Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Michael Heseltine

Michael Heseltine reckons that we should get retired army officers to sort out the discipline in schools. This is an old chestnut which gets aired every few years or so. Coincidentally, last weekend I spoke to a friend who had just left after 22 years service. He reckoned that he would last about 15 minutes as a state school teacher.

"Some kid would start mucking about, I'd tell them to stop, they would answer me back and I'd give them a slap..."

Hmmm. I'm afraid that idea's not going to work, Michael. You can't fight a battle if you are the only one who wants to.


Fee said...

I can't see any retired military personnel being daft enough to volunteer ... but then Heseltine and the real world have always been light-years apart.

Anonymous said...

He asks the question thus: "Why don't you recruit retired army officers to act as the discipline within a school?"

But he doesn't say what he means by "act as the discipline".

The army has discipline because ANY infraction, ANY insubordination, no matter how minor, is stamped on, hard. Every commissioned officer and every NCO has the authority to put personnel under their command on a charge, with real, immediate and unpleasant consequences.

The key there is not the people enforcing the system - army officers are not fundamentally different than anyone else. The key is the system itself. It cares NOTHING for the individual, and EVERYTHING for the good of the larger unit, be it section, platoon or battalion.

The problem with discipline in schools is solely to do with the inordinate focus on the individual at the expense of the group.

Anonymous said...

Yes, having been in the Army I can tell you if you mess around then the officer in charge will give you a bloody good thrashing, he will hit you hard and then make you clean the toilets. I have seen several grunts gets slapped very hard.

Strange thing is you soon learn who is in charge, and it damn well isn't the recruits, and you learn not to f**k around. It is respect through a very slight amount of fear, which is no bad thing. That is what is missing in schools, no fear of consequences.

David said...

There are loads of us retired ex military teaching as well as mnay TA lads/lassies! I rarely have a problem because the bad lads get bored trying to swear, wind me up as I've seen it done it got the t-shirt 8-) They also know that I'll be firm but FAIR which is where a lot of non military go wrong.

Boy on a bike said...

Our first night in the boarding house, our house master called all us 12 year olds in for a little matter of laying down the rules. About all he did was tell us a simple story.

"Boys, last year, I was walking around the house when I discovered the Captain of the 1st XVIII had a year 8 student by the ankles and was donking his head repeatedly on the concrete floor.

"I asked him what he was up to.

"His response was, 'He was being cheeky, sir.'

"I said, 'Very well - carry on. If he does that again, send him to me to be caned'."

Funnily enough, discipline was not a problem. It was enforced by both the teaching staff and the older boys.

marc said...

Boy on a bike:

I bet your rugby team won all their matches if they got 18 players on the field!!

Anonymous said...

Using the local tearaways and drug dealers to instill 'respect' - They have reps and know where people live.
Would they do it - instead of jail - quite possible.

Boy on a bike said...


Aussie rules - 18 players.