Thursday, February 01, 2007

Everyone should read this...

This account by a teacher in an inner London school is serious, important and ultimately moving. Those who read some of the angrier teacher blogs will not be surprised by any of it. A school like this needs support and the teachers in it need encouragement and respect. Condemning a school with problems like these, without offering solutions, simply leads to a culture where schools hide their weaknesses and pretend everything is alright.

We need serious, well funded alternatives to short and long term exclusion: heavy duty pupil referral units where student behaviour can be confronted. If they worked, the cost would surely be less than future prison sentences for many of these young people. When the only sanction we have left for violent pupils is to ask them to go home and watch TV for a few days, we have effectively given up on both the possibility of change for those students, and the establishment of a safe environment in our schools.

(Government figures reported here)


Anonymous said...

.... government figures show 221 this year.


There's some schools which can manage that themselves. This is what, those that are reported where the police will accept the complaint and do something ?

Most of the assaults are suppressed by Senior Management Teams in schools, the Police don't want to record it let alone do anything.

When they're "excluded" they're just put in another school anyway, where they just carry on.

Pepperpot said...

My point exactly. Government policy has created a culture of 'hushing up' problems, while the only option we have to deal with it is exclusion - which simply passes the problem on to another school.

M said...

"Eventually the boy was excluded," he explains. WHAT ... this is a criminal offence, if the little shit was in prison he couldn't threaten teachers in schools could he.

lilyofthefield said...

I took to reading blogs a few months ago and am going to stop because it is becoming really really depressing. Whatever the arena, the problems are the same and for the same reasons.

Miss Profe said...

lilyofthefield is correct with respect to "Whatever the arena, the problems are the same and for the same reasons."

I teach at a private school in the US. While the behavioral problems are not of the caliber that pepperpot describes, my little pristine private school isn't immune to the ills of society. Many of the kids who have behavioral problems, emotional problems, and/or learning difficulties are hidden away in the private schools, rather than their parents actually dealing with the core of the problem(s) in the first place. So many people are in gross and utter denial with respect to their kids. The quality of parenting has also declined. The flavor of the moment is a "pick your battles" style of parenting. " She's a good kid, so I'll let her dress provocatively." Um, no.

On the bright side, there are still parents doing it right, and schools which maintain high standarrds for behavior and academics. While my pristine private school isn't perfect, it's a decent place to learn and work.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher in a 'good' school, coasting along on a reputation we don't deserve anymore, I feel LUCKY to have only been physically assaulted once, and a minor assault at that). This is just so depressing.