The Richard Murphy argument for closing the schools permanently

The first is to offer congratulations to those who got the grades they hoped for. Working as hard as many did in quite exceptional circumstances justified the results. No one would have wished these sixth form years on those getting results yesterday. I also think the absence of other opportunity is an obvious explanation for grade inflation that seems to have been ignored, but which I suspect very real. Work was the substitute activity of choice when there was not much else to do. I am inclined to believe these results more than most do.

So, clearly, we should close the schools, have 20 minutes a day on Zoom and education standards will soar.

He never does think through what he’s saying, does he?

As an aside, did the boarding schools close? Just a thought but I can imagine a certain pissedoffness among those paying £40k a year for Eton if the little bastards weren’t actually leaving the des res to go to Eton.

I have reflected this in my own teaching work at university, where I have resisted exam based appraisal.

Snigger, that would mean Spudnomics being marked up by someone who knows economics.

As education needs to be reappraised anyway, given the inevitable changes in the way that we live and the demise of so many supposed careers that is now inevitable in the face of climate change, what is the point in retaining the hierarchy that maintained them?

Sweet Jesu. Climate change means we don’t have to teach children to think.

31 thoughts on “The Richard Murphy argument for closing the schools permanently”

  1. Work was the substitute activity of choice when there was not much else to do. I am inclined to believe these results more than most do.

    He’s clearly pulled another bullshit theory out of his arse. Some kids did work hard during lockdown, just as some teachers did. However a shit load did not. To suggest the massive grade inflation is because kids were so bored they did more work than normal is, candidly, beyond delusional.

  2. What are the chances of teachers pet getting better grades than the PITA?

    Yeah, the idea of mass education is flawed….it’s been designed by teachers for teachers*, for the benefit of people who for the most part, have never left school or had a proper job.

    Many of my infant / junior school teachers had served in the war…….

    *h/t F. Hayek

  3. My primary school headmaster was on a destroyer at Narvik and in the Battle of the Atlantic. My geography teacher at secondary school had driven a tank across Europe. My brother’s woodwork teacher was a twelve-victory spitfire ace. Quite a contrast to today’s crew.

  4. My Physics teacher was ex-Army and Army lightweight boxing champ in his day. Our deputy headmaster was ex-RAF and had been held prisoner in Colditz Castle which we only found out about a couple of years ago. Had we known whilst at school, we would have treated him with the respect due rather than just fearing his wrath. When he spoke, the letter s came out as a whistle and you knew you were in for it when he was patrolling the corridors and he would crook his index finger at you with the words “Come heeeere, boy!”

  5. Another one of his cretinous twatter streams is on display…

    We must make everything better. And tax

    And ensure everyone lives happily ever after. After tax.

    And answer all the questions that must be answered and ask questions that need to be asked and fight what must be fought and do what must be done. And tax.

    And trees and sunshine and children playing on the village green. Which we must tax

    And tax.

    He honestly thinks he’s being profound when he twats out this crap.

  6. “clearly, we should close the schools, have 20 minutes a day on Zoom and education standards will soar”

    There’s an old Cambridge argument: the undergraduates spend much effort in Full Term on having a jolly good time, and then catch up with their work in the vacations. So the way to raise standards is to shorten Full Term and extend the vacations.

    Mind you, in Cambridge this argument is recognised as an ironic joke.

  7. On the contrary Tim, climate change means we have to teach children not to think.

    Funnily enough, socialism means teaching children not to think as well so, thanks to our wonderful education system backed up by media and Big Tech, we’re well on the way to that goal anyway.

  8. “Sweet Jesu. Climate change means we don’t have to teach children to think.”

    That’s a requirement.
    If they were capable of thought, they’d see through “The sky is falling into the greenhouse!!!” bullshit.
    So teaching them NOT to think is the objective.

  9. Maybe closing down all the non-school stuff – playgrounds, outside sports, clubs, socialisation opportunities in general – actually had a positive effect on grades? If your teenager isn’t spending his after-school hours smoking Amsterdam’s finest with his mates for fear of Covid, he might just get better grades.

  10. Andrew C

    I’d argue this is merely the latest evidence that he requires sectioning for his own good as well as that of wider society. I’ve never seen a more idiotic stream of consciousness even from someone a third his age.

  11. I bet Spud has been seething for years that he didn’t think up the global warming (oops rebrand that everyone can see it isn’t) scam first.

    Too late now mate, nobody is worried anymore apart from that poor abused Swedish girl.

  12. Both my grandma and my grandad served in the Second Great Unpleasantness, and went straight into the Demob Teacher Training scheme straight afterwards. Grandad was RAF in the Far East, Grandma worked for shhh can’t say. Gave them both a great grounding for the world of education.

  13. I suspect that my secondary school RE teacher was at Bletchley Park – because he never said anything about it 🙂

  14. I was taught physics by Col. Downing. So it was said, the only master in the school with webbed armpits…

  15. We had two Physics A level teachers: one wasn’t interested because he was more preoccupied with the affair that he was having with one of the other science teachers and the other chap was an ex-biology teacher doing it for the first time ( we had to teach him how to do calculus). I got an “O”.

    Chairman Mao and Pol Pot had the right idea about teachers.

  16. Bloke in North Dorset

    Unusually there’s a thread of consistency to Spud’s thinking, although whether it was intended is anyone’s guess given he’s a “stump thinker”.

    A long time ago, around the time he was getting money from one of the civil service unions to write reports saying we needed more tax collectors, he wrote a post about public choice theory. I paraphrase, but basically it was a neoliberal theory and evil because public servants are all as altruistic as Mother Theresa.

    So if he doesn’t put the grades down to the kids working hard it must mean that it was down to teachers giving them and that would open the door to public choice theory being a thing.

  17. I’m not quite old enough to have experienced much of the post war generation of former soldier/sailor/airmen teachers, though my history teacher (Mr Lewis) at prep school had been a rear gunner in a Lancaster during the war (sadly died very soon after I left in 1984) and my first French teacher at the same school was a Commander Staveley, who I subsequently discovered had a distinguished wartime career in submarines. Most of the rest were baby boomers, or just too young for wartime service.

  18. We all knew our French teacher to have fought in the Resistance. Since he was British I suspect that it was actually SOE he was in.

    Schoolchildren can believe daft things but in those days I think parents would have firmly put us right if the chap had not had a good war.

  19. So.. Murpby finds the inflated results from state schools to be wholly accurate and a reflection of the kids hard work. Meanwhile, the inflated gradds in private schools is the obvious results of devious behaviours by devious bastards.

    No evidence needed

  20. And stand up and take a bow ‘Thicker than Water’ (Thick as Shit) at 8.20 am:

    “in my 60s now, work at a HEI, and through male white privilege (and good fortune and a little wit) I’ve done well compared to my bus driver Dad,”

    White privilege? Was your dad black then?

  21. Tim, Oxford teaches people to think – school teaches them enough to go to university (all the other universities are partial copies of Oxford – sorry, dearieme but Cambridge *was* founded by scholars fleeing the threat of plague moving up the Thames to the Isis) or to get a job.
    It would be nice if schools taught children to think, but most schools actively discourage it: my parents encouraged us to think but most teachers did not. The best example of one who did was my prep school Headmaster and Latin teacher (WWI soldier, I think junior officer, wounded, in a hospital ship that was sunk and stretchered into a lifeboat), the next was our Scripture teacher (WWII RAF despite being a broad-shouldered 6’7″), the third was the Physics teacher who helped my father get a distinction after one year in the sixth form (too young for WWI, too old for WWII); there were several more (disproportionately maths and science teachers) but they were outnumbered by those who discouraged independent thinking.

  22. Resisting exam-based appraisal is not just a fear of the unfortunate students being marked by someone who knows economics because they could be marked by some denizen of the university which hired Murphy – it is a fear of them showing that they have not even listened to the rubbish that Murphy teaches (possibly because they didn’t bother to turn up to the lectures or switch on the zoom link).

  23. “Oxford teaches people to think” Jeez! Matt Hancock!

    The purpose of education isn’t to teach people how to think. It’s to teach people how to learn. Then when they’ve spent a couple of decades learning they might have learned something worth thinking about.

  24. Personally education should be to help people get a job.
    Anyway anyone who thinks that children studied more because they didn’t have anything else to do is wrong. Children can spend all day on computer games.

  25. What does Uni mean now? Sitting in expensive digs while the supposed courses are on line? Makeshift courses for which you are paying full “in person” price?

    You can get a degree on line and save a fortune on fees/accommodation. Maybe enough to start a business or towards your half of a house deposit. Somethings need to be hands on. So a few weeks Open Uni style.

    Not for everything but most stuff now done at Unis would be better and cheaper at home.

  26. ” Oxford teaches people to think”

    David Cameron? Theresa May? Boris Johnson? Michael Gove? Keir Starmer?

    Much evidence of ability to think in any of these Oxford alumni?

  27. “all the other universities are partial copies of Oxford”: except the older ones on the Continent, eh?

    The Scottish ones aren’t copies of Oxford either – the French and Dutch universities were the influential ones.

  28. French, Dutch and Italian universities may have been the bees knees in the middle ages – today, not so much.

  29. Universities are the last vestige of the guild system. They’re not gateways to knowledge but gatekeepers of knowledge. They conflate learning with a bunch of buildings. People can learn anywhere. Science is better suited to an industrial estate than dreaming spires & punts on rivers. As for what they do with the arts subjects, who cares? If you went to university for the sports & social life you really are wasting everybody’s time including your own

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