Our Community - Our Future

The Children are the Future

Somebody said that once, right?

Over the course of the last couple of weeks I have found myself involved in really thought provoking discussions with different groups of students. I’ve covered a couple of lessons with a Year 11 History class, another with a Year 10 Geography class and of course taught my own Year 11 History class too. For one reason or another the work has led us into big discussions about how school works, how the world works and how leaders have to make big decisions when often all the options are ‘bad’. It’s an accepted fact now that the younger generation are interested in climate change – they are arguably leading the world in raising this issue – but we mustn’t overlook their interest in politics, economics and leadership either.

Today with my class we have been debating the political spectrum of views, from far left to far right and everything in between. Bringing that topic to life is so easy, as it basically relates to everything that matters. Health, wealth and happiness are all covered in one quick run through of political views. Students were quickly able to place themselves on the spectrum and argue for and against other points of view. We also discussed why in modern politics it can often feel like there is no real choice from one party to another, as most politicians fight for the middle ground. Also…and I haven’t really faced this problem in the last 20 years, but trying to explain why a traditionally ‘low-tax, low spend’ Conservative government signed off of furlough, the energy price cap and a significant rise in taxes is a little tricky!

In the other two lessons that I took for colleagues, my conversations were largely about school funding and how every school is facing challenges through rapidly rising costs and unfunded pay awards. Students asked me questions about how funding for school works, why not all schools are funded equally and what happens when/if the money runs out. I could confidently answer the first question, I have never properly understood the second (mainly as MHS is so poorly funded compared to similar schools elsewhere) and my honest answer to the third was we’ll have to wait and see. As I write this I’m hearing that school funding is increasing again next year, which is of course welcome, so perhaps we’ll be able to keep the lights on a little bit longer!

As always, I have no preference for one political party over another, and I always stress that to students. I am though filled with hope and joy that young people care so much about the world that they live in and how it operates. They are indeed the future and perhaps we should trust them more to start making the big decisions. After all, they are the ones with the biggest stake in the game.

Have a good weekend,

Joe Barker


Our Community - Our Future
Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker
Tel: 0161 427 7966
Fax: 0161 426 0931
Email: info@marplehall.stockport.sch.uk
Safeguarding: safeguarding@marplehall.stockport.sch.uk