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Mark’s making plans for a school of living history
Wednesday, 24 October 2012
A FATHER has put forward radical plans to teach life skills such as DIY and cookery to children in a free school proposed for the borough.
Mark Barrett, 44, of Avenue Road, Southgate, has a vision to provide a new form of education with cookery, business, parenting skills and DIY being taught alongside the three Rs.
“The whole process and idea actually started off in my home,” Mr Barrett, a father-of-three, told the Advertiser.
“More and more people are realising the value of practical skills. People don’t have those sorts of skills any more and things like managing money and even basics like fixing things are lost. There is increasing interest in the importance of working with your hands.”
Mr Barrett, who is a teaching assistant at Fortismere School, in Muswell Hill, admits that people might be surprised at the idea of primary schoolchildren being taught parenting – but he insisted the skills are vital to building a better community.
“Obviously, parenting skills are not for the very young ones,” he said, “but it is things like teaching self-organisation.
“In my work you can tell right away the pupils who have a strong organisational presence in their life and those from more chaotic lifestyles, and it makes such a huge difference to their outcomes.”
Mr Barrett is aiming to galvanise parents throughout the borough with a vision which includes the possibility of setting the school up as a business in order to teach pupils about finance and the reality of the working world.
Under the government’s 2012 academies legislation, any group can set up a school as long as it meets certain criteria.
Academy schools are outside local authority control and funded directly by central government.
They are free to decide their own curriculum and details such as how long the school day is.
Mr Barrett and his team will be approaching parents throughout November and they are hoping to sign up 60 to 120 children to the project before they submit their application to the government at the start of next year.
Mr Barrett is asking interested parties to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sir Ray Tindle
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