Is The Great Experiment A Failure?

By great experiment, I mean comprehensive education and the permissive generation:

Parents have been accused of abandoning responsibility for their children at the school gates as teachers warned that pupils are turning up unprepared for lessons.

Comprehensive education has been sold as one of the great benefits of the progressive agenda, like the NHS ‘free at the point of access’ and inclusive, diverse, offering opportunity to all. More than that, it was supposed to usher in a new age of equality.

But it seems parents are increasingly viewing it as like any other ‘free’ service; not worth the money they pay for it:

Almost half (44%) said pupils do not come to school ready to learn, while a similar proportion (43%) blamed indiscipline on low aspirations of children and their families.

And this is worrying the unions:

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “Teachers are not receiving the support they need from parents, school leaders or government to assist them in maintaining high standards of pupil behaviour. Parents can’t simply abandon their responsibilities at the school gate.”

But why not?

Once the people who do truly value education, to the point where they will scrimp and save to go private, have decided to leave the system (paying over the odds for it, as they are still forced to support the state system regardless), those that are left are increasingly exactly the sort of people who view it as little more than a government-provided childminding service.

And the problem is accelerating:

Fifteen children aged between four and six are being excluded from school each day for attacking teachers.

Nearly nine in the same age group are banned daily for violent attacks on fellow pupils and a further nine a day for persistent disruptive behaviour, Government figures show.

Three a day are sent home for using foul language to teachers.

Imagine what they’re going to be like once they are into the secondary school system….

Nick Seaton of the Campaign for Real Education described the figures as ‘extremely disturbing’.

He said: ‘It’s a massive concern that behavioural problems are starting at such a young age.

‘Parenting and teaching is too soft. These adults fail to teach discipline and a respect for authority.

‘At a tender age children are told they are the centre of the universe and it makes them too self-centred and totally uncontrollable.

‘The problem is compounded by some teachers who, due to a lack of support from senior management, fear disciplining pupils.’

If we don’t get a grip on this soon, I fear for our future. It’s likely to be a very, very ‘two tier’ one.


10 comments for “Is The Great Experiment A Failure?

  1. William
    April 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Having two children one of whom completed his state education until he was 16 and another who is 14 and was pulled of state education when he was 12 to be home schooled I can state that in my experience state education is a sham.

    I say this because the state education agenda is set and constantly meddled with by the state. As the state doesn’t actually exist what I am referring to is those human beings who draw a wage from the state or actually control it. These people have a vested interest in the education system they have created continuing to churn out enough tax paying drones to ensure they cannot conceive existence without state control.

    Lastly whenever anything is ‘equalised’ it is always equalised to the lowest common denominator never the highest.

    • April 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      “Lastly whenever anything is ‘equalised’ it is always equalised to the lowest common denominator never the highest.”

      Spot on! When what we should be aiming for (and what comprehensive education was supposed to do) is uplifting the lowest…

  2. April 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    We have been viewing local schools for our baby daughter (even though she is only 18 months old now). What is most notable is that every one, bar the private girl’s school have posters up informing pupils of their “human rights” and their inclusion in the “global community”. Actual education takes second or even third place to political agendas and diversity awareness.

    On Sunday we had been for a walk in the forest. I put my daughter down for a moment to adjust the baby seat but then noticing she had quickly disappeared I rushed around the car to find her standing at the back reading out aloud the letters of the number plate. Her only error was mistaking X for Y.

    Looks like its going to be private or home schooling for us.

    • April 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      As you would gather, this last about homeschooling is in line with the dilemma mentioned in last night’s post. We can do very little about what They have done and are doing to education so I concur, Wolfie, that there are really only the other two options.

      If private is unaffordable, then there is a need for good teaching materials and a rudimentary knowledge of teaching methodology, to supplement what the parent can do anyway. There are good ones online and at teacher’s educational resources shops but the majority are dire today.

      One key UK university’s materials were so bad that I used to deviate from them and use old texts such as MacIvor et al, just to compensate. Also, at her age, you need to start thinking about the phonic approach or “look and say”. There’s a lot of guff spoken about the absolute necessity of teachers with bits of paper to their name but then again, a good teacher is worth her[ his] weight in gold, as you know and is better than any amount of online materials.

      Herein lies the dilemma.

      • April 27, 2011 at 5:46 pm

        Home schooling has already come in for a kicking from the vested interests, of course. And if it takes off in a big way, expect that aggression to ramp up overnight.

  3. Sue
    April 27, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    If parents are not allowed to discipline their children, what do they expect? My daughter is afraid to give her daughter a smack on the bum incase she says something at playschool. With the way things are with secret family courts and social services going mental, parents can’t afford to make a mistake.

    • April 28, 2011 at 5:47 am

      Government policy in this respect does seem to be designed to keep everyone on edge and suspicious about what others might say or do.

      Hmmm. Working as intended?

  4. April 28, 2011 at 12:35 am

    I’m from the grammar school generation, you know when ordinary kids had social mobility.

    It was reputed that our headmaster told some whingy parents that if they were unhappy with his school they were welcome to take their child elsewhere.

    Discipline was, of course, enforced. I can remember our latin teacher, a catholic priest, “boy I do not believe in violence, go to the headmaster” which of course was a certain 6 strokes.

    Memory tells me it was the union campaign that led to corporal punishment being abandoned in state schools. I should sympathise with their problems? Self inflicted me thinks.

    • April 28, 2011 at 5:47 am


  5. Dominic Allkins
    April 28, 2011 at 7:54 am

    WRT the issue of parents abandoning the responsibility for their children at the school gates, my view is that this is at least in part (a major part I believe) the fault of both the government(s) and the teaching unions.

    If the government continues to take more and more in tax and also continues to encroach further and further into the management of our daily lives then sooner or later ‘the people’ will begin to take the attitude that the government is their to provide everything. Once that attitude is ingrained in the population then parents will take the view that “It’s the government’s and teachers’ job – not mine.”

    Those of us that still believe in personal responsibility work hard with our children. We teach them at home because we can see that the state system is failing, instill discipline, teach manners and good behaviour so that hopefully they will grow up to be adults that will carry this forward for the next generation.

    Unfortunately now there are too many parents that have everything given to them on a plate and assume they no longer have to take any responsibility themselves. Until or unless these parents are weaned off this dependence then I don’t believe that much will change and in fact the situation could get worse.

    It’s up to our politicians to lead this and sadly I have no faith that any of them have the cojones to do that. It would lose them too many votes and the nice cushy free for all in Parliament.

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