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By David Vance On April 4th, 2011 at 8:59 am

Wonder what you make of this news?

Britain’s worst schools will face surprise raids by inspectors and heads will be able to press charges against pupils under moves to stamp out discipline problems in the classroom. Teachers will also be given powers to confiscate pupils’ mobile phones in a package of measures designed to end years of politically correct official guidance that gave disruptive children the upper hand. Education Secretary Michael Gove, who will unveil the plans today, is determined to reverse the collapse in classroom discipline that has resulted in 1,000 children a day being suspended from school for abuse and assault.

The lack of discipline in the classroom is a concern for many teachers. They have seen their authority undermined for decades now and under Labour, power went to the pupils and away from the teachers. Learning can only take place in a controlled and disciplined environment and so this strikes me as a very good idea and I am sure many teachers will wish it is extended to ALL  schools. Let’s hope Gove does what he says in which case he will be a decent cove!

Tea, Vicar?

By Mike Cunningham On March 3rd, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I am reprising a post which disappeared a few days back, on the subject of the value, or rather lack of value, of NVQ’s in today’s ultra-competitive employment market. I previously wrote about the sad story of Miss Michelle Stannard, and her hopes of employment which she thought would be buttressed by her studying for an NVQ in Photography.

When I was supervising a site in London some ten-odd years ago, I was issued with a digital camera, and was able to send immediate images of construction problems to my HQ, and get advice and comment on matters which needed expertise not in my own domain. As can be seen from the link, I was also able to identify areas which needed total re-working, and as the evidence was already available, the Contractor had no defence against such demands. But my point is that the camera issued to me then was quite basic, and with the advances resultant upon better technology, a modern camera can produce stunning images which only depend upon one outside item, the imagination of the photographer.

For a College or school to host an NVQ course in ‘Photography’, or indeed any other course which does not require intensive study, thought as well as practical matter is an insult to the hopes of those who sign up for them. Take the ludicrous Certificate of Personal Effectiveness Level 2 for example. When ‘qualified’, the student has been taught to ‘Find out what benefits you are entitled to if you are unemployed’. It also teaches how to ‘obtain information’ from ‘using the telephone’, the ‘internet’ or ‘newspapers/magazines’, and even how to ‘host a tea party’. These ‘Mickey Mouse’ gimmicks are not helping the young gain employment, they are just a lazy way of getting a few ‘Certificates’ without the mental effort required to gain any qualification which is recognised by either academia or industry.

Professor Wolf was commissioned by Education Secretary Michael Gove to review the NVQ system. I don’t know how much she personally charged us, as taxpayers, for this work, but I do know that that same review could have been carried out in an afternoon. Most of these NVQ’s are little more than window dressing for a failed system, and the sooner we get rid of the whole process, the better-off Britain will be!

We don’t need no Educayshun!

By ATWadmin On July 13th, 2010 at 11:53 am

I occasionally dip into Ian Dale’s diary blog, ansd came across this stunning example of the state of Education in this, our allegedly green and pleasant land!:-

‘This is a comment left by a reader called Cynic in the thread below on grammatical standards…

For what it is worth, here is our experience.

When we moved to a new area with a deep red Labour council, we immediately noticed that our 7 year old’s reading and writing suddenly seemed to be going backwards. We asked for a meeting with her school teacher.

As my wife pointed out that our daughter’s spelling seemed to be deteriorating, the teacher carefully explained that she didn’t ‘teach’ spelling. Modern educational theory had shown that this just didn’t work. Instead it was best to just ‘expose children to words and later the spellings and sentence structures would just emerge organically in their brains when they needed to spell a word’.

As I (quite literally) rolled my eyes to heaven, I noticed that many of the words on mobiles hanging around the room and on wall charts contained very basic spelling mistakes and alarm bells began to ring even louder.

We then asked for an urgent meeting with the Head Teacher. She was very sympathetic.

“I know what you are going to say about Miss X”, she said, “she’s very keen but she has very bad dyslexia and it affects both her English and Maths. We knew all about it as she did some of her teaching practice here and I warned the Governors not to appoint her, but they insisted that it was a disability issue and that she would cope as she was so ‘committed’. I am sorry about this, but there is literally nothing I can do now. She is causing chaos with the staff as well as the pupils, as at times she cannot even parse a sentence correctly, so she misunderstands basic instructions. I have told the Governors but they wont admit now they have made a mistake. I have had enough. I have applied for early retirement and I leave in July.”

We could have then gone to the Governors but the month before I had met the daughter of the Chair of Governors who was a trainee primary school teacher. She was on an access course into teaching having dropped out of school at 16 with no qualifications at all. After 4 years in Woolworths her mother had suggested teaching as a career so she was now on her course.

I asked did she find it hard to do the course, never having done exams before. “Naw”, she said. “It’s all continuous assessment. Anyway, I am a socialist and I don’t believe in exams. They are elitist”

In the end we just moved our daughter to a fee paying school where they spent a year just getting her back to where she had been before. She just graduated this year with a First in Law from a top UK Law School. We are delighted but I still wonder at all the lost potential in that classroom and all the other classrooms.


With the timing of this readers’ comments now some eleven or twelve years ago, is it any wonder that many top British employers also despair of employing British youngsters who actually both want. and are able to do, the jobs required.

Diver rescued!

By ATWadmin On April 21st, 2010 at 12:34 pm

An article in the Education sector of the Sunday Times caught my eye, dealing as it did with the subject of ‘bullying’. The young man under discussion was a swimmer and diving champion named Tom Daley, and after his return from the Beijing Olympics, he was subjected to an ever-increasing regime of physical threats and mental harassment.  His parents’ solution, after several interviews with Katrina Borowski, the Eggbucklands principal brought no relief, was to remove their talented son from this hell-hole, and sign him up to a private school, Plymouth college. Result, his studies have blossomed to the extent he has achieved 6 GCE’s all starred, as well as becoming world 10-metre platform diving champion.

The Eggbucklands principal was also quoted as stating ‘Tom’s extremely high profile led to a minority of pupils behaving in an immature way towards him!’ This last statement is of course in line with the pathetic ‘anti-bullying’ stance of the crap-ridden clowns who inhabit our Department for Children Schools and Families. If anyone reads even the headings of the web-page, they have even broken it down into neatly-labelled sectors, such as Cyberbullying: Supporting pupils, Homophobic bullying

Racist bullying, Bullying of children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities

Sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying, and of course ending with the all-encompassing

Anti-bullying Charter.

As I have not ventured any further than the headings, as I don’t wish to tread waist-deep in diversity clap-trap, I can only predict what help or guidance is on offer, but I would lay good money on a complete absence of the only known cure for bullies, which is physical punishment! A short sharp beating makes for instant recognition that any further behaviour will ensure a repeat performance, and as it is a well-known fact that all bullies are also cowards, their behaviour will instantly modify!

When my eldest son was in his first year of Secondary Education in South Africa, he was subjected to considerable bullying by a small clique of clowns, but fortunately he told me of his problems. I visited the school the very next day, and informed the Deputy Head that if this problem was not immediately addressed to my satisfaction, I would sue the school, governors and staff, as well as the parents of the young clowns who were targeting my son. His actions were swift and certain, as three of the main culprits were hauled up at the next morning assembly, and each given six of the best with a cane! All bullying of my son ceased immediately, and he blossomed as a pupil at that school for the rest of his time!


Happy now?

By ATWadmin On January 12th, 2010 at 8:41 am

So you are a parent, of one, two or more kids. You hope to do your best for your offspring through your choice of school, your examples in life and your love for your kids.

You think that you have done all that is necessary when you pack your kids lunchboxes, but you have forgotten that you live and work in Stalinist Britain, where your very choices of sustenance can be and in fact are being challenged by ‘Experts’.

Your kids food will be and is being examined, and in certain cases confiscated because it does not meet the advice and expectations of those experts.


Still happy?

‘nary an airy eerie eyrie!

By ATWadmin On July 30th, 2009 at 8:18 am

Made the short trip this morning to our local sports centre/gym, where I labour for some thirty-odd minutes, five days a week in the losing battle of trying to keep fit  / losing weight.  I don’t really want to do this, it’s just that if I don’t, and my exceedingly forthright daughter finds out, she will verbally batter me once more into submission! 

So I walked in, handing my card across to be scanned, and stopped short as I read the labelling on a storage box held on a shelf. The label read ‘Stationary’, and of course I first agreed completely, as it wasn’t moving, but then realised that the label was in fact misspelt, the intent was obviously to advise where a certain type of paper was being stored. Now most, certainly of those who actually spotted and understood this error would just shrug and move on, but I asked the guy behind the counter if he was aware the the spelling on the label was incorrect, and was he was going to change it?

His reply to the effect that it wasn’t doing any harm, and that was how the box had arrived, dismayed me! My view on spelling, certainly in places which are funded by taxpayers money, is that it should always be correct, because we pay large amounts of money to get people to allegedly work in these places, and they should be of a sufficient standard of education so that simple errors in spelling, as well as mistakes in grammar and usage, simply are not tolerated!

On my way home, I passed a pub, and on the side of the pub was the notice, ‘Delivery’s at the back’

I rest my case!

Charity begins with …..Leather!

By ATWadmin On July 14th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Ever wondered how the title ‘Charity’ came to be given currency? In olden times, the latin term ‘caritas’ meaning an unstinting goodness of giving to those less fortunate than oneself, this became modified to the French ‘Charitḗ’, and thence to the widely accepted English ‘Charity’. There are thousands of Charities in Great Britain alone, most are either harmless or of a generally beneficial nature, a few are politically inspired, motivated and sometimes even strident in their approach to their goals; but all are allegedly supervised by the Charities Commission, a Quango of the worst sort, filled to the brink with political appointees and fellow-travellers.

Not many people other than we who actually live in this strange and wonderful world of Britain actually understand that a ‘Public School’ is actually a very private institution, run not for profit but for the furtherance of the school’s longevity and well-being; with the fees paid by parents who wish only the best of education for their offspring going towards the salaries of the staff, the upkeep of the physical buildings and plant, the furtherance of the School’s duty towards the world, which is usually seen in the excellent grades and marks gained in the various examinations which abound in the education world these days. But the blade which works best for the ‘Public Schools’ of our day is the one marked ‘Charitable Status’! Given the ‘charity status’ means that they get income tax and other related ‘breaks’ which means that they can pay for the best in both teaching staff and physical buildings and plant, to further tempt the parents who accept that the State education system is a shambles to sign on the dotted line with large sums of cash.

So is the ‘Charitable Status’ being abused? Is the nation getting benefits over and above the fact that parents, besides paying ordinary taxes to pay for the normal education system to run, are also paying for their own children to be educated privately? I would argue that the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’, for the simple reason that all of the schools in the Independent Sector’ offer bursaries to the less well-off, or to use NewLabourSpeak ‘the disadvantaged amongst us’, so that the children of those less well-off can gain an education which is, to say the least, about ten rungs higher up the ladder than just about any State-run comprehensive school!

So what does the reader of this post reckon the motives of Dame Suzi Leather (acknowledged Labour Party member, and her little gang of sub-Nazis are up to by advising two of the first five Independent Schools to be reviewed using updated guidelines (for a translation of ‘updated’ refer the Labour Party membership handbook) that they do not meet the guidelines for continued use of ‘Charitable Status’, and unless they change their ways, they’ll loose their tax breaks in twelve months time.

One small but valid point to consider when you make your own judgements in this matter! The Charities Commission, and of course Dame Suzi well to the fore, has not defined any of the benchmarks necessary for the magic term ‘Public benefit’. Dead smart, that; when the prisoners have to choose their own punishments beforte submitting to the judge’s verdict!

Oh, and another small but valid area of debate is of course Suzi’s own C.V.

Born on April 5, 1956. After Tavistock School, Devon, studied politics at Exeter University then trained in social work and probation. She has an MA from the University of Leicester

– Spent much of her career in the consumer movement, including the Consumers in Europe Group

– She has held 30 public offices, including chairmanship of School Food Trust and the Exeter and District Community NHS Trust

– As chairwoman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority she made a number of controversial statements, including: “There is more to life than having children.” Backed the use of IVF for lesbian couples

– Appointed as chairwoman of Charity Commission last August, a few months before the new Charities Act came into force. She was appointed MBE in 1994 and DBE last year.

Miss Hearts Terrorists

By ATWadmin On April 11th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

SINCE our children’s educators become increasingly useless, rancid and Left Wing –

 – who can be surprised at them adopting the garb of the world’s most notorious child abusers?


By ATWadmin On February 6th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Nice to see our teachers setting such high standards..

“Dr Clive Wheeler was a geography teacher at Denbigh High School in Luton, Beds, when he told the Channel 4 documentary Queer as Old Folk that he had unprotected sex after picking up men in saunas and on the internet.

He said he had lied to a boyfriend about having a sexually transmitted infection because he felt it could spoil their sex, and told of juggling six boyfriends at once. After the programme was broadcast in July 2007, he was reported to the General Teaching Council (GTC) of England. The GTC criticised him for having a “cavalier approach to serious issues”. Although it found him guilty of unacceptable professional conduct it let him off with a reprimand, to remain on file for two years.

Wow – tough love, that’ll teach him a lesson alright, won’t it?

Just one question; WHY is in still in employment?


By ATWadmin On January 30th, 2009 at 8:01 am

My contention is that government should have no role whatsover in Education since it operates as King Midas in reverse…

Bright children in state schools are being failed by teachers who refuse to give them extra help for fear of promoting “elitism”, a Government-backed report has found.

A significant number of schools have failed to enter their most talented pupils in an official programme designed to push the very best children, it concluded. Labour’s so-called Gifted and Talented scheme – launched in 1999 – was set up amid concerns that middle-class parents were abandoning the state sector for private schools. It was designed to answer critics’ claims that bright children struggle in the comprehensive system because they are dragged down by classmates. Under the scheme, covering all pupils under 19, primary and secondary schools are asked to nominate the best pupils for extra support to make sure they fulfilled their potential. This was originally defined as the top five per cent of pupils but has since been changed to ten per cent. Those nominated are provided with after-school classes and weekend tuition in order to ensure they are sufficiently challenged. But a study by ACL Consulting, commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, found fundamental opposition to the scheme among schools.

The findings suggest that many pupils may have been held back from achieving their potential as a result of a reluctance on the part of teachers to give them the opportunities the Government intended for them. The report come just days after figures published by the Conservatives showed one-in-seven pupils named among the brightest failed to get five good GCSEs at 16. “Many schools were initially unwilling to provide… details of their pupils who were within the ‘top five per cent’,” said the report. “Although this resistance was gradually eroded over time, there was doubtless still a substantial core of schools unwilling to play their role in the process.”

Or. to put it more succintly, Schools are becoming anti-meritocratic in order to please their socialist paymasters in government. They ignore the brightest kids lest they be accused of ..gasp…elitism. In this way, our education system now manages to fail the bright and the not so bright. What a result that is!