English Bac coming to a school near you soon

Today sees the announcement that the government is to introduce an¬†English Baccalaureate Certificate which according to¬†Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the changes would “raise standards for all our children”, but he added that it would “not exclude any children. So what exactly does this mean? . Its like and advert for a new hair shampoo which labels it new improved shine which basically means….yes the previous shampoo which we said was great….well its crap now so use this!

My understanding of the new system following a quick scan of the news is that it will have a exam at the end which is the same for all. So in essence the old “O Grade” which they binned so children that where not as clever could get a bit of paper saying they had passed at some level….which was of no use to employers or further education so in a way totally pointless.

Coming then to the statement that it will raise “standards for all children”. How exactly….are we going to teach out children in Schools English and Maths better…..or are we just going to hand them a different certificate and state this is much better than the old one. Considering that 1 in 5 children tested at age 11 are not making the grade when it comes reading education in England is falling down way before you get to taking exams. Something really needs to be done to sort this out first.

Here is a novel idea…which by the way has been rubbished by the various teaching unions. Make sure every teacher that is newly employed has an excellent understanding of numeracy and literacy. Don’t just accept that because a teacher has a degree that they have a good grasp of literacy/numeracy….make sure they do

O2 a phone company….thats hard to phone.

I had cause to phone o2 today and I remember when you wanted to phone a company in the past you reached for the yellow pages to look for the number before calling. Now you simply search the internet for the company and hit the contact us page. However have you ever noticed that the larger the organisation the more difficult it is to get a telephone number for them. It really infuriates me when you have to type in what you are looking for…wait for some searches to pop up and then answer “NO” this answer did not help me before they will finally release their mythical telephone number. After some cursing I finally located it and dialled…..pressed a bunch of random options…..occassionally shouted just give me a f~~#ing human when it tried to give me the option for about the third time to hang up and text for live chat. Perhaps because the telephone system is sentient or just due to O2 not actually wanting customers to call it then proceeded to have me on hold and blast me with loud music which sounded like something you would hear if you had the misfortune to share a train with a bunch of hooded chavs playing music through their phones.

After two annoying songs a human entered the picture and proceeded to take me through security. One of the questions was when I had bought my current phone which to be honest I had no idea….I simply knew this was my 4th phone with them and I had been with them since June 2007. This was not good enough…the month and year that I had bought the phone was demanded or else nothing else could be discussed. I pointed out this was just a random fact and not an actual security question and to ask me something relevant to myself. This was ignored at which point his manager was asked for….after some more holding thankfully with no annoying music I was put through….passed security which did not involve random questions but actual facts about me I was given the information that I had intially sought out in about 30 seconds.

Needless to say I hope I will not have to call 02 again in a hurry….however I think they are just similar to many other companies now. Just dont get me started on how many large organisations dont have an email address when you want to complain!