Throughout my life, I have endured over 10 years of schooling here in the UK, and for all those years, it was the bane of my life. From starting secondary school, I knew I was queer, but I never spoke about it, because of how much homophobia there is just casually in British secondary schools, It’s genuinely horrific. I’ve heard death threats towards openly gay people at my old school from students, with senior leadership choosing not to even acknowledge it - and because of this, it took me until the last year of school to even come out openly.
I learn differently, I am a very self-taught person, It’s how I taught myself how to program from such a young age - but this self-paced and self-driven method of education is completely disregarded in Britain. The Department of Education has quite strict regulations on how students should be taught, and how schools should operate - but these regulations don’t actually reflect the 21st century.
For example, the vast majority of British secondary schools require that students wear a school uniform, which if you think about for more than 5 minutes, is an incredibly ridiculous and antiquated system. In the modern workplace, most people aren’t required to wear a suit and tie to work, are they? Heck, in most of the tech industry you’d be considered trendy for coming to work in pyjamas. Whenever students even try to question these concepts, they always get brushed away with “We’re preparing you for the real workplace” - well, as we’ve discussed, you’re really not. All school uniforms do is encourage conformity, I have never seen an argument for school uniforms that can be backed up reliably by multiple studies.
The current British Government seems to be obsessed with keeping the current status quo, they’re even trying to roll out Latin in secondary schools. I have a feeling that the Government thinks that implementing these things will make students more right-winged, but it couldn’t be further from the opposite. The amount of nonsense that the Conservative party pulls students through is making them fed-up, and wanting change. These days, when a student asks why they can’t have dyed hair, management no longer has an answer, because they’ve been educated by students about why it’s simply unnecessary, so they’re told “It’s just the way it is”, which is a lazy excuse for an answer.
Imagine spending the first 16 years of your life unable to express your identity at all, not being able to choose what clothes to wear, not being able to choose what you want to learn, not being able to choose your own fucking future. The experience is genuinely soul-crushing, and it is setting up students for failure. Every day I would tell myself “You’ve only got 𝑥 years left”, like I’m counting down the days till I can leave. Like an actual prison. It can really only be described as a prison the way students are taught.
Schools should be a place where kids can flourish and become who they want to be. Students should be treated like actual people rather than tools for the Tory Government. In the future I’m planning to write a post about what I think the perfect school system would be like, so I want to hear from all of you! Click below and leave me a note about your experiences with school, your thoughts about this, and what you wish schools were like. Looking forward to hearing from you!