Education > The education gap across the pond

Posted on November 9, 2016

Image by Phillip Bleyenberg

Image by Phillip Bleyenberg

Phillip Bleyenberg discusses the difference in teaching approaches between San Francisco and London
I arrived in England five months ago. I came from San Francisco, California a place with 830,000 people and moved to London, a city with 8.6 million people. So at first I felt a bit overwhelmed.

When I started exploring London, I saw how different the two cities were: public transport, the architecture, and the weather. And going to school here made me see the how different the education system was too.

My school in San Francisco was nothing like how the movies stereotype American schools. There were almost no bullies, no one got pushed in lockers, and no one got their head shoved in a toilet.

However, most teachers at my school weren’t very motivated to help if you were struggling. Once, I didn’t understand my science homework, and I tried to ask my teacher for help. For weeks she told me she was too busy and I ended up getting a bad grade on my test.

Most teachers at my school (in San Francisco) weren’t very motivated to help if you were struggling

If you want to get an education in the USA, where your teachers are more responsive, you have to go to a private school. My friend, whose mum pays $20,000 a year for his education, said that the attention he got was so much better than in a state school.

At my new school, Westminster Academy, in London, you can get the teachers’ attention for free. All my teachers check in with me weekly to see if I am struggling with my subjects.

Over here I feel that the teachers prepare you for any tests that you have and if you don’t understand something you can get help almost immediately. In my experience, the teachers also want you to succeed in life.

Another great thing about education here is that you have so many more opportunities. At my school they make you do an internship at 14 (and here I am at Exposure), an opportunity most people in America only get when they’re 18.

The amount of classes available at my school in London is massive. At 12 you are able to take a business course, another opportunity that is only available to kids in the US when they get to 14. Kids here complain that teachers are so strict and mean, but they’re mean because they want the best for the students.

Eight out of 10 British school leavers 'lack essential business skills' such as numeracy

But one thing both American and English schools have in common is the lack of proper business education. A survey conducted by Chartered Institute of Management Accountants found eight out of 10 British school leavers “lack essential business skills” such as numeracy.

I believe this can be improved with more experienced business teachers and more assemblies with business people teaching kids necessary skills.

While we wait for this to happen, we can gain more business knowledge by going online. I’ve been searching the Internet and have found a good website called It provides the basic essentials to learn about business.

Phillip Bleyenberg
Phillip is a year 10 student at Westminster Academy. He is interested in business and medicine.


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2 Responses to The education gap across the pond

  1. sizesimpson November 23, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    Gr8 Article

  2. sizesimpson November 23, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    I love your bestie

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