3rd largest classes sizes in the OECD at 30-ish kids per class its been rising for the last 10 years, countries ahead of us are around the 20-ish per class.

4 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The Government toughen... · 6 replies · +1 points

I can't help but feel that have decent class sizes and modern facilities have helped Sweden etc stay open or re-open.

Much easier to social distance to 15 people per class etc when you have space and your average class size is 20-ish rather than the 30-ish it is here in the UK.

We have the 3rd largest class sizes in the OECD