I’m really not sure this will work you know

Children should be kept in school for up to ten hours a day to help reverse the ‘real and persistent’ underachievement of white working-class pupils, an influential group of MPs says today.

Schools should extend their opening hours to ensure pupils can complete their homework, as part of a raft of measures to rescue a generation from joblessness and poverty.

In a major report, the Commons Education Select Committee said evidence suggested that longer school days could give pupils the equivalent of two months’ extra progress over an academic year.

The report lays bare the extent to which white children on free school meals are under-performing at school.


We used
to be pretty good at educating the indigenous working class. Now we’re not. And the solution is going to be to expose said children to even more of the fashionable lunacy that infests the education sector?

I’m really not sure that this is a winning proposition you know.

45 comments on “I’m really not sure this will work you know

  1. Amazing isn’t it? They expect to work a 37 1/2 hour week but say children should work 50. Why don’t they stick ’em up chimneys & be done with it?

  2. It really is time to use “Study Technology” in all schools. This identifies the three barriers to study, and supplies effective methods to teach the child or adult how to banish them.

    It was developed by L Ron Hubbard, therefore seems to be out of bounds.

    Pity. It works. I have had/have 5 children at a Study Tech school since 1985, and as a parent was not even aware that the big dreaded exams were taking place. Usually a casual reference some days later would inform me. Look up “Study Technology” in google.

  3. If you can’t show that working harder at school improves your life, and I strongly suspect for this group you can’t, anything you do is a waste of time.

    We used to be pretty good at educating the indigenous working class

    That would have been when the indigenous working class was the only working class, would it?

  4. In primary school in France, back in the 70s, we could stay until 6pm to do our homework under the supervision of a teacher.

    As a primary school governor, albeit a good school and fairly wealthy surroundings, I see some cases where I can only shudder at the kind of family life some kids have.

    I can only imagine how more of those kids there are in less “privileged” schools.

    I disagree with the education lunacy, things have changed and are changing somewhat to the better.

    So the idea is not so much a bad one, providing the school can indeed provide a better supervision than failed parents.

  5. Schools should extend their opening hours to ensure pupils can complete their homework

    This task used to be in the parents’ remit where it rightly belongs.

  6. @Monoi

    At my (boarding) school, we had supervised prep ie homework every evening bar Wednesday (sports during the pm) from 4pm to 7pm, and more of the same from 9am to noon on a Saturday.

    I can’t see that providing a similar sort of service in state schools is necessarily a bad thing, but I would like it to be voluntary, and taken seriously – not just cheap childcare.

  7. Just take them away from the parents, lock them all in institutions, chain them to desks in front of the teaching-machines, and be done with it.

  8. Sounds like fixing the symptons rather than the underlying cause of the lack of learning. Why are kids not bothering to learn? Could it be that they don’t see a need to? Why bother when you can stay on benefits and get Sky TV, fags, beer, and not work.

  9. @Monoi – yes, I got that from your construction ‘we could’ (as opposed to ‘we had to’). That sounded like a bon idee to me.

    I was talking about this piece of flotation by the Commons Education Select Committee, and the phrase (in the report, I’ve not read the original) that kids ‘should be kept in school for up to ten hours a day’, which doesn’t sound voluntary.

  10. The scum of the state fuck up the teaching methods. They create a system that benefits girls at the expense of boys. They do everything in their power to stigmatise and destroy the white working class and bring in migrants to undercut them and ensure they have no jobs and no future but want them to spend 50 hours a week knocking their pans out to compensate for the consequences of the above. If the white working class youth were smart enough they would spend the time studying guerrilla warfare techniques along with methods of torture and how to conduct the most painful executions possible.

  11. At my highly elitist boarding school we had supervised prep until 9pm, lessons on Saturday mornings and more prep on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Did us no harm, pretty much 100% of my house went to Oxbridge every year. Of course the fees were so cripplingly expensive that all the parents counted as poor working class.

  12. It wins to the extent it shows the politicians are trying their best to do something, while better rewarding a special interest group they serve (more teachers).

    That they know it will not do the kids any good is a minor consideration.

  13. Ian B – Teaching machines?

    I remember our school got a BBC Micro. Exciting times.

    The teachers had no idea what to do with it. So they stuck it on a trolley, wheeled it from classroom to classrom, and showed us a golf game and a word processing program.

  14. Steve – short answer Yes. But irrelevant. Study Technology works, takes endless stress out of teachers and pupils, and therefore parents.

    Rather than rush to a (false) conclusion, are you brave enough to try some ? I repeat, Study Technology works !

  15. Alan – I’m glad your kids did well, but at the risk of rushing to conclusions, I can’t see what was wrong with traditional teaching methods.

    Re: taking stress out of exams. Why would we want to do that? They’ll have to put up with far worse stress as adults.

    Am I brave enough to try it? I have to sit professional certification exams every so often and recently completed an OU degree for fun, so I have a winning formula already based on reading the books and analysing the past papers.

    Perverse or sad as it may sound, I enjoy the adrenaline rush of opening a fresh exam paper and pitting whatever wits I still have against the questions.

    You have to take your fun wherever you can find it.

  16. SE – If you mean “Super Pals”, then yes. I agree.

    Except Arnald. He’s more of a friendo.

  17. Steve, err, not,

    “Suppressive Persons”.

    Firmly welded in to the “Wog World”. Full of MUs, overts and engrams.

    I’m surprised Alan is allowed to post in such a hostile environment. He’ll need to be audited out of it.

  18. @ Interested, Alex

    Same here – after tea prep ran from 6-7.30 (prep school) then later from 7-9 (public school). In the former, supervised by a teacher, in the latter, confined to your study and woe betide anyone caught out of theirs without a dem good reason by patrolling under-housemasters.

    And everyone, but everyone, went to Russell Group universities. And some of ’em were stoopid.

  19. Re Study Technology an’ all, I’m glad there are lots of wonderful teaching methodologies about, and that people are constantly trying to make things better, but the traditional method* does seem to work fairly well.

    But then I suppose it really does depend on what you’re trying to achieve.

    *the pre-1960s one, as followed by the majority of private schools and the few remaining grammars.

  20. I am a lousy science fiction writer. Would any of you like to send me lots of money in return for enlightenment into the secrets of the Universe?

    Hail Xenu, and all that.

  21. Ian B – secrets of the Universe? Screw that. Can you do anything about male pattern baldness? I’m not dapper enough to go Picard.

  22. Would any of you like to send me lots of money in return for enlightenment into the secrets of the Universe?

    42, innit.

  23. Steve, I do have an answer on the baldness thing, but unfortunately it involves training yourself to a state of transcendence in which you have total control over the behaviour of every cell in your body, and we can’t get the training programme under 150 years as yet.

  24. Dear Steve,

    Despite some purile answers to my admission, I am happy to respond that I’m sure you are right – old fashioned methods are excellent. Sadly, not many have access to these, you learned how to study properly, and are doing things I could/would not do now.

    But having found a method that works, I feel I should recommend it. Also, I am tired of those who are reacting to a word or name with no further examination, in this case denying many failed pupils and students of any chance of overcoming their difficulties. I’ve observed that most people on the net react to what they have been told, rather than what actually is really going on.

    Alan

  25. We could just bring back Grammar schools. Or Assisted Places or whatever they were called – which Blair I think abolished.

    Or we could recognise defeat. Failed schools and useless teachers are unlikely to be able to do much to children they already fail to teach – as TW points out. But the Grammar schools may have already lifted everyone out of the working class capable of benefiting from an education. I hope that is because it benefited every family that wanted an education for their child. But it may have benefited every family genetically suitable for higher education as the government of Singapore thinks.

    Either way it is a depressing thought. But if it is the genetics thing, there is a solution. Everyone here who went to a Russell Group university needs to go out and knock up a hairdresser. For the greater good of the White working class of course.

  26. “Everyone here who went to a Russell Group university needs to go out and knock up a hairdresser.” – sexy hairdresser who wear tight skirts and high heels and lipstick and other nice things – no chance, they won’t go near us, they go with muscley tyre fitters and roofers.

    There are indeed some very lucky tyre fitters and roofers.

  27. As I recall this idea is raised every 2 or 3 years, that schools should stay open longer, open earlier etc – anything to keep the kids in a school! So far have not seen any results that say yes we tried this and it works.
    Never mind the rota system of staff so while the kids do 50 hours staff are not required to….

  28. There is no evidence (or rational justification) for a genetics thing, though the conceit of superior stock has been running since the new Victorian middle class started thinking up justifications for themselves… which kicked off the great Eugenics craze of course.

    Possibly The Greatest Essay Ever Written In The English Language.

    There is a terrible problem here. The old aristocrats needed no justification beyond a title; they ruled by blue blood and everyone knew their place. The new ruling class had not got that- they had fetched up from the bowels- and so they grasped at a meritocratic justification, from which logically followed that if they were of superior stock, the faster breeding of the lesser classes (due largely to the reluctance of the new matrons to lie back and think of England) became a terrible problem. And thus, Eugenics.

    The problem is that this ruling class gain that justification from a belief in superiority. So if the superiority disappears, so does the justification. So, they are forced into an endless abusive cycle of making efforts to better their lessers that are required to fail. If the untermensch actually do become the equal of their rulers, their rulers are out of a job. Can’t have that.

    It is not hard to teach a child. Reading and numeracy are within the grasp of all but genuinely subnormal infants. Over the past century, this has been made a steadily harder and harder task, at which the more expertise their is provided, the more failure there is. The most obvious explanation is, as outlined above, that those trying the hardest to educate are the most determined to fail at it, out of fear of their own redundancy.

    It is hard to think of another reason for why simple, tried and tested means of teaching are consistently deprecated in favour of complex, novel ones which do not work.

    Alphabet, comprehension, letter forms, number, times tables, addition and subtraction, long multiplication and long division. A room, a desk, some paper, a blackboard, a lady of a certain age rapping the occasional knuckle for not paying attention; a few hours a day, then out to play. Simple works.

    Not hard. If you want to succeed. But then, they don’t want to succeed.

  29. BTW, considering the totty in the salon I walk past on the way to the shops, I am more than willing to volunteer in SMFS’s plan to save the nation. I haven’t got a degree, but I’m prepared to lie about that.

  30. johnny bonk – “sexy hairdresser who wear tight skirts and high heels and lipstick and other nice things – no chance, they won’t go near us, they go with muscley tyre fitters and roofers.”

    Well, OK, maybe not the fat slags then. Not worth it.

    “There are indeed some very lucky tyre fitters and roofers.”

    Which explains why White working class youth ain’t getting an education. It is nice if you end up with a big house in the suburbs, but what most teenagers want is to get laid. Often. If lifting weights, getting tattoos and a criminal record helps to that end, and it does, they will.

    Martin – “So far have not seen any results that say yes we tried this and it works.”

    Actually we have tried this and it does work. Look at all the people in this thread who did that at their schools. But their schools were not run by the government. Presumably everyone in Whitehall is doing the same – they are all sitting around saying that they did it at their boarding schools, so it must work for the underclass. But they are not thinking about why their schools could make it work and state schools cannot.

    “Never mind the rota system of staff so while the kids do 50 hours staff are not required to….”

    Ahh, yes, well State schools have State school teachers who have a State school teachers’ Union. There’s why this is never going to work. Having incompetent Trots teaching the White working class is the problem, not the solution.

    Of course we used to have a solution to this. They were called the Christian Brothers. Worked wonders. Now, of course, they are pilloried and libeled and they are in no position to help the offspring of illiterate peasants as they used to. They had the wrong political beliefs you know. Can’t allow them near impressionable young minds.

  31. I’d go for grammar schools (mine had 15 and 16 year old working class kids getting open scholarships to Oxbridge). And then take Mr Ecks’ excellent suggestion and have the secondary moderns be military schools designed exclusively to turn out skilled special forces warriors.
    These measures will solve all the UK’s problems.

  32. Ian B – “There is no evidence (or rational justification) for a genetics thing, though the conceit of superior stock has been running since the new Victorian middle class started thinking up justifications for themselves… which kicked off the great Eugenics craze of course.”

    The conceit of superior stock goes back to the blue blood of those aristocrats. It is older than the Victorians. The Victorians just gave the pretensions of the Middle Ages a scientific guise.

    But of course there is a perfectly good justification for the genetics thing. I hope it is not true, but there is no denying that intelligence is in some part genetic. That is why there is no point teaching a dolphin to read. The question is by how much. I tend to think the human mind is pretty plastic and it is likely that anyone can achieve great results with the right environment, but I am not sure that is what the science says. I am not even sure that is what common sense and the general experience of humanity says.

    “The new ruling class had not got that- they had fetched up from the bowels- and so they grasped at a meritocratic justification, from which logically followed that if they were of superior stock, the faster breeding of the lesser classes (due largely to the reluctance of the new matrons to lie back and think of England) became a terrible problem. And thus, Eugenics.”

    The faster breeding of the lesser classes is a terrible problem. That has not gone away. But eugenics is not needed for a meritocratic justification – the French Revolutionary tradition was and is highly meritocratic but not inclined to eugenics. Look at Communist countries. Actively opposed to it even. But oddly enough those Communist countries did not greatly change the basic make up of the Soviet intellectual classes – still mainly Jewish, Baltic, German and from the Caucasus. Not so many Central Asians.

    “So, they are forced into an endless abusive cycle of making efforts to better their lessers that are required to fail. If the untermensch actually do become the equal of their rulers, their rulers are out of a job. Can’t have that.”

    So they want to fail before they start? This is an odd claim. The ruling classes do not need the lesser classes to succeed. Nor do they need to try to help them do so. They can just ignore them. The Brazilian approach. Do nothing for them. Not even provide police. Leave them to live out their lives like cattle released on the pampas. Works quite well in most of the Third World. The problem for Britain is that the working classes voted. So improving them became necessary. And it is. After all, look at Detroit.

    “It is not hard to teach a child. Reading and numeracy are within the grasp of all but genuinely subnormal infants. Over the past century, this has been made a steadily harder and harder task, at which the more expertise their is provided, the more failure there is.”

    Indeed. Within limits. There is more failure dealing with the poor. There is more success dealing with the much larger middle class. Well, even the middle class is not educated to the same levels they used to be, but the middle class is much larger.

    “The most obvious explanation is, as outlined above, that those trying the hardest to educate are the most determined to fail at it, out of fear of their own redundancy.”

    That may be true. I certainly know of teachers who object to their students going to Oxbridge and entering the ruling classes. But this is a Marxist thing, not a eugenics thing.

    “It is hard to think of another reason for why simple, tried and tested means of teaching are consistently deprecated in favour of complex, novel ones which do not work.”

    Because teaching is boring. Teaching the times tables the same way, every year, for thirty years – dead boring. So teachers prefer to arrange their teaching in a way that suits them. Lots of videos, no marking, soft porn literature and f**k the pupils.

  33. So they want to fail before they start? This is an odd claim. The ruling classes do not need the lesser classes to succeed. Nor do they need to try to help them do so. They can just ignore them. The Brazilian approach. Do nothing for them. Not even provide police. Leave them to live out their lives like cattle released on the pampas. Works quite well in most of the Third World. The problem for Britain is that the working classes voted. So improving them became necessary. And it is. After all, look at Detroit.

    The ruling class are managerialist technocrats. That’s the whole point of my post, SMFS. Their justification for existing- the sprawling bureaucracy and quangocracy and indeed sprawling education system is that their position, incomes and power comes from being seen to be doing something. The greatest threat to that power is that the thing they are doing actually works, since then they are out of a job. Hence, the best strategy is to do a great deal that fails.

    To consider a crass example, consider policing. Policing is dependent upon the existence of criminals. If you actually reduce criminality, you make (some of) the police redundant. So a policeman’s vested interest is in not curing crime.

    I’m not suggesting police actually try not to stop crime. But a a subliminal level, our rulers know that if they succeed, they harm their own power structure. So the preferential effort goes into failure rather than success.

    And back with the first point, obviously abandoning the masses to the barrios has the same effect. So, they do a great deal, none of which works, which justifies doing a great deal more. Round and round it goes.

  34. “Hence, the best strategy is to do a great deal that fails.”

    And hence the continued existence of all the quangos /charities that want to tell us how to live.

    ” you mean you want me to actually solve the problem of smoking /salt /sugar /climate change /poverty, but then I would have to go and work for the neoliberal bastards and justify my pay packet! “

  35. The Grauniad recently trying to get rid of faith schools, too like grammar schools presumably.

    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jun/14/taxpayers-should-not-fund-faith-schools
    Currently a child has a chance of getting in to a good school if they are poor but have parents enthusiastic enough to get out of bed twice a month on a Sunday to go to church. Middle-Englanders don’t mind their children mixing with these poor kids because at least their parents are concerned about their child’s education.

    However remove that criteria and middle-Englanders who don’t want their children to be mixing with the riff raff will have to find another way to keep them out. If the only criteria for entry is geography then the best way will be to ensure poor people can’t live in the same area, so house prices get pushed up.

    So we go from a situation where the poor but enthusiastic can get the best free education to one where only the wealthy get the best free education, private education by proxy if you like.

    Though I am rather in favour of solving this problem by allocating teachers by national ballot each year. But not sure the NUT would go for it.

  36. Despite some purile answers to my admission,

    Well, at least they haven’t audited the irony out yet.

  37. SMFS, raping children is a political belief now??!! Ok, maybe in Holland, I’ll grant you that but not in dear old Blighty!

  38. Hugh – “SMFS, raping children is a political belief now??!! Ok, maybe in Holland, I’ll grant you that but not in dear old Blighty!”

    Any remotely honest glance at the evidence shows that the Catholic school system is no worse, and probably considerably better, at protecting children compared to the state system. Replacing the Christian Brothers with secular State teachers means more raped children.

    But it was a political belief. Of sorts. That is why half the Shadow Cabinet was defending PIE. And the German Sixties radicals now in the Green Party were running schools that systematically sexually abused children. But, hey, none of that matters if they are politically sound, right?

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.