Have a read of this article on the BBC News website. There are two important points that Frank Field MP proposes with regard to parenting and education. Seeing as education is an important aspect of my life, I comment.
The first point is that there should be more education in schools about parenting and how to become good parents. In fact, he cites a recent visit to a Birkenhead school where a group of 15 year olds suggested this would be the first thing they would wish to learn in school. That might seem extreme, but a lot of soon-to-be adults realise that they aren’t well equipped to be parents, and given some children become parents before adulthood perhaps that request becomes more pertinent.
The second suggestion Field makes is that parenting could become a GCSE subject:
“What I’m looking at now is whether we could teach it [parenting] through the other subjects, but also that the modules could actually be built into a separate GCSE,” he said.
“And in a sense the bonus would be both for the pupils and the schools that they’d be picking up an extra GCSE.”
I would say, “wrong”. The problem with a GCSE is that it would have to be earned for it to be considered compatible and as worthy as other GCSEs. Therefore, there would have to be people that would fail GCSE Parenting. And what of them? Will they be prevented from becoming parents? Or will they be made to undertake the course again? Would those that pass the course be deemed “good parents” — will those with A* grades be encouraged to become foster parents?
Parenting education is genuinely a good idea, and many children progress through school and leave without really having gained an understanding of life skills. However, this is one of the vast list of topics that should be considered in a PSHE education (take a look at the PSHE Association website). My criticism is that schools pay little heed to PSHE education… cynics might speculate as to the reason.