Parents have been accused of abandoning responsibility for their children at the school gates as teachers warned that pupils are turning up unprepared for lessons.
Comprehensive education has been sold as one of the great benefits of the progressive agenda, like the NHS ‘free at the point of access’ and inclusive, diverse, offering opportunity to all. More than that, it was supposed to usher in a new age of equality.
But it seems parents are increasingly viewing it as like any other ‘free’ service; not worth the money they pay for it:
Almost half (44%) said pupils do not come to school ready to learn, while a similar proportion (43%) blamed indiscipline on low aspirations of children and their families.
And this is worrying the unions:
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “Teachers are not receiving the support they need from parents, school leaders or government to assist them in maintaining high standards of pupil behaviour. Parents can’t simply abandon their responsibilities at the school gate.”
But why not?
Once the people who do truly value education, to the point where they will scrimp and save to go private, have decided to leave the system (paying over the odds for it, as they are still forced to support the state system regardless), those that are left are increasingly exactly the sort of people who view it as little more than a government-provided childminding service.
And the problem is accelerating:
Fifteen children aged between four and six are being excluded from school each day for attacking teachers.
Nearly nine in the same age group are banned daily for violent attacks on fellow pupils and a further nine a day for persistent disruptive behaviour, Government figures show.
Three a day are sent home for using foul language to teachers.
Imagine what they’re going to be like once they are into the secondary school system….
Nick Seaton of the Campaign for Real Education described the figures as ‘extremely disturbing’.
He said: ‘It’s a massive concern that behavioural problems are starting at such a young age.
‘Parenting and teaching is too soft. These adults fail to teach discipline and a respect for authority.
‘At a tender age children are told they are the centre of the universe and it makes them too self-centred and totally uncontrollable.
‘The problem is compounded by some teachers who, due to a lack of support from senior management, fear disciplining pupils.’
If we don’t get a grip on this soon, I fear for our future. It’s likely to be a very, very ‘two tier’ one.