“Yoof engagement” gimmicks through history: The National Record of Achievement
Today’s school gimmick is tomorrow’s grunge album
Reading about the Cameron government’s big post-riot plans got me thinking about one of the crowning youth empowerment programmes of the last Conservative government…
Back in the early 1990s, everyone in my school year got handed a red leather (or possibly sham leather) folder with the words “National Record of Achievement” proudly embossed in the cover.
We were told that this was an incredibly important object that would serve us throughout our future careers as a repository for our many and varied “achievements”, and that the government had decided that every single pupil in the country should get one.
I think I may even have kept my GCSE certificates in it, at least for a while – but amazingly, the state-endorsed predictions about its future utility in my working life turned out not to be correct.
A brief straw poll on Twitter suggests that I may not have been alone in this, eg:
Looking at the latest Tory government’s hastily-unveiled plans for fixing “broken Britain” it’s difficult not to wonder how many of today’s initiatives (not least the flagship voluntary, non-military nearly-but-not-quite National Service) will fare any better…