Thursday, March 04, 2010

Election 2010

It looks like there's going to be lots of arguments about Education in the run up to the election and no doubt both the main parties will be asking for my opinion of their proposals.

David Cameron doesn't want teachers with Thirds, but hasn't realised that you can get a 2:1 'Teaching in Primary schools' Degree without being able to add up, spell or string a sentence together. Labour on the other hand want to assess teachers' empathy, understanding and passion' (by asking them questions on a computer)

The Conservatives say that they want to provide more choice for parents when there are nearly 800 000 spare school places already; Labour are building ever bigger schools, where children can simply get lost in the system.

Neither party has so far come up with any simple, clear proposals on how to improve the thousands of sink schools and the quality of the Edutainment on offer in these places.

At least in Australia, the school battlefields are properly organised.


Boy on a bike said...

"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd questioned why schools allowed such activities."

Because companies like this pay very, very good rent to the school, which is then used to improve facilities.

Idiot. He's obviously never spent a minute on a P&C committee trying to raise funds for the school.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I cannot entirely condone this kind of activity in a school that is currently 'operational' but most of my CQB training was done in former schools and abandoned hospitals. As the article points their layout is excellent for urban assault and a lot of knowledge can be gained by training in them.

What does disturb me is that in this case they are being used for civilians to learn the tactics of urban assault and CQB. Great for the potential schoolyard sniper or potential terrorist, not so great for the poor b*ggers who have to go into the situation to rescue hostages etc facing someone who has a working knowledge of the tactics that might be used against them.

Northern Teacher said...

Onscreen questions to show our "empathy, understanding, passion", eh?

`:-) = raised eyebrow

{} = no comment

Miss Brodie said...

800 000 spare places! Are you sure ... don't live in the UK, and can't believe that one!

Lizzie Love said...

I am trying hard to show 'empathy, understanding and passion' for Daniel's comment but I'm afraid I'm struggling!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful words, but rarely followed in the real world.
My slant be, every one has some kind of talent but how to get it to be a flower? usually weeds be got fit for fodder.

I was taught the M. o'Queensbury rules for fighting in life but when taught by an Aussie, the Queensland rule of self defence , I then survived. So glad that they are still the best defense be offense

Schools should teach the 3r's, "reedin'", "ritin'" and the most important reckonin', of course "googlin'" be important to.

Ambulance Amateur said...

It's about time we decided what schools are for. Are they there to warehouse kids whilst their parents are at work and then make a few bob in evenings and weekends? On the other hand, are they there to educate and civilise the next generation?

Seeing a few schools, I reckon they're there for the former. I'd prefer the latter. (Incidently, I learnt "former" and "latter" in what is now Y5.)

We go on about "child centred education". How about "society centred education"? Kids will have to take their place in society, so let's not give them role models of some nurds in combats using their school as a combat ground at weekends. Let's give them academics, technicians, craftsmen and other sound members of society using their space at the weekend, and maybe at times during the week.

Anonymous said...

Inthe UK, many schools have become dumping grounds for dysfunctional parents to dump their evendysfunctional offspring. By shouting "integration, integration, integration", special schools for children with special needs were closed down and these children, bringing their burdens of learning disabilities, behaviour issues, what have you, were thrown into the mainstra=eam system, where nobody really knew what to do with them other than "integrte" them....which, of course, served ony to disrupt everyone else's learning.
So now we have mainstream shools with loads of disruptive, deprived, behaviourally "challenged" pupils thrown in and everyone wonders why, just why things don't work out. surprise, surprise!!!
As for schools allowing the armed forces in...the UK have two wars going, they're running out of cannon fodder, fst,they need replenishment. Where better tofish for it but amongst gullible no-hopers in schools..bring in some action-man-like figures, give them a day of un games, tell them that's what army life is about, and ...hey them netted.
Oh, yes, they all stand by the road side, throwing flowers on top of hearses, bowing heads, lowering standards..very touching.
Another two or three boys in their twenties blown to least they're not hanging out on street corners, menacing people, drawing unemployment benefits. cheap solution. Get the low-lifes to join the army, stand a chance that a good few of them get killed, save lots of dosh. Cynical??? Maybe. But can't help it, the current system needs soldiers and hasn't got the dosh to cater for loads of unemployed youths, so what better than feeding them to the cannons? rule, Britannia...

TonyF said...

Ambulance Amateur hits the nail on the head.

What are schools for?

Or perhaps, what are they not for?

Obviously, there are things that the parents should be teaching their kids..Like:
How to use a knife and fork.
How to fasten buttons/laces.
Basic manners.
Sex (at an appropriate age).

Schools should concentrate on things like:
Proper sciences.
Social skills.(teach the Peelian Principles for instance)
Responsibility to others.

Kids should be streamed by ability. I don't care that someone may be upset that their little Wayne or Waynetta is a retard and is streamed as such. Why should better kids be pulled down to the lowest common denominator?

Oh, and corporal punishment should be brought back immediately, and any parent objecting should be thrashed too.

teachercreature said...

Whatever the election result, the outcome will be the same. The UK teaching profession is going to be in a whole world of pain. Did you know that financial advisors are being sent out to coach headteachers on economising in school? Top tips have included turning down the thermostat on the boiler and doing less photocopying. Genius! I think they have missed a trick. Why not install solid fuel boilers and run them off the endless piles of paper Government sends through? I love the blog Frank. If you get a chance, feel free to check out my new one at

Boy on a bike said...

Speaking of "school battlefields" look what the US Dept of Education is purchasing:

Could do with one or two of these myself.

DesperateDan said...

'A whole world of pain' could seem like a huge exageration; except that it's not. Whichever way we choose the vote the reality is that the more change will come. Change that we don't have the time or capacity to implement, with new taregts that are supposed to make a difference but end up being more of the same. Hopeless, quite literally.

TonyF said...

Mr Balls up, has just been on Jeremy Vine today.

Mr Ball came over as a clueless tosser. I especially loved the moment a very nicely spoken gent well and truly pissed on his ill educated fire.

Anonymous said...

The schools as "battlefields" story and the responses made me laugh. When I was at school in Australia, many, many years ago, I was a member of the wargames club, turned out with the school cadet unit, and rampaged through the school at weekends doing mock battles with the unit. It was hugely enjoyable and, as a far as I know, none of us went on to commit massacres in schools. However, I did join the army, which I suppose does prove the wishy-washy brigade's point that we were being conditioned into being unthinking killers for the establishment! :D