The news that the most prestigious and modern schools in England have switched to the Soviet system of education has been worrying network users for several months. Facebook users actively engaged in reposting this news, published last November by the Pravda-TV.ru portal. The resources and people who reposted the “news” are numerous.
It would seem a clear lie. However, it is not so simple. In our memory, it is the only case in the field of fake building, when the creators of an obvious fake have deceived themselves…
(By the way, the website does not provide any useful information about itself and its founders, except for this: “Pravda-TV is a political discussion forum”.)
Verdict: Fake (with an unexpected bit truth)
Why is it a fake in the first place?
Because back in September 2018, the “news” was generated by the well-known Panorama satirical network portal. We have already written that it is worthless to see the Panorama “news” as the news. But the problem lies in the fact that users often share fakes of the mentioned resource after they appear on other information resources.
What is the truth?
Perhaps not every fake has a bit of truth, but this fake has. The fact is that indeed, some British educational institutions adopted the Soviet experience. However, it is only related to the model of specialized mathematical pre-university education at universities.
This is not about secondary education in general. The model was the boarding school named after A.N. Kolmogorov of the Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov (Specialized scientific training centre of Moscow State University), previously “Specialized Boarding School №18 at Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov” (physical and mathematical school №18), which was opened on the initiative of Academician A. N. Kolmogorov in 1963. Similar schools were opened in other cities of the former USSR, including Almaty, Kazakhstan.
In 2014, two schools — King’s College London Mathematics School and the Exeter Mathematics School — opened in England for physics and mathematics. These are the so-called 6 form math colleges, that is, educational institutions in which students study for the last 2 years of secondary school (they also study for 2 years before entering university).
In The Economist, Dominic Cummings, advisor to the then chief secretary of education, Michael Gove, argues that the Mathematics School in London has opened to give any child the opportunity to get an “Eton-level education” in mathematics or physics.
Why? As it turned out, the UK government is stimulating the creation of specialized mathematics schools throughout the country. The document “How to apply to set up a maths school for 16 to 19-year-olds”, released on March 2018 by the Ministry of Education, says that the two schools mentioned above are among the most successful pre-university educational institutions. In addition, they showed the success of the model and outstanding results recognized by the Office of Education Standardization. (The two open maths schools demonstrate that the model can be very successful…both are Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education — author’s note) outstanding and already among the highest performing school sixth forms in the country).
It is interesting, that the UK also has its own Industrial Strategy. It is within its framework that the government plans to invest an additional £ 406m in mathematical, technical and IT education. Each educational institution with an approved application for opening a school with in-depth study of mathematics for children from 16 years (post-16) will receive an additional £ 350,000 (168.5 million tenges) from the budget annually. In addition, throughout the kingdom so-called math hubs were opened, that stimulate and promote math education among children of all ages, including preschool children, as well as professional development of teachers.