Saturday, April 23, 2005

Sylvia's school classes

The problems surrounding school dinners were recently highlighted and "addressed" thanks to public concerns raised following the screening of "Jamie's schools dinners". Hopefully attention will now turn to the behaviour of children at secondary schools thanks to "Classroom Chaos". Over a period of about six months, "Sylvia Thomas", a supply teacher worked at eighteen schools in London and the north of England and secretly filmed classes in six of them. The picture she paints is one of near anarchy, chairs being smashed, pupils fighting in class, being sworn at by pupils and falsely accused of touching them, verbal abuse, general rowdiness and the use of mobile phones or CD players.

How can children possibly be educated in such an environment? I can only assume that she did not work in any private schools as I do not believe that such indiscipline would be tolerated there.

Naturally, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) does not condemn this anarchy outright or acknowledge that such classes are out of control, they condemn it because it was not right to film the children in secret. Would their behaviour have been better or worse if they hade known!?! Personally, I would prefer to condemn the educational establishment that tolerates such indiscipline within schools. Without a proper education, how can anyone possibly achieve their potential in life? How can Ruth Kelly's noble goal of increased social mobility be achieved within such an educational environment? At least the NUT can celebrate the childrens' ability to express themselves...

Classroom Chaos will be broadcast on Five on Wednesday 27 April at 8pm


Steve said...

Sometimes I wonder who the NUT represent. They would rather moan on about the filming than acknowledge the general problem.

A headteacher friend of mine reckons it all goes back to the Children Act in 1992, when corporal punsihment was abolished and the balance of rights and power shifted in favour of children. At that point, he says, teachers lost control and the children took over the schools, which effectively means that the strongest and most brutal bullies now run our schools.

Snafu said...

The only people genuinely failed by this are the children themselves. They are the ultimate victims of this legislation and that is really shocking.

I can remember the headmaster of our primary school showing everyone the cane. I daren't misbehave.