Sunday, 5 February 2017

What does a 'full time' education actually mean?

The words 'must receive a full time education' is often banded about so easily with no thought into what it actually means.

The common meaning of a full time education in UK means 190 days in a state school institute commonly referred to as 12 hours per week per school term time. (much less for independent schools)

That equates to 5 days a week approximately 6 hours a day (9-3) spread over 190 prescribed days broken down into 6 week chunks.

How much education takes place in this time is debatable and has been at the core of many a discussion over the web with people pointing out that in those 6 hours, it is not actually all spent learning which the guidance of 12 hours per week term time takes into account.

There are movements between classrooms, registers, assemblies, class meetings, settling down classes before work begins, lunch and break times and of course teacher training days, strikes and days out.

So adjusting fairly and not debating the 12 hours a week term time 'full time' education guidance, which equates to 38 weeks and 456 hours per year, learning.

This works out for a home educator being on par with schools, at 1 hour per day, learning over 365 days of the year.

Upping the hours using the debate by removing 1 hour for lunch, and half hour for breaks and half hour for other eventualities mentioned above and reducing learning time to 4 hours per school day, broken down over a full school year of 190 days, this works out at approximately 760 hours of learning per year.

For a home educator being on par with schools using the debate, this would work out at approximately 2 hours per day of learning spread over a full year.

For many home educators this of course is absurd and many home educators spend an awful lot more time, each and every day, educating their kids. Some utilise this advantage and follow the curriculum for specific subjects and the rest of the time the kids learn what they want to learn in their own way and on their own terms, for some home educators, life 'is' learning and they learn all the time.

Realistically most of what the kids in the school system learn is learnt 'outside' the school walls (or security gates in most instances). For some within those school walls this 12 hours never transpires due to class disruption by not so engaged students.

For a more detailed breakdown and far more realistic than I have been, check out this 'time is precious' blog post, you will be even more enlightened...

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