Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Don't Care Didn't Care

I'm having a bit of a downer about this area at the moment, well not so much the area but certain people that live within it.

I've lived in a fair few places in my time and I'm of the opinion that selfish people come from all walks of life. In fact I might even go as far to say that in more "affluent" areas there's a higher chance of someone being intolerably selfish.

However what I think is part of the problem around here is the sheer number of households. So although the chance of any one of those being selfish muppets is probably no different the numbers of them pretty much guarantee a healthy dose of muppets somewhere close to you.


I was reminded of a story that I heard a good few months ago that shows the sort of problems this area is facing, and how they're not being tackled.

I know a teacher, a child was moved into their class from another school. They hadn't been expelled, "permanently excluded" in today's terms, rather it was a "managed move". That's what happens when a child is so bad that one school wants rid of them but both the Council and the School are under pressure of keeping their number of "permanent exclusions" low, so they come up with a new term for the same thing and the child goes to another school.

So into this new school they go, the child has such behaviour issues that there's a full time assistant that works 1 on 1 with the child throughout the normal classes.

The child has a horrific home life, it's no wonder they've got issues.

However the word you'll hear most about such cases is "support". The child is "supported" at school, the lone parent has social workers "supporting" them. Meanwhile the child remains in what sounds like a living hell.

The lone parent doesn't appear to really care for the child, despite all the "support" she has. At a parents evening despite booking an appointment the parent didn't put in an appearance. That's how concerned they are about their child's welfare, a half hour (if that) chat with a teacher was too much trouble.

So the council throws "support" at the parent, the parent gives nothing back and a child is going down a very dark path to an almost certainly bleak future.

The parent won't take responsibility for their child and no one else seems to want to either.

Our teachers work hard, but this lack of interest and support from their pupils' parents is common. This is an extreme case to be sure, but it's not isolated.

There is one lesson that we can all take from this. As well as checking up on a schools figures for "permanent exclusions" do ask about how many "managed moves" they have. They're really pretty much the same thing, just rebranded.


sibonetic said...

excellent post (as always), I remember when I was working at a School in Islington, the lenghts to which the school would go to manipulate the exclusion figures, even so far as to be looking to exclude a pupil from group 'X' so that the % excluded from group 'Y' would not look so bad.

Mind you I would hate to see a return to the 80's when the whole exclusion thing was not monitored at all. While working in a Catholic School back then, rather than help difficult students, the management would provoke them into doing things which would get them expelled so they could wash their hands of a 'problem'. I have to say some catholics are not very christian in my experience.

Charlton Average said...

Schools now seem far to desperate not to expel a child. Both in terms of the costs involved in having 1 on 1 support and the disruption to the education of the other children in this class this is having a huge impact.

It's also demoralising teachers when they can see the damage that a child is having on the rest of their class but the head teacher will not sanction a removal of any kind.

A teacher taking the rest of the class and walking out of a classroom when a child "kicks off" seems to be surprisingly common. When I was in school that was unimaginable.

Monitoring is good.

However there being financial and political pressures on schools not to exclude no matter what the consequences to the other children is bad.