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BS: £800 fine for low school attendance

Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Feb 10 - 10:43 AM
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Subject: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 10:43 AM

I dunno, seems weird to me...people being fined for their children being away, being on holiday.

North Devon Mum, fined

Seems to me that a child will learn FAR more on a holiday, than they will in school for a week...but, what do I know? :0)

School Holiday Fines


A great school song...
We don't... - Youtube


A teacher of nearly 30 years, who knows the truth..
John Taylor Gatto - State Controlled Consciousness- Youtube


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Wesley S
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 10:48 AM

Yeah - Kids should only go to school when they feel up to it. And expecting the parents to notify the school when their kids are gone on vacation it a terrible invasion of privacy.

Alert the media.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Greg F.
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 10:53 AM

"We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control".....

Let's hear it for ignorance!

I seem to reacll a certain poster bemoning the state of education in the UK - could truancy be part of the reason kids don't learn?

No, can't be.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 10:53 AM

Did you watch John's video, Wesley?

People were never fined like this when I went to school. The 'State' wasn't so in control and there wasn't this manic belief that if you missed a few days/weeks here and there you'd never recover from it, like there is now.

BS....Before School....?

Children still survived BS, didn't they. They still went into jobs, learned trades, found skills..and humanity still existed, went on to where we now are....

WHY has it now become a sin to take your child away for ONE week?   It's nuts.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 10:55 AM

No, I think Edukashon is part of the reason kids don't want to go to school, actually.

It's become so stressful. Testing, testing, testing...

"Houston, we have a problem! The kids won't come through the gates!"


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 11:36 AM

As you say, what do you know? As your postings prove.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 12:22 PM

I'm perplexed that someone who posts (continually) - often in capitals with extra exclamtion marks etc - that parents should take more responsibility for their childrens behaviour now starts another 'crusade' in defence of a parent whose son had only an 80% attendance rate at Bideford College between February 9 and June 26 last year (26 unauthorised absences.) and whose daughter, who was in her final year of compulsory education, only turned out to 83% of lessons during the same period (including 14 days of unauthorised holidays.)

At the risk of being termed a (dreaded) Feminist Fact Finder - again!

What is the actual reality?

The law DOES allow schools to give permission for up to a maximum of ten school days holidays per year (or very exceptionally, even longer).

Even then, schools may still refuse to allow the holiday for other reasons - for example, if the child has a poor attendance record, or if the holiday is at a particularly important time, such as in the run up to exams or at the start of a new school year.

The availability of cheaper holidays in term time with no educational value are not deemed to be good reasons for term time holidays to be allowed.

Parents are notified that if their child goes on holiday in term time without permission from the school -
The absences will be marked in the school register as unauthorized absences and this may result in fixed penalty fines (Education Penalty Notices) of £50 (rising to £100) per parent per child being issued by the Local Authority.
In some cases, parents may also be prosecuted by the offence of failure to ensure regular attendance at school.


"WHY has it now become a sin to take your child away for ONE week?   It's nuts."

It hasn't is the simple answer and, to suggest it has, is either wilful ignorance or just 'nuts'


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bert
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 12:28 PM

If school was worth going to, then you couldn't keep children away.

Schools should spend their time ensuring that they are doing their job and not hounding the customers who are voting with their feet.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 12:54 PM

What is the origin of the thread, as plainly pointed out in the links provided, is the fact that some parents are taking their children away on holidays during term time - not 'voting with their feet'

The link that was provided to the BBC article, publicising a programme about this very specific problem, included an interview with Ron Collinson, Liverpool's chief attendance officer who stated that

"We see some families taking holidays two or three times a year," including "times that coincide with exams."

The reason given for this behaviour appears to be purely economic

A 'local factor in Liverpool is the battle between low-cost airlines offering deals from the city's John Lennon Airport.

Parents complain that flights and holidays are far more expensive outside term time and this can dwarf the cost of a fine.'

'The PM programme spoke to one mother who was fined for taking her daughter out of school. She asked to remain anonymous.

"The fine frightened the life out of me," she said, "And I haven't taken her away on holiday since. The problem is that now we can't afford to go on holiday during the summer. It's too expensive."

She said she thought it was wrong to penalise poorer families, but did admit that in her case it has had an effect because her daughter's general attitude has improved tremendously.

"In my case it did work," she said.

"Her attendance has shot right up." '


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bert
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 01:00 PM

The point I was trying to make Emma was that if the schools were doing their job properly then the kids themselves would prefer to stay in school rather than go on holiday.

Of course your example of the girl whose attitude 'improved tremendously' show us that parents can also be part of the problem.

BUT, again, if the schools were doing their job properly, then the parents would also see that the children didn't miss a day of of what should be a great and valuable experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 01:17 PM

Bert, that is quite ridiculous. So parents wouldn't want to take advantage of cheap holidays if schools were "doing their job properly"? Maybe more parents ought to be instilling their children with a sense of what a valuable opportunity it is to have an education, and not standing passively by while they piss it away.

Out of interest, Bert, when's the last time you spent a day in a school, and saw the teachers and staff working their arses off to "do their job properly"? A bit more respect for education and the people who dedicate their lives to providing it is long overdue in this country, IMHO.

As Emma says, schools can allow parents to take a certain number of discretionary days for absence including holiday, and they usually are quite reasonable about it (in my experience). Apparently they are less understanding if the child has a poor attendance record, or is in an exam period, or is really behind in their work. That seems reasonable to me. Holidays should be a reward for effort, and if the child is behind in their work, they should not be allowed to fall further behind (and take up valuable staff time and resources having to catch up still further when they return).


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 01:34 PM

One of the scarier book titles I've seen recently was "Infertility Treatment for Dummies".


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bert
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 01:45 PM

...Bert, when's the last time you spent a day in a school...

I used to teach, Ruth, but that was here in The States. I know, it is bloody hard work for minimum wage.

I was educated in England and Wales in various different schools. I can remember two good teachers and dozens of useless ones. So I will admit that my opinion is biased and is based on personal experience.

I have not yet found any evidence to change my opinion of schools in general though. Mostly bad with a few exceptions.

Schools should be taking an example from those exceptional teachers, and use that example to train the herd of mediocre ones.

If they did that, then parents would find their children kicking and screaming if they took them on holiday during school time.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 01:56 PM

Well if we are using anecdotes and personal experiences, which seem to be the most popular form of analysis in some arguments, let me add that I had an excellent state education and remember all but one (sadistic) teacher with great affection and respect.

I haven't yet found any evidence, and certainly not on this forum, to change MY opinion of schools in general

However, ask me if I would have preferred 2 weeks of irresonsibility, sun and sand in Spain or hockey on a freezing cold playing field followed by calculus while my parents enjoyed themselves without me and ......... :)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 01:56 PM

Rather than simply fining the parents, it might be worth discovering the causes of truancy in the child. Bullying? School phobia? Depression? Victimisation by a teacher?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 01:56 PM

if the schools were doing their job properly then the kids themselves would prefer to stay in school rather than go on holiday.

The kids may not get a choice! They can hardly be left at home on their own if they prefer school to a holiday.

It is amazing how many parents ask teachers to set work for a child to take with them on holiday; or expect the teachers to spend extra time with the child when they return to help them catch up.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bert
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:03 PM

The kids may not get a choice!

No, but they often have an opinion. I can remember not wanting to stay at home sick because we had biology that day. And parents choices are often based on what they think is best for the children.

It appears that the 'personal experiences' of many parents are allowing them to think that a week or two off from school is not going to impair their children too much. What I am saying is that the schools should be so good that the parents don't want their kids to miss a single day.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:11 PM

What I am saying is that the schools should be so good that the parents don't want their kids to miss a single day.

If parents feel that they cannot afford to go on holiday during the school holiday period then it won't matter how good the school is.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:22 PM

This is excellent news, what we need now to complete the full parental responsibility cycle, is for the parents of criminal kids under the age of criminal responsibility, to be charged with the crimes their feral kids commit.



Now that'll get them all going :)


I'll get into my Anderson Shelter now.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: paula t
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:23 PM

Schools are in a "no win" situation. The government discourages parents from taking time off in term time , yet they will not make it official (vote losing). They still say there is some discretion here - but the headteacher has to make the decision. Disallow a request and there are a number of scenarios:
1) The parent "sees reason" and rearranges the planned holiday (Never seen this happen yet).
2) The parent takes the child out anyway and this means the absence is officially noted as unauthorised. The school is slated by OFSTED for an unsatisfactory attendance rate. Pressure to "punish"(fine) parents is put on the headteacher. This is hardly a way to foster good home / school relationships!

If the headteacher allows the request they are slated by OFSTED for allowing poor attendance , because guidelines for schools tell us to discourage (i.e. disallow) holidays in term times.


Answers on a postcard please........


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:26 PM

C.S.

The OP...

"I dunno, seems weird to me...people being fined for their children being away, being on holiday.

Seems to me that a child will learn FAR more on a holiday, than they will in school for a week...but, what do I know? :0) "

...is about parents who, for the sake of cheap holiday offers take their children away without previously requesting permission and irrespective of the imminence of exams etc and the assertion that a week on a beach somewhere can teach more than formal education.

Truancy and school phobia (and the reasons) are a real problem however - maybe another dedicated thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:31 PM

"If school was worth going to, then you couldn't keep children away."

And....a new hero was born! :0)


That is IT in a total nutshell, Bert.

What worries me is as a species we have now seemingly become paranoid about Edukashon. We strive to test, be tested, are forced to be tested, all our lives long.

Why?

Two reasons.

The first is that they Edukashon System is now worth billions of pounds/dollars.

The second is that we have a group of people who believe there is only ONE way to learn, and that is in school, and once you are in there, you must learn what they tell you...and...you must learn it in the way they tell you to.

It is driving kids bonkers.

The amount of work they now have to do for GCSEs and A Levels is huge, vast, ridiculous.....Work, work work, all the time. Homework throughout the holidays and at weekends, and after school. Criticism fear of not passing, fear of ridicule from teachers and peers alike, fear of being 'in the bottom class'......etc..etc..etc..

Now don't get me wrong, for SOME children school pushes all their buttons. They love to achieve, to win, to get the best marks. It's in their nature, and they absolutely thrive on that. For others, they simply love to learn.

Edukashon and Learning are very different things to me. One is regimented and controlled by those with agendas, tick boards and league tables. The other is what we are all born with, a natural instinct. It's the one that makes us go from crawling to walking, from silence to speech, from wanting to find out about this world we live in, be it nature, science, math, books, writing, art, history, music...

The paths that light our brains will lead us to what we love best, eventually...but school so often turns the lights off for years, whilst many children are forced into Edukashon!

A child truly can learn far more on a holiday than they can during a week at school. And if parents are asking the teachers for work, it's because they are riddled with guilt about taking their children out. It's total madness.

My children were often away from school. Birthdays were always spent on tops of buses, with picnics packed, going to exciting places, not a care in the world about school. Those days are remembered now...they were special days. As the stress built for my daughter, she was at home more and more, until eventually, she never went back, and then she started to blossom, after a while, when the damage subsided a bit.

Just the other day I was talking to my friend. Her two children are taking A levels and GCSEs each...and they are so stressed they can barely think straight. Her daughter is at College doing Art A Level, and the work load is practically impossible. They've complained to the college and they have acknowledged that the course in question has been causing major stress for years, but despite those in charge being told, nothing gets done, and so the teachers, and pupils alike struggle on.

It has put enormous pressure on her marriage and on her relationship with her children. She's very conscientious, so she does her best, but it's wearing her out...That should NOT be happening. It never used to be that way.   

My generation kinda bummed around a bit, relaxed about school, then swotted up for about 2 weeks before our exams. We didn't have the workload, nor the stress.

"Out of interest, Bert, when's the last time you spent a day in a school, and saw the teachers and staff working their arses off to "do their job properly"? A bit more respect for education and the people who dedicate their lives to providing it is long overdue in this country, IMHO."

Not directed to me, I realise, but....

The last time I was in school was a few months back, with another of my friends. She was seeing the teachers about her young son (12) who had been diagnosed with dyslexia. The teachers didn't even have her letter, couldn't find the report (she had a copy) and didn't even seem to know who her son was. They didn't believe he had dyslexia, saying that most kids in the school were pretty much like he was...(Sidmouth College, btw)....I sat there, quietly, not saying much, as she wanted me there for support, not to rant...but I realisd how nothing had changed since I took my own daughter out of that place, 7 years earlier.   They didn't want to know, basically. They made the right noises, eventually, but months later, nothing has changed, and some of his form teachers STILL do not understand that he has dyslexia. Ho hum....

As I have *always* said, I have the *utmost* respect for great teachers, but for me, they are very much in the minority, but if you are lucky enough to have one in your life, then they illuminate this world, make you believe in yourself and give you something special to cling to, for the rest of your days, which is self belief.


I feel that this control of parents, this almost Compulsory Schooling has become like something out of Russia, where parents are being taken to court and criminalised if they do not comply with the State's wishes..and it is deeply worrying.

Listen to what John Taylor Gatto says in the link to his video on 'State Controlled Consciousness', the man is a teacher of 3 decades, a hugely respected man, and winner of prizes for his teaching...


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:38 PM

"I used to teach, Ruth, but that was here in The States. I know, it is bloody hard work for minimum wage."

Well, my most recent day in a secondary school in Britain was today. I work part-time in schools. I meet great teachers every day. In my opinion, the biggest problem in UK schools today is that kids are not taught by their parents to respect the learning environment or their teachers. It's incredible the freedom and the choices that kids have in schools these days compared to when I was at school 25 years ago - they don't know they're born.



"If they did that, then parents would find their children kicking and screaming if they took them on holiday during school time."

Rubbish. I love my job, but if someone wanted to take me somewhere exciting tomorrow, I'd be off. Why would school be any different?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Wesley S
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:41 PM

"I feel that this control of parents, this almost Compulsory Schooling has become like something out of Russia, where parents are being taken to court and criminalised if they do not comply with the State's wishes..and it is deeply worrying."

I think that's called the rule of law. If you don't like it - change the law. Or perhaps run for the school board - or whatever it's called in England.

This is also a form of education for kids. They get to learn that there are laws that need to be obeyed. And if you DON'T like the law then there are ways to change them. And if you aren't willing to do that then you'll just be looked at as a whiner.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:42 PM

And if parents are asking the teachers for work, it's because they are riddled with guilt about taking their children out.

It's because for a lot of them there will be absolutely nothing educational about the holiday at all. They also expect the teachers to mark this work when the child returns to school!

I do agree with you about the testing though. Teaching to an exam cannot be the best way to educate.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:44 PM

I don't know what it was like elsewhere but in Salford in the 50s and 60s they did not have this type of fine either - They had the truancy officer instead. Woe betide any kid caught by him outside school during school time. We were dragged back in by our ear's more often than not. Even if he did not catch you he would be round at your parents house, usualy the day of the truancy, and then it was even worse - because your parents found out!

It is certainly different now. Thank heavens

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:58 PM

'this almost Compulsory Schooling has become like something out of Russia?'

I guess your attitude to 'Edukashon' or learning didn't seem to equip you with much actual understanding.

1870 Elementary Education Act (The Forster Act) introduced COMPULSORY universal education for children aged 5-13 but left enforcement of attendance to school boards.

1880 Education Act (The Mundella Act) tightened up school attendance laws.

1891 Education Act elementary education to be provided free.

1917 Lewis Report proposed school leaving age of 14 with no exemptions, followed by attendance for at least 8 hours a week or 320 hours a year at day continuation classes up to age 18.
1918 Education Act (The Fisher Act) implemented recommendations of 1917 Lewis Report. Wide-ranging act extending education provision. School leaving age to be raised to 14 and all young workers to be given right of access to day release education (not immediately implemented - the leaving age was eventually raised by the 1921 Act).
ETC....

As Wesley said
'I think that's called the rule of law. If you don't like it - change the law.
Or perhaps run for the school board - or whatever it's called in England.'


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: jacqui.c
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:04 PM

My daughter and her family are coming to the USA for three months, starting in June. As a result my, by then almost ten year old, grandson will be out of school for probably about a month.

When the family decided to do this they started discussions with the school to check that Lewis would be allowed such a long period off school and whether it might have a deleterious effect on his education.

I this case the school have quite happily allowed him the time out as they say that the educational value of such a trip far outweighs any schooling he will miss. He is on the top table for all his lessons and they feel that he is bright enough to pick up anything that he might miss. He's got two more school years before going to senior school and his teachers feel that now is just the right time for such a trip.

For responsible parents, who plan such time off with teachers, I don't think that there is a problem. For those who put their selfish want for a cheap trip abroad before their children's educative needs, maybe there is a need for a swift kick in the rear to remind them of their responsibilities. I have no sympathy for those who 'can't afford' to take their kids away during the summer holidays - what they are saying is that they can't afford the holiday they WANT. I think that, if you have children then maybe your own wants should go somewhere to the back of the queue - the kids 'sure as hell didn't ask to be here'.

There are plenty of things to do with kids in the summer, if you are so inclined. I was a single parent of two children - we could rarely get away for a holiday, but were able to take day trips and find stuff locally to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bert
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:08 PM

...It's incredible the freedom and the choices that kids have in schools these days...

It is not freedom and choices they need, it is inspiration and excitement about the subjects. What good is it to be able to choose from a dozen mediocre classes.

I have a different point of view about exams though. I loved them. They were the only challenge we got in a whole year of boredom.

It is the whole year of boredom that we need to fix.

Not once during my whole education did we get field trips to museums or art galleries. What the @#^%@ do teachers think that those places are for?

We used to bug our parents for trips to London and we'd visit as many museums as we could. Though often we'd get stuck in the first one and not want to leave. That is really education, not sitting behind a desk bored out of your gawk because some teacher thinks that reading from a book is a substitute for preparing an exciting lesson.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:20 PM

Kids missing school is an issue in Essex due to the proximity of Stansted Airport and cheap flights offered during term time.

I think the councils ought to fine the airlines and holiday companies for offering the cheapo holidays outside or school holidays.

Ideally, I believe that school should be year round giving parents the choice of when they want to book holidays. Then the airlines, hotels etc. couldn't drive the prices so ludicrously high when the kids are off school. Also holiday hotspots won't be so overcrowded and it would ease the traffic on motorways during those summer months and half term holiday times.

While I am dreaming, can I plug for teachers coming up with some learning assignments related to the place being visited on holiday?

Damn I am good! Why ain't I in charge!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:24 PM

Heaven's Bert when were you at school?

We got lots of field trips - a financial burden to my parents who were very hard pressed to afford them and I had to miss out on some I would have loved.

I can't say I 'loved' exams however although there was a recognition, both by myself and my parents, that sucessful completion was a requirement for wider choices and opportunities in employment.

I think I was lucky that we also had non examination lessons in logic, art appreciation, debating, etc where learning was for learnings sake


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:26 PM

"They made the right noises, eventually, but months later, nothing has changed, and some of his form teachers STILL do not understand that he has dyslexia. Ho hum...."


Well, as someone who was yesterday teaching in a secondary school's specialist SEN unit for part of the day, and giving one-to-one classroom support to another SEN student for part of the day, my perspective is rather different. The provision for kids with SENS in schools, in my experience, is amazing these days. And before anyone starts going on about "privileged" schools, this was inner-city Nottingham.

Perhaps the way to ensure that children with SENs in schools (not to mention their teachers) have the support they need is for all the gainsayers to do some training and go into schools as Learning Support Assistants - god knows the schools are crying out for them. It's certainly more productive than constantly criticising schools, who are doing their best, the system, which exists only to ensure that all of society is educated to a certain minimum standard, and worst of all teachers, who do a bloody hard and thankless job and only deserve our gratitude.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:31 PM

Hey VT! I think the councils ought to fine the airlines and holiday companies for offering the cheapo holidays outside or school holidays.


What about us poor buggers who have got shut of the kids? We want our cheapo hols! I think they should just make sure cheap holidays don't include kids prices as well - Keep the little dears away...

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 04:24 PM

Another day, another Rant Thread. Will NONE of you learn?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: paula t
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 04:34 PM

Hi Bert,
No field trips?
My daughters are aged 18 and 15. So far they have been on numerous day field trips . They have also been on numerous residential trips with school. Here are just a few:

Primary school:
2 day residential trip each to a local field centre in year 3.
A residential trip (week) every year from years 4, 5 and 6. (One city based, one countryside based, one seaside based).
A 2 day residential each for music.
1 week exchange each ,to a primary school in the the South of France ,in year 6.

secondary school :

A week camping in year 7. (the whole year went each time).
1 week abroad each, every year ,as part of "alternative curriculum week."
14 days each in Germany as part of an exchange programme.
Sarah has also been on 2 residentials for Geography, went to Venice for 5 days last year on an art trip and is soon going to Barcelona on another art trip.

Their school also offers world challenge type trips for older pupils. Sarah had the opportunity to go to India. She would have done some work in an orphanage and then gone trekking in the Himalayas. The pupils are expected to do some fundraising for the trips in this scheme. Unfortunately she had a leg injury and it was decided that it would be dangerous for her to trek, so she missed out that time. She had saved a lot of money and taken part in lots of school fundraisers. (The "saved-up" money has helped her since though, so she isn't complaining!)

I can't believe that schools are still accused of not trying to inspire their pupils with trips etc!Obviously some have understandably been put off running trips because of the compensation / complaint culture.(Many parents unfortunately seem to believe that teachers are "going on holiday" on such trips and treat them with contempt because they are "having time off").Fortunately, many teachers still believe that trips inspire their pupils and are therefore still prepared to run them, even though they take the risk that parents will complain (often officially or, more often nowadays,in the media)if anything- no matter how minor- happens to displease them or their child.

I have been on many residential and day trips during my career. I have returned from each of them absolutely exhausted and often stressed - but feeling that every single one of them was worthwhile.These trips are what the children will remember .


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 05:12 PM

Paula: agreed, especially with all the residential and day trips throughout primary school. Some of my daughter's friends are doing World Challenge, but she has chosen to do the exchange trip to Japan instead (was supposed to be last year but sadly got cancelled because of swine flu). Like your daughter, she has to raise part of the money herself. There are also school art trips to Venice and Barcelona.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 05:23 PM

We had NO school trips.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: paula t
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 05:23 PM

Hi Ruth,
Wow! Japan sounds great!(It beats my own school trip to Symmonds Yat in 1976!).I would imagine your daughter is extremely excited!I think it is a good idea for the pupils to have to raise some of the funds. It helps them to understand the value of money and also appreciate the trip more.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Melissa
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 05:58 PM

If I was an employer, I doubt I'd be in much hurry to hire young employees who have already demonstrated inconsistent attendance. How do the students who miss lots of school manage to get hired anywhere?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 06:57 PM

Another day, another Rant Thread. Will NONE of you learn?

I tend to agree with what you say. But this is the side of Mudcat where it acts as "Care in the Community".

And good for Mudcat I say. Such a service is clearly needed.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,999
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 10:14 PM

I appreciate the thought behind the fines, BUT, they don't work. Also, I would like to see that decision to fine a parent upheld on appeal. Nothing stupider than an empty threat.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bert
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 10:45 PM

...Heaven's Bert when were you at school?...

Long time ago Emma, Don't tell everyone. There was a war on when I first started. We used to have to hide under our desks during the air raids.

I left school in 1954.

Ruth, there should be more teachers like you. The thing that surprises me is that the good teachers aren't even more critical of the bad ones than we are. After all, they are the ones that give the whole profession a bad name.

And I wouldn't say teaching is a thankless job. Hard work, yes, low pay, yes. But my students loved me and many of them took the trouble to thank me. It was a very rewarding job, I just couldn't afford to keep doing it. Had to get a real job eventually.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 11:54 PM

I was a Senior Teacher [Head of Upper School in a Cambridge Comprehensive] until I took early retirement on health grounds in 1985. In my time it was a STATUTORY ENTITLEMENT for parents to take children out of school for a fortnight a year, with proper notice being given, to coincide with the parents' holiday ~ which was, naturally and reasonably, often taken to avoid the higher charges levied by airlines & holiday co's in the official school holidays.

This system always worked perfectly well. The school would have no discretion in granting this leave; the register would be marked with an H & the local authority &c took this into account when checking attendance records. Most children worked hard to catch up on work missed &c, & so far as I recall no unreasonable advantage was taken & no objections were raised on any side.

When did this rule change? And why? And would it not be worth reviving?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 03:43 AM

"Ruth, there should be more teachers like you."

Bert, there are many, many teachers that have dedicated their lives to teaching. It's a vocation for many of them. I just do supply (substitute) teaching and TA work alongside my other job. I take work in SEN units when I can because it's really rewarding and enjoyable. But working in schools has given me a really useful perspective. Mind you, because I work in some pretty rough schools with some fairly low-ability groups, you generally see more of the negative side of the education system. You find that you are working with the same challenging classes and groups of kids in the same schools over and over again, because it's their teachers who have the highest incidence of stress-related absence.

"The thing that surprises me is that the good teachers aren't even more critical of the bad ones than we are. After all, they are the ones that give the whole profession a bad name."

Well, I go into classes as a TA in addition to taking classes on my own, so I see a range of teaching. Usually it's the "bad" teachers who require the most additional support. But how are we defining "bad"? A teacher who doesn't care? (I don't think I've met a single one of those.) Who "can't teach"? (Often that's as much about the environment adn the support they are receiving as it is about their ability.) Who is too authoritarian? Who has lost control of the class? Let me try and explain something pretty fundamental which I think differentiates the time when you were teaching from the present day. At one time, society was constructed in such a way that certain professions incurred an innate respect: doctors, vicars and priests, teachers, etc. Nowadays, respect has to be "earned". So a kid walks into a classroom and, depending on how they've been brought up, what they've been taught at home, what their peers say, what they've seen on telly and in films, they don't necessarily see a teacher as someone who deserves respect; the teacher has to prove themselves. They have to assert their authority pretty early on, or the class will run riot. It can be exhausting and demoralising, especially for a young and inexperienced teacher. And with some of the more challenging groups of kids, if they see a chink in the armour, they are likely to go for the jugular. I was teaching a class yesterday morning who are notorious within that particular school. The TA said to me: "This is the group that made Mrs X go off sick." Apparently they had bullied her so badly about her physical appearance, and had so thoroughly disrupted her teaching, that she had been signed off with stress for the past 3 months. Now, within that group you are only talking about maybe half a dozen kids who are causing the problem. But as a result of their complete pack mentality, the rest of the class, and the rest of the classes that this particular teacher would normally have, have had supply teachers for the past 3 months.

Keep in mind that the schools I work in really are the sharp end. And the classes I often end up with are the sharp end of the sharp end, as it were. Some schools are much better at dealing with the discipline problems than others. Even in the rough schools there are plenty of good, motivated classes who do great work. Good leadership at the top is key. One of the schools that I work in is in special measures, and has one of the highest proportions of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children of any school in the country. But it is also a model of good practice as recognised by the department of education in terms of keeping those kids in school, through maintaining contact with their communities, celebrating their cultural traditions and developing strong networks. The school's results are improving. And it is a really nice school to be in, with interesting kids and welcoming staff. Not all schools are so well-led, nor so supportive of their staff.

My heart goes out to the teachers who are having to deal with the minority of kids who can be anything from disruptive to frightening. All this bunkum we hear on various threads about our poor little darlings who are so tired and stressed because they're being tested to death...in my experience, they're much more likely to be knackered because they've been running rings around some poor, beleaguered teacher all day.


"And I wouldn't say teaching is a thankless job."

Teachers nowadays get blamed for an awful lot, with very little acknowledgement of the great work they do, which is often in challenging environments with limited resources. Some would even have the audacity to suggest that they do their job because it's an easy ride, and because of the holidays. I think a bit more general acknowledgement of the work they are doing and of the service they render to society would be not only welcomed, but long overdue.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 04:32 AM

I know there are people on this thread who have theories about teaching and believe themselves to be qualified to teach children.

It may be that the same people need a job. Well here is one - fits in well with child care for single mothers, and there are lots of vacancies. All over the country. Go on, give it a try whoever you are - you know it makes sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 05:06 AM

As my father was headmaster of a junior school, and my mother was a school secretary, there was never any question of holidays during term time when I was at school. I suspect that this woman was stretching the rules a little!

I can fully understand the financial justification for parents taking cheaper holidays available during term time. The fault lies, I'd wager, with the hideous no frills airlines - do I hear a Tom Baker soundalike at Alicante Airport - Easyjet flight EZ1042 to Birmingham.............


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Smedley
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 07:23 AM

Referring back to MtheGM's post a few contributions above, when I was in my teens (the 1970s) my parents took me out of school for a week's holiday on a couple of occasions. It was near the end of the summer term, when exams were over, and as M says it was a right they chose to exercise which was discussed with my teachers in advance. I would also like to know at what point this 'ruling' disapopearing and why.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: jacqui.c
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 07:54 AM

What gets me is the expectation that a holiday abroad is a right that must be allowed, even if the child's schooling suffers as a result. Where did that come from? Why should that take priority over anything else? Do not these parents understand that, having chosen to have children, there may be some sacrifices that need to be made while the children are growing up?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Smedley
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 07:59 AM

The 'abroad' thing isn't the issue, as parents could take kids out of school to holiday in Cornwall, or the Norfolk Broads or wherever.

I fear there is a class dimension at work here, as most of the parents who'd need to go for budget flights are very often on relatively low incomes. Better-off families don't have to worry, and fee-paying schools have longer breaks between terms anyway, in most cases.

And (HEADLINE NEWS!!!!!!!!!) just this once I agree with Lizzie C - a child's entire schooling isn't going to crash & burn if they miss one or two weeks.

(oops - 'crash & burn' maybe not the best metaphor if we're talking about air travel)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 08:09 AM

But Smedley: as has been explained, parents CAN request to take their kids out of school for holidays. There are a number of discretionary days that the school can approve. The problems occur when the school is given no advance warning, if the student is already lagging behind in their work, or if it's during an important exam period.

We regularly took our daughter out of school because my ex-husband's job meant that we often had to travel during term-time. The schools never had a problem with this, and did indeed regard travel as a valuable learning experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Smedley
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 08:11 AM

Sorry, Ruth, I must have overlooked those points. All of that seems reasonable.

Though I still think fining & causing such a fuss is an over-reaction.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 08:12 AM

If it was a week or two I would agree as well, Smedley (Shock, horror, gasp!) but, taken from the article linked to -

The court heard her son had an 80% attendance rate at Bideford College between February 9 and June 26 last year.

80% attendance is somewhat more than taking him on holiday for a week or two. Assuming 20 weeks for the period in question it looks like he was missing for 16 of them:-(

Not judging either way but thought I had better put it in context!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 08:27 AM

No, that would be 80% non-attendance. He was missing for 4 weeks out of 20 and there for 16.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 08:57 AM

His parents should be hanged, drawn and quatered and the boy sent to Australia to be 'schooled' 24/7.....eh, Richard?

(and yes, I am joking, for those with no humour)

Tell me, when did so many of you become brainwashed into giving your children over to the State, to have them loaded down with pressure, to have them tested, examined...and sometimes brought to within an inch of suicide, if not actually carrying that out, simply because you were sold the belief that the *only* way to educate a child is in a rigid school system?

Would you tell you child, at home, to sit on a hard wooden chair for 8 hours and study, giving him just a few breaks? Would you then tell him that when he'd done that, he could sit on a softer chair and do his homework...but to be sure to get up early to go to school early for his breakfast club...and to not forget to put his name down for his after school club...

And since WHEN did you all believe that those who have the word 'teacher' on their passports are the ONLY people who are able to actually teach children?

Some teachers damaged my children.

As I have said so many times, I have the utmost respect for anyone who can teach a child well, be they official teachers or simply natural ones. They literally can inspire a child for the rest of their lives.

I have the utmost disgust for bullies and inadequates, many of whom dislike children, who dare to hide behind the name of 'teacher' purely because it's a steady job with lots of holidays...and like it or not, there are plenty of teachers who are in it for the holidays.

Yes, teachers these days are also snowed under with pressure. Many of them, sadly, put that onto the children. The good teachers would never dream of doing such a thing..and often burn themselves out trying to protect and help their stressed out pupils.



Emma...thank you for your usual bitchy comment, but when I spoke of Russia, I meant that the population has now become so controlled, so amenable to being told what they can or cannot do.

There are only 2 compulsory things in my life...being born and dying. Everything that happens to me, or my children, inbetween that time has options and is my decision. And my children are free to live their own lives now as they want to. They do not, and never have belonged to The State.

To start fining parents for anything is madness.   

As Crow Sister so aptly pointed out, they should be looking into the reasons that children aren't attending schools in the first place

But of course, they won't, because they don't want to hear the answers.

The next thing on the horizon will be to shut down Home Education, regulate it, restrict it as much as possible...

When they do...and they will...you should all shudder in horror, because then, the STATE really will own your children.

No-one owns their children, we are the Keepers and the Guardians of them.

School is not compulosry....but soon, I fear it will be...and then the Age of the Individual will start to sink over the horizon with ever increasing speed.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 09:25 AM

School IS compulsory Lizzie. Unless you make approved arrangements for home education, which you know about. Then you are required to send your child to school.
Pity is that you are not obliged to send a well brought up, and behaved child to school.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 09:48 AM

to sit on a hard wooden chair for 8 hours and study

Are you seriously telling us you know about education and you write total garbage like that?

That maybe what you did with your children when you took them out of school, it does not happen in state schools anywhere that I am aware of.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 09:49 AM

School is Not Compulsory - Youtube


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 09:49 AM

Should have read:


to sit on a hard wooden chair for 8 hours and study


Are you seriously telling us you know about education and you write total garbage like that?

That maybe what you did with your children when you took them out of school, it does not happen in state schools anywhere that I am aware of.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 09:58 AM

Sorry, John....big problems with my computer at the moment..keeps shutting down.....

It is Education which is compulsory, not school. Legally it is the parent's duty to educate their children either through school or 'otherwise' . That's where the name 'Education Otherwise' comes from. They are the people who were so incredibly helpful to us a few years back.

Dave, when my children were at school they had hard wooden chairs to sit on. And they went to a few different schools too. All were the same. My daughter was in school until she ws 15, you know, so yes, I do have a good idea of what goes on. And yes, I helped out in BOTH my children's schools, teaching the children...so believe it or not, shock horror, I DO know what goes on.    Even today, I have friends whose children are in school, and I patiently listen to all their worries and anxieties about their stressed out children...

Turnips. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:00 AM

"Tell me, when did so many of you become brainwashed into giving your children over to the State, to have them loaded down with pressure, to have them tested, examined...and sometimes brought to within an inch of suicide, if not actually carrying that out, simply because you were sold the belief that the *only* way to educate a child is in a rigid school system?"

Well, maybe those of us with a more balanced view have also read a bit of history, and realise what life was like before state education - when being educated was the preserve of the wealthy. Personally, I would not want my child disadvantaged by the haphazard education that I, alone, would be able to give her. She learns languages that I can't speak and maths that are utterly beyond me. She studies photography and science with equipment that I neither possess nor could afford. She is educated by dedicated people who have spent years developing their subject knowledge and their teaching skills. She also has the social environment of school, where she develops her friendship groups and learns to navigate difficult social situations, just as she will have to do later in life.

This might not be the only way to educate a child and prepare them for the rest of their lives - but I certainly believe it is the best one we have. And in many cases it is infinitely preferable to leaving kids to the haphazard attentions of parents who might not be particularly well educated themselves, do not have any skills or training in teaching, and who provide a limited and limiting social environment.

"Would you tell you child, at home, to sit on a hard wooden chair for 8 hours and study, giving him just a few breaks?"

This is a fantasy. The school day is about 6 - 6.5 hours long, and includes about an hour for lunch, a 20 minute morning break, PE, and numerous lessons where kids work in groups or move around the classroom. "Studying" includes time at computer terminals, watching videos and DVDs, practical activities like arts, crafts and textiles, and drama. Rigid lessons where kids sit quietly studying on "hard wooden chairs", looking straight ahead at the teacher, are few and far between both at primary and secondary level these days. Interactive whiteboards and classroom internet access means that teachers have far more resources available than just the bog-standard textbook, and even in Year 7, activities in Geography and History include a fair bit of cutting stuff out, sticking it down and colouring in, to make the material accessible and less rigid.


"And since WHEN did you all believe that those who have the word 'teacher' on their passports are the ONLY people who are able to actually teach children?"

Well, those people have taken years to develop their teaching skills, so it isn't just a question of having the piece of paper with "teacher" ion it, it's having learned HOW to teach.

"Some teachers damaged my children."

That is genuinely very sad, Lizzie. But you have been taking out your anger at those people on the entire teaching profession for far too long.

"I have the utmost disgust for bullies and inadequates, many of whom dislike children, who dare to hide behind the name of 'teacher' purely because it's a steady job with lots of holidays...and like it or not, there are plenty of teachers who are in it for the holidays."

Working in schools, I have not seen anything I would identify as teachers bullying their pupils - but I am quite appalled by the number of children who bully their teachers, clearly because they have never been taught any manners or respect at home. Yesterday, I took a bottom-set RE class which was about morals and ethics. The class had to come up with a list of 10 rules that they thought would make society better. This class includes some of the school's real hard-nuts, and their little group came up with rules such as "no drinking age", "bring back smoking in pubs", and "get rid of all the Pakis and immigrants". God help us if the people who have dragged these kids up were also responsible for educating them.


It may be "a steady job", but it's one that requires at least four years of study and training. And marking, lesson planning and administration take up an enormous amount of time - the perception of a teacher's "free" time far outweighs the reality.


"Yes, teachers these days are also snowed under with pressure. Many of them, sadly, put that onto the children."

As I say - I don't really see this happening.




"No-one owns their children, we are the Keepers and the Guardians of them."

I could not agree more.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Wesley S
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:00 AM

"School IS compulsory Lizzie"

And so is work if you expect to make something of yourself in this world.What employer is going to keep an employee that shows up as often as these kids?

Who would want to be married or have a relationship with someone who only showed up when they felt like it? What child would want to have a parent that was only there for them 80% of the time?

If you don't the the state of "THE STATE" then you can do two things. Join it and change it from the inside - or cut and run. But life is easier for the people who "suit up and show up".


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:11 AM

As Dave suggested earlier, Lizzie: if you have teaching experience, schools are crying out for TAs, SENs learning support and cover supervisors. The pay is not fantastic, and there are no paid holidays, but you could make a difference. You might need to do a bit more training, but why not get involved in making things better instead of more impotent ranting about the system on messageboards?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: MikeL2
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:19 AM

Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Sorcha - PM
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 04:24 PM

Hi sorcha

<" Another day, another Rant Thread. Will NONE of you learn? ">

This is the most sensible message on this thread !!!!

When will they ever learn......when will they ever learn...

Regards

MikeL


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Royston
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:26 AM

I have to echo Emma B in pointing out that Lizzie normally argues strongly that parents don't take responsibility, that parents are the source of the problems with "kids today" and that parents are primarily responsible - the bad ones - for whatever collapse of our social fabric might be happening. To some extent I agree with those sentiments

So it is odd, but not altogether surprising, to see her attitude towards this story.

It begs the question; why, if someone clearly believes nothing in any sort of consistent or reasoned way, do some of us bother to react to every uttering made by that person?

Better just to ignore it?

May I say that this family appears to be the very model of feckless, anti-social malingerers? That something needs to be done to salvage these kids, that maybe they ought not to be in the care of their mother? That the vicious circle should be broken? I sound like one of Lizzie's manifold personalities. I should lie down for a bit.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:33 AM

Quite right Richard - That'll teach me to read the quotes properly. Must by why you are a solicitor and I clean flies out of computers...

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:45 AM

"Must by why you are a solicitor and I clean flies out of computers..."

Do you?! There's been a thunderfly inside my laptop screen since last summer. Care to pop round?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: paula t
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 01:07 PM

Hi Smedley and MtheGM,

Sorry it has taken so long to answer your question (been a bit busy). The trouble is that the official ruling hasn't changed. No government is brave enough to change it, but pressure is put on headteachers not to grant the leave. Any headteachers granting the leave find that they have to justify this to OFSTED and the Education authorities. It is almost seen a negligent to allow "poor attendance" because of term time holidays. If they follow the ruling they are given by OFSTED and the authorities they alienate the parents, they still go on holiday and the time off has to be officially marked as unauthorised absence (truancy). The school is then marked down by OFSTED because of an unsatisfactory attendance rate. They can't win.Parents think it is the headteacher being unreasonable because they believe that the government thinks it is Ok to have 2 weeks off.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 01:24 PM

Paula t ~ then the rule HAS changed: I repeat that in my time the head had no discretion to refuse the fortnight off, which was a STATUTORY ENTITLEMENT**; so he did not 'grant the leave', but could not refuse it; and so had no need to 'justify' so doing to anybody. If he is now required to do so, by any alteration either of convention or regulation, then it can no longer be so** described, can it?

He could, I suppose, in my time, have urged that it was a bad time, too near exams, or whatever. But I do not, in my 12 years as Head of Upper School, remember an instance where there was any sort of dispute: parents knew when exams were perfectly well, and always had the good sense to avoid such times. I remember one policeman ringing me up at home, expressly to apologise profusely to me because he had no option when to take his leave and he realised it might interfere with rehearsals for the school play I was directing, in which his daughter had a leading part; I was happy to reassure him, with thanks for the adequate notice he had so courteously given, that I could easily adjust the rehearsal schedule.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: paula t
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 01:40 PM

Hi MtheGM,

Yes, according to the information the parents have, the rule has not changed but they are merely asked to try to avoid taking the time off. It's just the "behind the scenes goalposts" which have been moved. An example of politicians wanting to take credit for improved attendance without being the ones seen to be making life difficult for parents.That would lose lots of votes. Much easier to make headteachers try to discourage poor attendance and seem unreasonable eh?

Paula


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 01:49 PM

School is NOT compulsory over here in the UK, Wesley. Education is. And I think you may find it's the same in the US, as there, Home Education has been going on for far longer and is encompasses far more children than over here, although our numbers are increasing every single year..



"Well, maybe those of us with a more balanced view have also read a bit of history, and realise what life was like before state education - when being educated was the preserve of the wealthy."

I am well aware of history. Please do not talk to me in such a condescending manner. School has only been around for a relatively short time, in the scheme of things. Mankind still managed perfectly well without it.

Is the 'average' child of today that much better off, despite all his education and material items? Like his forebears, he'll still struggle to find a job, particularly one that will last his whole life long, or own a house, He will, more than likely, be in debt most of his days, live his life according to the rules of the Corporate Bastards who control the consumers that schools so often turn out...

"Personally, I would not want my child disadvantaged by the haphazard education that I, alone, would be able to give her."

What the fuck makes you think my daughter is in any way 'disadvantaged'????

For fuck's sake woman, what part of 'she had almost given up on life' do you not understand???????????????? And she had come to feel that way purely because of **school** and what was happening to her inside it!

Geez Loueeeze!!

Have you never heard of libraries, musuems, the internet, videos, BOOKS, discussion, living life?????!!!!!!!!!


"She learns languages that I can't speak and maths that are utterly beyond me."

Well, bully for her! My daughter paints in a way I've never seen anyone else paint before!   Your daughter has skills in languages and maths, my daughter struggled, from Day 1 with maths, because she was constantly tested on mental arithmetic and it made her panic! She struggled because one day, her headmaster (yes, the prat who made me assertive!) ridiculed her for getting 2/10 in her test, and he told the entire class, kept on about it.....That fear never left her, that humiliation! The man was a bastard who had NO right to be a teacher, let alone a fucking headmaster!!!

"She studies photography and science with equipment that I neither possess nor could afford."


She is educated by dedicated people who have spent years developing their subject knowledge and their teaching skills. She also has the social environment of school, where she develops her friendship groups and learns to navigate difficult social situations, just as she will have to do later in life.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 01:50 PM

Darn this compoooter! Post too soon again, it's all buggered up lately..AAArGH! Back shortly..


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 02:07 PM

"What the fuck makes you think my daughter is in any way 'disadvantaged'????"

Umm, I don't believe I said that. You many be happy with the standard of education you were able to provide for your daughter. I would not be satisfied with the standard of education that I, as an untrained individual whose own knowledge in certain areas is extremely limited, would be able to provide for mine.

"School has only been around for a relatively short time, in the scheme of things. Mankind still managed perfectly well without it."

It also managed without indoor sanitation, without antibiotics, without the NHS...just because we "managed" doesn't mean we should wish those days back. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

"Your daughter has skills in languages and maths"

Actually, she is not particularly gifted in either of those areas - she has to work hard at them and needs the support of teachers who know the subjects well and can help her to understand them in a way that I never could. Consequently, school is giving her opportunities which I, as a parent, would be incapable of. I do not want my daughter limited by my own limitations. That's the whole point.

You seem to think that, by explaining my reasons for thinking that state education is generally A Good Thing, I am having a dig at how you educated your own children, but I was simply responding to your earlier accusation that all of us in an early diatribe, accuse all of us who send our kids to school of being "brainwashed into giving your children over to the State, to have them loaded down with pressure, to have them tested, examined...and sometimes brought to within an inch of suicide, if not actually carrying that out..."


Well, my daughter is getting a good education, has lots of friends and, so far as I can tell, is not suicidal. I'm sorry that you can't accept that other people might be perfectly happy with the choices they've made, that don't happen to be the same as yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 02:17 PM

Continued from above.....

"She studies photography and science with equipment that I neither possess nor could afford."

Well ladeedadeeda! My daughter goes off everywhere with her camera, then comes back and turns those photos into paintings! She doesn't like science, so never feels she's lost out..It ain't her thing.

Your point is??????????????


"She is educated by dedicated people who have spent years developing their subject knowledge and their teaching skills."

Mine was educated by people of a similar background, but many of them didn't give a flying fuck about her. In Tavistock College her teacher didn't even know her name, read out someone else's file to us, told us how badly she was doing...Ha!!! WE had to point out her mistake!


"She also has the social environment of school, where she develops her friendship groups and learns to navigate difficult social situations, just as she will have to do later in life."

Well, again, ladee fucking da!   So what???????? My daughter deals with people of ALL ages, all the time!   She has good friends that she goes out with all the time. She also has two jobs, is doing a flaming Open University Degree and is learning to drive. She pays for her driving lessons herself and has bought her own car. She has money in the bank and is NOT in debt!

Is that OK for you??????????????????????????

Holey Mother of Munchkins!


"Working in schools, I have not seen anything I would identify as teachers bullying their pupils - "

Then, you have your eyes wide shut!


"but I am quite appalled by the number of children who bully their teachers, clearly because they have never been taught any manners or respect at home."

Maybe they're also sick fed up of being so controlled, so stressed out with workloads that they don't want and often couldn't give a toss about??????????????? Hmmmmm???????



"Yesterday, I took a bottom-set RE class which was about morals and ethics. The class had to come up with a list of 10 rules that they thought would make society better. This class includes some of the school's real hard-nuts, and their little group came up with rules such as "no drinking age", "bring back smoking in pubs", and "get rid of all the Pakis and immigrants". God help us if the people who have dragged these kids up were also responsible for educating them."

There are good and bad home educators, just as there are good and bad teachers! OK? Do not paint all home educators as bad. I, at least, state, over and over, that I have UTMOST respect for great and brilliant teachers...but I also realise that you do NOT have to have had studied for years to be such a teacher. You can actually be a bloody wonderful natural teacher.

I had a friend who taught for years. She hates children. Can't bear the little buggers. Now WHY would someone who feels that way become a teacher? She was hopeless with my children, no maternal instinct whatsoever. She loved facts though. She wanted to impart those facts, but she couldn't bear all the emotions that came with children...She didn't remain a friend for long.


"It may be "a steady job", but it's one that requires at least four years of study and training. And marking, lesson planning and administration take up an enormous amount of time - the perception of a teacher's "free" time far outweighs the reality."

I am well aware of what a teacher's life is like. Thanks all the same. Teachers do however, even after lesson planning and marking have more free time during holidays...and yes, I know that they have to plan for the next term during those holidays. Personally I think it's shite the amount of paperwork teachers now have to do, and the amount of stress they're under to meet 'targets'. It all stinks, as does the controlling way in which this Orwellian Government controls how they teach, what they teach and the way they're supposed to teach it...It's crap!


And Joan, you have seen my daughter's myspace page, so you damn well know that she is a very intelligent person. This is not a 'my daughter's better than your daughter' situation!

Home Education is damned hard, and you get no help whatsoever! You literally learn as you go along, but you soon learn that when the rules and regulations are removed, the children WANT to learn again, just as they always used to.

My Education Welfare Officer thought the absolute world of my two children, and he did all he could to help us. He was a former teacher, of many, many years, as was his wife, before she was paralysed from the waist down, in a car accident. Richard looked after her and helped people like us, and he looked after the kids who were expelled too. They of course, got 25 hours free education a week, and I think this may now have gone up even more. We got nothing, as we had chosen to leave The System. Richard knew The System inside out, and he used to despair of what was happening inside it.

Don't tell me it's all hunky dory and bloody marvellous, 'cos it ain't!

The System nearly killed my daugher. It turned my son OFF from learning. I turned them both back on....so don't go talking to me in your usual condescending manner, thank you, because in this instance YOU are the one who hasn't got a clue!

And the fact your daughter is going to Japan means zilch to me. Life is not about trips abroad. There is a whole lifetime ahead for those trips. They are not a necessity. My friend struggles financially to send her son on those kind of trips, and quite frankly, I don't think school should be asking parents to pay out vast sums like that. I realise that your daughter had to raise some of the money herself.

My daughter went abroad for the first time in her life, last year. She went to Florence, along with her brother. She'd read up all about it, before she went, although she already knew heaps, because of all the art history there. She planned where they'd go, she took photographs, she had the most bloody wonderful time. Why? Because her enthusiasm had not been dulled by endless trips abroad with her school. It was all so new to her, so terribly exciting!   She loved every single minute of it, as did her brother...

So please, don't patronise me, nor my two children.

I am very glad your daughter is so happy at school. Many children thrive there, as I've said countless times. Many do not.

Go listen to the music of your new pals...and you may learn a little more..I'm off to talk to my 'thick' kids now and explain to them what a terrible life they're going to have because they were home educated...

Holy Jumping Elephant Fish!


Oh..and by the way, what the fuck makes you think that I would EVER want to be part of a system that nearly killed my child?????? I have a job, I have TWO actually, being a Carer as well.

So,you do your job, and I'll do mine.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 02:24 PM

"Well, my daughter is getting a good education,"

Likewise. My daughter said to me when she was just a little girl, "Mum there is so much to find out in the world. I want to know everything, I want to learn everything. There's not enought time."

She will never **stop** educating herself!


"has lots of friends"

Likewise!

and, so far as I can tell, is not suicidal. I'm sorry that you can't accept that other people might be perfectly happy with the choices they've made, that don't happen to be the same as yours. "


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 02:30 PM

Bloomin' keyboard!


"and, so far as I can tell, is not suicidal."

Count your blessings...each and every day, count them.



"I'm sorry that you can't accept that other people might be perfectly happy with the choices they've made, that don't happen to be the same as yours. "


Excuse me???? I have ALWAYS said that for many children school is great! They thrive on it. They love the competitive situations, of being 'best' getting high marks etc..I have always understood that and said so, too. Education Otherwise also understands that.

Where we differ is that we, home educators that is, realise that school is NOT right for ALL children...and THAT is where the School System stinks.

Ed Balls is aptly named for being the Edukashon Minister.

It's like Happy Families ain't it...

'Mr. Balls, the Edukashon Minister'


Oh, and if you think it's all so rosy, you'd better ring my friend Kim up and explain to her why both her children are stressed out beyond belief because of doing their A Levels and GCSEs! It's almost breaking her family apart....but heyho....

And now, I have to go lie down and recover from Condescension Overload, so if you'll excuse me..........


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 02:54 PM

Thanks Lizzie, you just gave me my best laugh of the day. "Condescension Overload".
I love it.
Trouble is my friend, there is an awful lot of it on Mudcat, and it starts at the top.
Enjoy your lie down.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 04:33 PM

"Well ladeedadeeda!"

My point, Lizzie, is that these are the opportunities that EVERY kid gets who goes to state school. Schools provide resources, learning support and expertise which most homes and parents simply cannot. That's the whole point.


"Excuse me???? I have ALWAYS said that for many children school is great! They thrive on it."

But, didn't you say, only a few posts ago...

"Tell me, when did so many of you become brainwashed into giving your children over to the State, to have them loaded down with pressure, to have them tested, examined...and sometimes brought to within an inch of suicide, if not actually carrying that out,"

You do what you like with your kids, Lizzie. Just stop telling us how we're abusing ours by simply sending them to school.

"Life is not about trips abroad." Well, my daughter has been going abroad since she was three months old. Her passion for travel has certainly not been "dulled" through this. She has slept in a mud hut with village children in Zambia, learned to ski in Switzerland, been on safari, learned to scuba dive, camped with bedouins and visited the Valley of the Kings in Egypt - and all of this during the school term, just to come back OT. She loves travel - which is why she's raising the money to go to Japan. Have these experiences broadened and enriched her life? I think so. I am really glad, as a parent, that she has had these opportunities. Just as, I am sure, you are happy with the opportunities you have given to your children. If you find that condescending - well, sorry. But you never fail to shoot from the hip when you tell us how miserable and suicidal our kids are, as a result of us sending them to school.


Re kids who bully their teachers:

"Maybe they're also sick fed up of being so controlled, so stressed out with workloads that they don't want and often couldn't give a toss about?"

Spend a week in an inner-city secondary school. Then tell me that the really bad kids, the ones who bully their teachers and run riot through the school, are "controlled" and "stressed out with workloads". They don't DO any work, so they have no workloads, despite the schools bending over backwards trying to create tailored programmes of work and classes that might interest them and that are pitched at their level. And no one controls them. No one. Leastwise their teachers.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 04:44 PM

Fuckit Lizzie - hard work yields improvement.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bert
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 04:56 PM

Lizzie says ...my daughter struggled, from Day 1 with maths...

My Sister was just the same, and in her case it was bad teaching as well.

Mathematics is probably the worst taught subject in schools. I don't recall ever hearing of a maths teacher who taught his students that maths is a game. It is a game of 'let's pretend'.

Let's pretend that we can separate number from quantity. Then we can PLAY with the numbers and see what happens.

So let's take a poll here. Did anyone of you ever have a teacher tell you that?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 05:23 PM

Some people around here are suffering from a severe case of double standards.

Everyone else's children = out of control (see 'rape victims' thread)

Their own children = can do no wrong.

Doesn't surprise me but I am amazed at how many people fall for it...

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 07:27 PM

"Fuckit Lizzie - hard work yields improvement."

Yes, Richard, it most certainly does. And that is why my daughter has improved so much since she came out of school, because she decided *herself* to work hard, feeling that she wanted to, as she was finally free to study what she was interested in, to do two jobs, study for her degree, learn to drive and put money in the bank, all at the same time.

The trouble is, many children will not work hard when school expects, wants or demands that they do.

Our children have very little childhood any longer. Their innocent world grows smaller, faster, every year...and inbetween that they have to spend many hours AFTER school and during holidays and weekends slogging away at subjects they have absolutely no interest in, for homework. Why?

As far as inner city schools go, you need radical thinking, as in 'beyond current belief' thinking to bring those children in, and you will not bring them in with a National Curriculum that demands they MUST do this and that, and be tested at every given opportunity.

I actually have to admire some kids, because they've outwitted the control freaks and their demands. How? Simply by refusing to learn any longer. You cannot FORCE a child to learn. It is a natural instinct, and school is actually turning that off.

Do they ask why?
Do they ask the children why?

Nope, because they cannot take their feet out of the concrete that was poured into their buckets so long ago, and they are still doing things the same old way..."We teach. You learn. And YOU learn what we demand you learn, in OUR way!"

It no longer works.....

And there was a campaign about this a while back, I saw the posters and smiled, as their spelling was almost the same as mine...
Educashun Isn't Working! they screamed from billboards...trying to get people to ask why it's not doing that.

All the money that's poured in, the millions and billions and yet never have so many children dug their heels in and said 'NO!' before.

Many children do not have the capacity to concentrate for long periods anymore. The computer age has blown the way we learn apart.

It was interesting the other day, watching a programme about the internet revolution and how it's changed the way people think, gain knowledge etc. How it's actually changed the way our brains WORK.

They interviewed one of the tutors at Oxford University and he was saying how one of the first questions new students ask him is "Is there much reading to do, Sir?" and when he tells them there is a GREAT DEAL of reading, they groan and ask how long the books are.....then, they groan even more, saying how they don't read much, hardly ever...They do eventually knuckle down to read, but he almost has to teach them how to do that first.

Now, you and I will mourn the passing of reading books, mourn the loss of magic that goes with that, but the kids don't feel that way, because their magic comes from another source. Hopefully, they will discover the joy of reading at some point in their lives....

Maybe they'd discover it if they were simply allowed, for two hours a day, to curl up in large beanie bags in school, in brightly coloured classrooms, which felt like comfy, cosy rooms, with a coffee bar in the corner, serving soft drinks, some music playing, just softly..and they were actually trusted to be left to read, to read *whatever* they wanted, un-interrupted, with no worry of being asked questions on it later, just being able to experience the pure joy of reading...or even listening to a book being read to them via headphones, able to chill out, lie on the floor, feel at ease.

Maybe if they were allowed to learn EVERYTHING without the constant worry of being tested...?

Many children now think, feel and learn very differently to how we did. Their brains do not understand the 'old' ways, just as ours do not understand the 'new'....but somehow, somewhere, in some way, we have to learn to meet in the middle, instead of demanding that 'these bad children' do it 'our' way. They are not bad, merely bored and pissed off.   They already have shite home lives, and they don't want to spend the majority of their day in a shite school environment being tested, assessed, weighed and measured.

Perhaps, for the first time ever, teachers are going to have to start learning the 'new' way, from their pupils.

Many teachers have always had much to learn from their students, but perhaps have been too long on 'transmit' Perhaps now has come the time to switch to 'receive'.


Bert, my daughter always wanted to count on her fingers for math. The class wa never allowed to, getting told off severely if they even dared to think about it. This confused her brain totally because she could no longer 'see' the quantity of the sum. Then the mental arithmetic tests started with five seconds per answer being allowed and well...that was it..chaos and anxiety in her head...

Years back I read a great book written by a math teacher from the 1970s. He told of a day when he had to address a meeting of fellow mathematicians. He was doing some calculations on the board, and used his fingers to work it all out. He was laughed at by his companions. He then told them he had no problem with anyone using their fingers to work things out. Indeed, he thought it eminently sensible and part of what fingers were for! He also believed anything which helped to make maths easier was a great way forward. His audience went very quiet.

Yes, to make mathematics a game, fun, is a great idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 07:27 PM

Where we differ is that we, home educators that is, realise that school is NOT right for ALL children...and THAT is where the School System stinks.

Nope. I agree with Lizzie. Some pupils need special care, sometimes they need it in the community. And sometimes they get it outside their community.

Some people get it on message boards.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Guest - Ellie's Travel Expenses
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 07:38 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 10:06 AM

Liz, have you ever thought of seeking professional help? Obviously some serious issues, phobias and delusions you need to work out.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 10:51 AM

He also believed anything which helped to make maths easier was a great way forward.

There was nothing which made maths easier or any fun when I was at school; thankfully it didn't turn me off the subject but it didn't help a lot of other people. My experience of schools these days is that things have changed. Children do count using their fingers if it helps and there are a lot more fun things to do, games and maths days.

I can see what Lizzie is saying that school does not appear to be for every child but a lot of parents would not have the time or ability or even inclination to home school their child. There are now special schools where school refusers can be taught very successfully.

There is no doubt that a few schools and a few teachers are poor but they are in the minority. The majority of schools and teachers make the educating process a good experience for most children. Sweeping generalisations about all schools and all teachers are just not fair.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bert
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 11:24 AM

That's the thing lizzie, you don't have to make it a game. It IS a game, it isn't real! And so many math teachers confuse their kids by treating it as reality.

How many poor little sods have agonized for years 'cos they are trying to assign a value or a meaning to zero. Zero is nothing. That means "There is no such thing as zero". You have math teachers all over the world telling kids that it is a number, when they should be telling them "Let's pretend that something is there when it isn't"


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 03:32 PM

There are only 2 compulsory things in my life - 3 surely, what about paying tax??


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Mar 10 - 04:24 PM

Here we go....one that Sam and I made, earlier....as they say on Blue Peter... ;0)

Rainbow Chasers - New Blue Stockings, and other songs..


Made it a long time back now, just recalling how long it took me to type all those lyrics out...but it was worth it, because that's a lovely CD...and a GREAT song.


(and they went off seething into their folkie socks, that once again, she'd shown 'em up for being some pretty pratty prissy potties) ;0)

I told you guys that I'm into LEARNING, not Edukashon and that's why I used to enjoy making those sites with Sam, because they were laying down learning paths for folks to find.   The gap betweeen Learning and Edukashon is the same as lies between Faith and Religion.

One we are born with inside our Souls.
One is man made and so often used to control, create fear, stress and obedience.





Bert, couldn't agree with you more over the math thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 01:21 PM

I guess Lizzie thinks Birmingham Council had the right idea:

Khyra Ishaq and other untraced truant children


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 02:10 PM

A tragic example Jack for which the blame cannot be totally placed on the employees of the LEA or welfare services

Despite recommendations of a recent report
Review of Elective Home Education in England June 2009 discussed in another thread (***see below) here, while education is compulsory for children in the UK, going to school is not, and it is believed between 20,000 and 50,000 children are educated at home, but the exact figure is unknown.

There is no legal requirement for home educators to update the LEA on the child's progress, to have any teaching qualifications, to give their children lessons or even to follow any kind of syllabus or the national curriculum.

There is also no automatic right of access to the parent's home, parents may refuse a meeting in the home

Similarly, the LEA has no legal obligation to investigate parents who don't send their children to school, unless there are very real and justifiable concerns for the child's welfare


*** in which it was completely inaccurately stated that -

"They're also making it more and more difficult to home-educate (no surprises there then)...and of course, every single child in the country is now on a registar from birth to 18, to which police, teachers, social workers and medical staff have instant access....PARENTS have no access to this at all.
Any child considered 'at risk' has a flag by their name.
My son does. Why? Because he's home-educated....and ALL home-educated children are now considered 'at risk'."

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=123900#2732609


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 01:53 PM

How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?

Oh, the schools we have today ain't worth a cent
But they see to it that every child is sent
If we don't send every day we have a heavy fine to pay.
Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 10:30 AM

My son does. Why? Because he's home-educated....and ALL home-educated children are now considered 'at risk'."

Lets get rid of this hideous government then!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 11:11 AM

Bonzo3legs

- as I pointed out the statement that all home educated children are considered 'at risk' never mind on a 'register' has NO ELEMENT OF TRUTH IN IT WHATSOEVER apart from the fact, that in the tragic case referred to by Jack, removing a child from school for the purpose of unmonitored 'home education' could, and did in that instance, disguise the appaling neglect and starvation she was subjected to out of the notice of the authorities.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 05:56 PM

- as I pointed out the statement that all home educated children are considered 'at risk' never mind on a 'register' has NO ELEMENT OF TRUTH IN IT WHATSOEVER apart from the fact, that in the tragic case referred to by Jack, removing a child from school for the purpose of unmonitored 'home education' could, and did in that instance, disguise the appaling neglect and starvation she was subjected to out of the notice of the authorities.


What a complete load of Ed Balls, Emma.


Here is what you call the No Element of Truth register.....It is called CONTACT POINT and was brought about because of the tragic death of Victoria Climibie. She died, not because of home education, but because of two vile people who were supposed to be caring for her, and because Social Servcies messed up, YET AGAIN.

So now, to cover their bloody downright disgusting behaviour EVERY SINGLE CHILD is now on a 'register' at Contact Point..and Home Educated children are deemed to be at higher risk and are now being tracked, along with other children who have simply 'disappeared' off the radar.

Contact Point


I would also point out that nNON home educated children also get murdered, killed, poisoned, treated horrifically and a whole lot more.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 05:58 PM

The Guardian on Ed Balls recommendations

Database Unsafe

Education Otherwise - Government Policy

Open Letter to Ed Balls





Taken from here.


>>>ContactPoint database to track children not in school
September 17th, 2008 by irdial
We expected this to happen:

1.2.3 Section 436A requires all local authorities to make arrangements to enable them to establish (so far as it is possible to do so) the identities of children residing in their area who are not receiving a suitable education. In relation to children, by 'suitable education' we mean efficient full-time education suitable to her/his age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs the child may have.

And here is the true purpose of this entire exercise.

This is the way they are going to get every child in England into and justify the existence of ContactPoint.

.....

The goal of these guidelines is to create a way to sweep up all the home educating children in the UK, identify them, categorize them and put them on a database, together with the names of their parents, siblings, ethnicity and other details. See below. Once again, children who are being educated at home, privately, or in alternative provision should not be subject to being identified for this purpose, since they are being educated quite legally.


And now its even worse than we thought it would be:

By Lauren Higgs
Children & Young People Now
17 September 2008

The national database of everyone who is under 18 in England is to be used to identify children missing from education.

Monthly reports created by the ContactPoint database will be sent to local authorities listing the names of children not recorded at an education setting.

The School Census for state schools and pupil lists from independent schools and pupil referral units will be used to complete the relevant field on ContactPoint. Children not accounted for will feature in the reports, which are intended to help children missing education teams focus their work.

But Fiona Nicholson, chair of home schooling organisation Education Otherwise, said the reports will mean councils target home-educated children. She said: "ContactPoint should not be used for this."

But Richard Stiff, chair of the information systems and technology policy committee at the Association of Directors of Children's Services, said the reports would not change the way councils treat home-educated children: "It is unlikely this will be a tool in the armoury of the state."<<<

Another Invasion of Privacy - The Guardian

And from there (in case the link disappears)..oh, and please note that Jenni mentions that children remain on this site until they are TWENTY THREE YEARS OLD:

Another invasion of liberty. And only the Tories are alertThese databases are like weeds. ContactPoint will overburden professionals –and put vulnerable children at greater risk


Jenni Russell guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 15 September 2009 21.00 BST

It shows what public outrage can achieve. The government has been forced into a swift though partial retreat over its plans to monitor and license adults' relationships with children through a giant database. Good. But these databases are like weeds. The new children's databases, due to go live in the next few months, are just as intrusive, just as alarming, and, so far, just as little understood.

Imagine that, as an adult, a health problem or argument at home means you are not working effectively. You or your boss decide you need help. Then you find that before you can be offered a counsellor, physio, or executive coach, you must submit to an intensive interrogation about every aspect of your life, from your sexual experiences, early attachments, friendships, peer groups, fears, motivations, drug use and relationships with parents and siblings, to your family's income, spending, history of illness, and its size, culture and routines.

That's only the start. The account of this interrogation is to be held on a national database, and the fact that it exists can be shared with every public service you use: doctors, hospitals, educational bodies, social workers, or the police. Indeed, if you want extra help from any of these services you'll be told it's in your interests to allow all these professionals to read your interrogation, because it's only if they have a holistic understanding of your problems that they'll be able to help you. And to make it easier for them to discuss you if they need to, someone has set up a handy computer file that they can all consult, giving your address, where you work, and contact numbers for everyone else who deals with you.

This is not a distant fantasy. Only one element of this scenario is inaccurate, and that's that it applies to adults. This is the system of intrusion and surveillance which will be imposed on all England's schoolchildren later this year. While we have been worrying about ID cards, the government has been quietly using its statutory powers to collect an unprecedented range of information on every element of our children's lives.

All 11 million children are going to have their contact details, with links to the public services they use and the individuals who treat them, held on the hugely expensive and insecure Contact-Point database. Then, to add to the breadth of knowledge the state makes available on a child, it's estimated that for a third to a half of children there will be depth: the eight-page interrogation known as CAF, or Common Assessment Framework. That's now what the government recommends carrying out for any child who isn't flourishing, and who has additional needs – perhaps due to dyslexia, hearing problems, depression, bullying, or disability.

This information will not be safe, because the systems on which it is housed are too large, need to be accessed by too many people, and are too complex; 390,000 individuals will have access to ContactPoint. Just as the police, NHS and tax credit databases have all been exploited by hackers, criminals and vengeful individuals, so ContactPoint and CAF data will leak.

This move into wholesale tracking is being done with the aim of spotting children's problems early, co-ordinating support for them and improving their life chances. The intentions are admirable. The means – mass databases, a focus on systems and not people, the holding of data on children until they are at least 23 – are not. Most children don't have major problems and don't need this blunderbuss of an intervention. Monitoring all of them is a massive distraction.

Collecting all this data is a huge diversion of people and resources. It discourages individuals from responding to the real child in front of them, and forces them instead into the frenzy of information-gathering which the system demands. In May, a head told the National Association of Headteachers how he went to the home of a pupil in distress and found an alcoholic single parent passed out on the floor. When he rang social services for help, they refused. He was told to carry out a CAF before they would respond.

The campaigner Terri Dowty, who runs ARCH (Action for the Rights of Children), says many teachers find the CAF process so invasive and cumbersome that it makes them less likely to inquire into a child's wellbeing. Where before a head who was worried about a child's exhaustion might have asked a social worker to drop by the house, the prospect of starting a lengthy, open-ended official inquiry into a child's life is deterring them. Meanwhile, social workers and other services are being overwhelmed by data. In that process, the children who really do need the scarce help – those at risk of harm and abuse – no longer stand out. As Dowty puts it, the ratio of noise to signal has gone badly wrong.

At Cambridge, Ross Anderson, professor of computer security, is equally scathing. He says the government is attempting mechanised compassion. The databases are a darkness at the heart of state; a belief that if we could just know everything about everybody, everything would work.

Labour will not reverse this; only the Tories might. They promise to review CAF database, ditch ContactPoint for a small, targeted database, and invest in strengthening people's relationships instead. It's depressing that Labour supporters who believe in liberties, privacy and humanity should find themselves having to cheer the Tories on this issue.<<<<


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:08 PM

Just another example of failing to understand legislation and confabulation of totally different reports and recommendations - not to mention twisting the much despised and ridiculed 'facts' to fit a personal 'fixation'.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:25 PM

And when you've got over the embarrassment, Emma...you can read this...the NEW and LATEST Orwellian Register!

Hate Register to log UK children's taunts from 5 years old

(I would have linked to the Daily Mail's article on that, which is a little better, but of course, you'd have kittens about that, being a Paperist. So I thought this one would calm your shattered nerves a little more)

Great ain't it!!!

A little 5 year old, says something in complete innocence, not knowing what it means. He's told by his teachers, and they then log his words on to the new fun register, where those words remain until he leaves school so that he is privately 'branded' a nasty little shit by 'those who know all about these things'

You truly couldn't make it up really, could you?   

Cool Britannia is Rocking with Insanity, folks.


"Settle down, children. It's time to call the Register."

"Ooh, Miss, wot one are we 'avin' today?"

"We're having The Hate Register, Jimmy, that's the one I like best, because it gives me the chance to not only let you children know what a nasty bunch of little shits I think you are, but for me to prove it!! Yes, Jimmy, I can now PROVE it, you see, because I've been writing down every word you've ever said that upset me!"

"But, Miss....I only said you looked like a Russian Shot Putter, 'cos you do, Miss!"

"Be quiet, Jimmy! I have you now! I have you on The Register, and I'll make damned certain that it follows you to your GRAVE! Do you hear me?"

"Yes, Miss"

Jimmy sighed and whispered to his mate, "I suppose this is still better than when she takes 'The Home Educators Register' because that one makes her froth at the mouth and all those muscles in 'er arms stand out, almost as much as the ones on 'er neck"

Alfie tried not to laugh.

"'Ere, Jimmy, wot you like, eh!"

Jimmy winked...

Miss B was frothing quietly at her desk...and her lips curled up into a sick smile as she addressed the little boy..

"Jimmy James, did you, or did you not, tell Miranda Posethelwaite that she was a Lesbian, last Tuesday morning?"

"Yeah, Miss, course I did. She looked just like that girl on Eastenders, Miss, that's why..and she was a Lesbian, Miss. See?"

Miss B smirked, picked up her pen and wrote "Sexist Bigot!" beside Jimmy's name....and her mouth curled up, ever so slightly at the corners....

Jimmy was thinking about watching Blue Peter when he got home and whether his Mum would give them fishcakes and chips for tea....He loved those. His mouth began to water at the mere thought....

And behind the desk, Miss B's mouth was watering, for very different reasons...


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:33 PM

"I would also point out that nNON home educated children also get murdered, killed, poisoned, treated horrifically and a whole lot more."

Actually, a report on BBC radio only this week (following the murder of another child who had been taken out of the school system to be "home educated") said that there are twice as many children on the government's At Risk register who are being home educated than there are in the general population. This is clearly not a denigration of people who home educate their children for legitimate reasons, it is an acknowledgement that some very abusive parents/guardians take advantage of the relative lack of monitoring which exists in the home education sector to make their children "disappear".

I would have thought any registers and monitoring which would make this more difficult, or prevented it from happening altogether, would be welcomed. I'm happy for my child to be on a government register, if it means some poor abused kid is less likely to slip through the cracks.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:33 PM

Emma, I understand far more than even you do. I particularly understand far more about Home Education. (Miss 'Archer' dashes off to become Head of Edukashon Otherwise and take over the world) ;0)

I also....helllloooooeeeeee....READ, as in READING type READ the report from Education Otherwise, in their monthly magazine, where they informed us all that Home Educators would be having a flag beside their child's name on this new register (see Contact Point link above) because they were deemed at greater risk than school educated children.   They knew this because they had been at the meeting where it was discussed. Ring them up, if you don't believe me.



Oh, and by the way, I only accept public apologies.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:36 PM

"And behind the desk, Miss B's mouth was watering, for very different reasons..."


What an odd little scenario. You live in a very sick world inside your head, Lizzie. I'm just glad it's not the one that the rest of us inhabit.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:39 PM

The poor abused children still slip through the register. That's the whole point!

You do not need a sledgehammer to crack a nut!!!!!

We have an ENTIRE SOCIAL WORKERS NETWORK which costs probably millions of pounds, and STILL these children slip through!

Open your eyes and see that these registers are not needed and that they are used for some pretty dodgy information gathering, as well as being wholly unreliable when it comes to information being protected!

This means that information on YOUR child may be passed around to any Tom, Dick or Harry. And you will never have access to the information that is written down about your child.

That may satisfy you.

It ANGERS me.


THERE are shits out there whose children are state educated, and they still do terrible things to their children.

OPEN YOUR EYES


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:39 PM

Thank you for posting that extract from a Daily Mail article taken up - well no surprise there - by

American Renaissance (abbreviated AR or AmRen)

- a monthly racialist magazine published by the New Century Foundation.

The magazine's founder Jared Taylor has been called a white separatist by the Southern Poverty Law Cente

says it all really !


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:42 PM

Nope, Miss B was a very vindictive little person, small minded, totally brain-washed by the state.

The reason her mouth was watering was that she'd be scoring lots of brownie points for putting your Jimmy on the witness stand.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:44 PM

"(Miss 'Archer' dashes off to become Head of Edukashon Otherwise and take over the world) ;0)"

Yes, that's right Lizzie. My entire career - nay, my life - is one giant exercise in Getting At You. I hate to remind you, but contrary to the fantasy world in your head, I couldn't give a gnat's fart for your peculiar interests, and home education is of no interest to me, beyond the fact that it is criminally unregulated and does many of the children who have to suffer its vagaries a tremendous disservice. IMHO, of course. I work in schools - and we know you wouldn't be caught anywhere near one of those, Lizzie. Thank god for small mercies.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:45 PM

You know i'm just about cheesed off with ad hominen attacks from someone who justifies her opinions with quotes from a magazine that claims that non-white minorities pose a demographic threat to the United States and other Western nations and furthermore 'argues that the United States' major social problems are due to racial diversity and a weakening of the country's white racial heritage by increased non-white immigration.'

You pays your money you takes your pick folks!

Your choice


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 08:55 PM

'Miss B was a very vindictive little person, small minded, totally brain-washed by the state.'

- and we are to assume that this lame excuse for humour and 'random' choice of initial does not bear "Any Resemblance to Persons Living or Dead" or mudcatter and is just coincidence?

Yeah!

Meanwhile long standing members of the forum are 'not allowed to address' this sort of ****

just 'perfick' !


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 01:54 AM

Sit on the floor, cross-legged.

Place the tips of the middle fingers against the tips of the thumbs whilst resting the backs of the hands on the knees.

Close the eyes.

Repeat after me.......

"Ignore her.......ignore her.......ignore her........"

Continue repetitions of mantra until the irresistable urge to respond to a blindingly-obvious policy of deliberate provocation disappears completely and permanently.

Therein lies The Path To True Bliss, which most of us have already followed.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Mike Rogers
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 03:53 AM

...or, as Dick Gaughan used to say "Do not feed the troll".


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Paul Burke
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 04:41 AM

We have an ENTIRE SOCIAL WORKERS NETWORK which costs probably millions of pounds, and STILL these children slip through!


(1) It's generally called Social Services.
(2) It costs billions, not millions.
(3) Even so, there's only so much they can do. If social workers intervene to take kids into care, the redtop screamers are all like Meddling Do-Gooders Took Away My Little Angel.
(3) The only way to catch ALL abuse of children (sexual, physical, mental, and McDonalds) would be to have 24/7 surveillance on all human activities. That would probably cost a tad more, but I'm sure you think it's worth it.

BTW if it costs £800 for low school attendance, how much do they fine you for high school?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 02:39 PM

From Emma:

"Thank you for posting that extract from a Daily Mail article taken up - well no surprise there - by

American Renaissance (abbreviated AR or AmRen)

- a monthly racialist magazine published by the New Century Foundation.

The magazine's founder Jared Taylor has been called a white separatist by the Southern Poverty Law Cente

says it all really !"




No. It merely says I put a link in to a story.

Here is another link:

The same story, from Pink News - Stonewall Publication of the Year 2006/07


Now, on that link they also give mention to The Daily Mail. So, does this mean that I have chosen THAT link purely because it mentions that paper? Does it mean that those who own the site, by allowing those dreaded words 'The Daily Mail' to be in their article, are nothing more than obvious 'right wing, fascist, racist gay people with a hidden agenda? Does it mean that you have decided the same of me, merely because I linked to their site?

To me, it merely means they've printed an article on there because they want to pass the information on, in my opinion, of course.

But then, I don't have hidden agendas myself, of trying to convince people that someone is racist, when they are not.



From Emma:

"- and we are to assume that this lame excuse for humour and 'random' choice of initial does not bear "Any Resemblance to Persons Living or Dead" or mudcatter and is just coincidence?

Yeah!

Meanwhile long standing members of the forum are 'not allowed to address' this sort of ****

just 'perfick' !"


Well, I've been here over 6 years now, so I guess that classifies me as a long standing member of this forum, Emma....and I feel that I'm addressing the sort of **** that's thrown at me by the same folks, pretty darn 'perfickly'.....


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 02:52 PM

here we go again -

'But then, I don't have hidden agendas myself, of trying to convince people that someone is racist, when they are not.'

I observed that you justified your opinions by quoting from a white supremist magazine - now just stop these ad hominen arguments and your blatent provocations because I'm just tired of your need to provoke and provoke somebody until you can squeal 'Victim' as I'm sure many others are too.

Having said that, I really will take Backwoodman's advice and leave the games and disturbing creepy tales, which are just barely disguised personal attacks, to those who have nothing better to do with their life.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 03:01 PM

"Subject: RE: BS: The Death of Personal Responsibility?
From: John MacKenzie - PM
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 09:09 AM

Do you know, I recall someone getting very self righteous and indignant about a previous Mudcatter whom they perceived as being persecuted, and 'picked on' unfairly, by other Mudcatters.
Much the same thing appears to be happening again,here.
This person felt so strongly about it, that they left Mudcat."


Allegedly


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: jeddy
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 08:53 PM

elsie has a very cruel and warped side and sounds like she identifies with MISS B.   this is worrying to me.

i feel dirty just reading it.

"alledegedly"? i left too, some things are worth coming back for!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 02:45 AM

Although there is a risk that they become less so.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 05:10 AM

jeddy...I was 'Elsie' on the BBC board once...and the woman who at that time was deeply vindictive to me as 'Lizzie' became soooooo nice to me, even though I was writing about Show of Hands at the time.
She fell over herself to be sweet about them to 'Elsie'. She had no idea it was me, you see.

Of course, when I told her, publicly, who Elsie was (LC being me, of course) she went nuts, because she'd been shown up as specifically targetting me as 'Lizzie', because, you see, if I wrote about SoH as Lizzie, she'd tear my posts to shreds and insult SoH left, right and centre.

Strange, huh?

Just goes to show that those with agendas sometimes let themselves down horrendously.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 06:14 AM

"I observed that you justified your opinions by quoting from a white supremist magazine - now just stop these ad hominen arguments and your blatent provocations because I'm just tired of your need to provoke and provoke somebody until you can squeal 'Victim' as I'm sure many others are too."



Miss B was in a foul mood that morning. She'd had to walk to school, as the bus was running late, and she'd had to share the pavement with the Horrible Little Sods that she spent her working day with. God, how she hated children! They were disobedient little brats who needed disciplining at all times.

Miss B had them sussed, especially those with 'secret agendas', the budding racists, facsists, mysoginists-in-waiting...Oh yes, she could sniff 'em out at a hundred paces!

She got into her classroom and sat down at her desk. There was still 30 minutes before school started, 30 more minutes of peace before The Little Sods came in from the playground, although WHY they needed a 'play' ground she had no idea...because they weren't here to PLAY, they were here to be EDUKATED, damn it!

She sighed, feeling a little stressed...and then, her eyes rested on her Precious Pile of Resplendant Registers. How she loved them! Her hand reached out for the newest addition, which was shining on the top of the pile, touched by the sunlight. She looked at the sparkling letters that screamed out her most favourite title yet...

THE ***HATE*** REGISTER

Miss B smiled, smiled for the first time that morning...as she picked it up.

She Loved the HATE one best!

She turned to Jimmy James's page, which was getting quite full already. Soon she'd need another page for him. Her smile got even wider as she recalled how Little Jimmy had tried to explain to her that he didn't even know what a Lesbian was, how he'd just heard it on Eastenders and liked the sound of the word.

Miss B knew, you see.   Miss B knew all about Ulterior Motives. She knew that Jimmy James knew *EXACTLY* what he was doing when he used that word, and she knew he'd used it to cause maximum hurt and damage. Oh yes, she knew alright.

Miss Sweetheart, the new 'I **Love** Children' Drippy Teacher who'd just been assigned to the school for a year, had tried to make her see differntly. Bloody Sweetheart had said that Jimmy James was a dear child, one who she found to be helpful and kind, one who loved nature, had a wonderful imagination. HA! The woman was mad! She was a drivelling do-gooder who had no idea about children at ALL!

No, Miss B would make certain that the REAL James James would be exposed for all to see. She would ensure that his pages inside her favourite register remained full over the years, and that they would follow him for the rest of his nasty, sexist days..

One day, one day, they'd thank her. One day they'd see the child as she did, see all children as she did.

10 minutes left before the bell went.


Miss B picked up her other registers...

The Answering Back Register
The Disinterested Register
The Sensitive Child Register
The Stupid Child Register
The Child Who Refuses to Learn Our Way Register

Her hand found her next favourite one...almost as good as new Hate Register.....

The Truancy Register

Oh, this was a goodie too. Her smile lit up her face...Jimmy James was in this one also. Better than that though, Jimmy's mother and father were in it as well.   She opened it up, counted how many days school he'd missed and the light that shone from her now widely exposed teeth lit up her classroom.

Jimmy James had been away for nearly 5 days this month! That meant he only had one more absence to be recorded and she'd have him! She'd have the whole James family! Yes! She'd be able to start the ball rolling for the £800 fine to be charged to his Mum and Dad.

Oh! Miss B was feeling Almost Orgasmic!

Suddenly, she couldn't WAIT for the children to arrive...and a minute later, the bell went off.

The sound of children playing outside stopped abruptly. Good, she was pleased about that, it was a sound she so hated having to listen to...she liked the sound of shoes on floors, tip tapping their way to classrooms and desks...and that's what she began to hear...as one by one the children filed into class and sat at their desks.

Miss B picked up The Daily Doings Register, opened it up, and began to call out the names..

"Annie Andrews?"
'Here, Miss'

"Bertie Brussels?"
'Yes, Miss'

"Dolores McDumpling?"
'Aye, Miss'

"Dolores, do not speak to me in that ridiculous accent! Speak PROPERLY!"
'Aye, Miss'

"Fenella Fumbleton?"
'Wha'ever, Miss'

"Fenella!"
'Am I bovvered, Miss?'

Miss B reached for The Bloody Disobedient Register and put Fenella's name inside it..

"Jimmy James?"
'                '

"*Jimmy JAMES?"
'                     '


"JIMMY JAMES?"
'                            '


Miss B removed her glasses, and looked up at the class. Jimmy's desk was empty.   

The smile on her face sent shudders round the room, yes, even Fenella started to quake...

"Has anyone seen Jimmy James?" she asked....but the room remained silent, the children bowed their heads...


Miss B place The Truancy Register on top of The Daily Doings one, and started to scribble inside....

Then, she told her class to get their books out and read Chapters 1 to 7, whilst she dashed to the Headmaster's Office to set £800 worth of Misery into Motion...




Down in the woods, Jimmy was playing with frogs in a little pond, watching the tadpoles starting to hatch out...He was fascinated. After a while, he lay on his back, looked up at blue sky, the fluffy white clouds....started making pictures out of them....A little later he went looking for different sorts of trees. His Dad had taught him how their leaves told you what they were, their shape too. Then he sat quiet, just listening to the birds singing, realised they had different voices, different songs...Jimmy breathed in the air and he felt so good, so FREE!

He hated being cooped up in school all day long, hated having to study from books, do loads of writing. He hated Miss B too.   He didn't want to hate her, because his Mum had told him that Hate was a bad thing to have inside you, but she made him angry. She wouldn't believe anything he said, made him feel bad about himself and tried to get others to see him that way too.

Even at six years old he knew something was wrong.

On his way to school that morning, he'd just reached a point of not wanting to go through the gates, ever again. He wasn't wanted in that school. He couldn't learn the things he loved, there was no time to sit and stare, to let your mind wander. Jimmy knew that somehow, freedom to think about thousands of different things was very important when you were young.

And suddenly the words of a song his Mum loved came to him..and he started singing...

"We don't need no Edukashun
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teacher leave them kids alone
Hey, teacher! Leave them kids alone!...."

Jimmy didn't quite understand what sarcasm meant, just like he didn't understand what Lesbian or Gay meant, nor millions of other words, but he knew what he felt inside and right that moment, he felt fear...
So he turned around, just as he had done on 5 other days that month, and he went to where he felt happy, to the woods, to nature, to freedom....


Meanwhile, back at the Edukashun Ranch, Miss B had reached the Headmaster's door....She knocked and entered a little too fast.

Mr. Caneinhand was watching a video with Miss Sweetheart, one that she'd brought in to try to turn things around in this dictatorial place, because Miss Sweetheart was very worried about some of the techers in this school....

Mr. Caneinhand listened to Miss B for a moment, but just after the words "We HAVE him, Headmaster! We HAVE him!" he beckoned for her to sit down, turning the TV screen around so that she could watch.

"Miss Sweetheart, would you run the video again from the beginning, please?"

"Of course, Headmanster" Miss Sweetheart replied...

"Miss B, watch this for a moment, then tell me what you think."

And Miss B watched, silently, as her world began to implode


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 06:42 AM

I found the posts of 05 Mar 10 - 06:25 PM and 05 Mar 10 - 06:42 PM very disquieting too.

Not, in fact, because 'Miss B' was quite obviously a barely disguised attack upon myself but because of the disturbed nature and the unrestrained spite of the content which I found distinctly creepy.

It did appear to be a classic example of psychological projection   that occurs when a person's own unacceptable or threatening feelings are repressed and then attributed to someone else.

This mechanism enables the mind to avoid the discomfort of consciously admitting personal faults by keeping those feelings unconscious, redirecting their libidinal satisfaction by attaching, or "projecting," those same faults onto another.


Some information on the song While Gamekeepers lie sleeping on Reinhard Zierke's (Mostly) English Folk Music Website
(supporting Folk against Fascism)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 06:48 AM

LOL - there's another lollipop for guessing who 'Miss Sweetheart' is

Wierder and weirder, to paraphrase Alice's comments in Wonderland!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 07:33 AM

Miss Sweetheart ain't me, Clutterbuck...she's a relative of Miss Honey, from Roald Dahl's 'Matilda'.



"This mechanism enables the mind to avoid the discomfort of consciously admitting personal faults by keeping those feelings unconscious, redirecting their libidinal satisfaction by attaching, or "projecting," those same faults onto another."

Blimey, I never realised you thought my one brain cell was that complicated. 'libidinal' I presume, comes from the The I Know Far More 'Hintelligent' Words Than You Register, right?

Tell me, Emma, why haven't you chosen to comment/judge/damn me on the other link I put it in. The one which told exactly the same story. The one from the Pink News magazine?

To me, you see, it's just another link. I don't check out the backgrounds of people who own sites before I link to them, if they have a story I want to link to...and I'd imagine that loads of other folks don't either (said Jimmy James, in his effort to try to get this woman to understand)

As I recall, you linked to a story in The Daily Mail, relatively recently, saying that you didn't like linking to that paper, but found it the only link that was displaying the story you wanted to highligh.    Do you remember that?

So, how come it's OK for you to link to that paper, but not me, or anyone else...unless of course, like you, they feel they have a right to do so?

I'm just puzzled, that's all.

If you *REALLY* want to know why I linked to that first one, it was simply because it was the second on the google list. The Daily Mail was the first one reporting that story and that site was underneath it. It was extremely late at night and I copied and pasted the link, put it on here, and voila...

It really was THAT simple.   I *am* a simple soul, not pedantic about facts, figures or owners of sites.

But, just like Miss B, you have already written me down in your Hate Register, and set off on your crusade to prove to the world that I really AM the person you KNOW me to be...and that I linked to that site KNOWING it was run by people who'd infuriate you further.

But there's no point in getting you to understand that, 'cos you won't. So you scribble away..and look up sites which apparently now describe my peysonality...but you won't find one that fits, I'm afraid, because I don't think inside your box or anyone else's.   My brain and the single cell which dwells within, is it's own person.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the woods, like Jimmy, where I can get right away from minds that assume they KNOW how and why other minds think like they do, then demand that ALL minds think as THEY do.


'Jimmy' and I are free people. Born Free to Live Free and Die Free.

And here, whilst I'm away in the woods, is another magazine for you to read, one run by a lovely family who left these shores to live in France and raise their children as they wanted to. Their three children are now all grown up, incredibly intelligent, able to look after themselves, grow their own food, build their own houses, as their father did.   


FREEDOM in education

Think OUTSIDE the Box, Emma...and you will find life takes on very new and wonderful meanings.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: jeddy
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 07:59 AM

i know who i am talking about when i said elsie.. :)

whats the point of your nasty little stories? i got halfway through the last one before i started to feel sick and couldn't finish it.

'miss sweetheart' sounds like she is doing a wonderful job to me. she is teaching children to be independant, to have their own mind. and to rationalise. also teaching them to regconise their self worth.
isn't that something that you were saying we should all be doing not so long back?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 08:05 AM

'and look up sites which apparently now describe my peysonality'

On the contrary - I studied Psychology at University and I am describing a classic mechanism -

As I've seen quoted elsewhere

'If the shoe fits....'


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 08:26 AM

'Miss Sweetheart ain't me, Clutterbuck...she's a relative of Miss Honey, from Roald Dahl's 'Matilda'.

'Cluuterbuck'! what a quaint slang term for a 'female mammals reproductive organ'; maybe you should just say what you really mean? :)

Strange as it may seem to you, as you have such an intractable opinion of my inability to think outside 'state regulations', I recognize a singularly bad pastiche of a well known chidrens book when I see it and also the use of Joy Adamsons titles for her books describing her experiences in Kenya.

The next 'tale' - from 'The Borrowers'?

Thank you


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Raphie
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 09:46 AM

Poxicat......Errrrrm.....Looks like it!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 12:14 PM

Joy Adamson, wow, not thought of her in a very long time. Nope, my words on FREE didn't come from Elsa, or Elsie...and it's strange, that if you know Roald Dahl so well you would even consider that Miss Sweetheart was me.

As for jade, yes, Miss Sweetheart IS a Sweetheart, that's the whole point. Because she cares for her children, respects them and sees them as whole people rather than means to fill the tick boxes in Examland, her pupils think the world of her. And she saw the truth in Jimmy James. Miss B saw only what she wanted to see and that was darkness and suspicion.

Clutterbuck was a name that just whizzed into my head, actually. I've never heard of that slang meaning. Mine came from the clutter on my desk, surrounding the screen here. I simply think of things on the spur of the moment, Emma. Surely you must appreciate that my Simple Mind does not contain the capacity to be so devious as you make out? You can't have it both ways.

Poxicat, a very wise and wonderful teacher once said to me that Education starts AFTER students have finally been able to walk away from school, not whilst they're tied into it.

Look up John Gatto and read what he says about education, another teacher of over 30 years standing, an award winning teacher too.

A child can learn far more on a holiday than sat on a chair having to study something they have absolutely no interest in.


If Hate Registers are brought in, then it will be the end of the Education system as we know it, because the whole idea is so utterly sick that it proves what kind of weird individuals are in charge of the nation's children.

Would I EVER let my kids go to be around anyone who had a Hate Register to hand, who recorded what 5 year olds were saying, then kept those words for reference for the next 13 years, to harp back to?   Are you MAD????? Of course I bloody wouldn't! And I'd hope that you wouldn't either, because YOUR children are just as capable of coming out with the new buzz word or summat they heard on TV last night, as anyone else's.

We truly have now reach Orwell's 1984, yet you folks seem happy with that situation.

??????????????????????????


And then, of course, there was The Disappearance Register:

"People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word."
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 1


Miss B's favourite quote was this....

"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 3

...because she knew, that with her Hate Register held firmly in her hand, she controlled not only Jimmy James past, but also his future..


Big Brother is watching not just you, but your children.

Be afraid.
Be very afraid.

Then..send them off to school with their little lunch boxes and pray they don't say anything they shouldn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 12:27 PM

Oh and jade, I suggest you look up the life story of Roald Dahl, because in there you'll find how terribly bullied he was at school, by his teachers.

The day that schools replace their 'soon to have' HATE Registers, with LOVE Registers will be the day that Edukashon System really starts to care about the children within its walls.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 12:36 PM

Well, all I can say is that my partner is a primary school techer, and so are lots of our friends.
Sorry, No sign of boiling children alive as yet.
C'mon Lizzie...Name me one teacher/head teacher who would have the time to fill in these ledgers of crime that children apparently commit.
They're too busy teaching. I find most of your comments intrinsically insulting to the vast majority of teachers in this country.
By all means, remove your children from the system if you so wish. Your choice. We wouldn't dream of doing such a stupid thing.
I suppose Universities are out of the question too?
Is that why you are a shop assistant?
(Memo to self...Don't get dragged in again....Just don't!)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 01:16 PM

First of all, Ralph, I don't look down on anyone who works in a shop, or cleans toilets or works on the roads.

Obviously, you do.

Arrogance.


Secondly, if my children wanted to go to university, they are free to do so. My daughter is doing an Open University degree, whilst working at the same time, two jobs, both of which you'd sneer at,I've no doubt, but she sees them as a means to an end. She has no debts and money in the bank.

The vast majority of teachers in this country are snowed under with paperwork already, this will just be yet more. It is insanity.

Home Education is far from 'stupid', but is a very natural way of learning and it's the way people learned for generations, even if they couldn't read or write. They learned to be farmers, farriers, blacksmiths, taught by their fathers, or mothers..or housekeepers..

The human race DID exist long before school was ever invented, you know.

Teachers themselves are turning to Education Otherwise, and other Home Ed groups to try to learn what they do so RIGHT that school is doing so wrong.

I have, and always will, back excellent, brilliant, compassionate, caring teachers. I have no time for the rest. They do far more damage than good and shouldn't even have the job in the first place.

You are free to do whatever you so choose with your children, Ralph. I recognise that fact and would not sneer at you for doing it.


Oh..and for your information, I did used to clean toilets too, when I was in Sidmouth, looking after three little old ladies.

Why am I a shop assitant? Well, because I like working with the public, always have done..and because I have no problem with BEING a shop assistant in the first place, be it for The National Trust, a chemist or who I work for at present. I've been the Harley St. secretary, worked with Princes, Rulers, Princesses, Politiicans, Actors, the Paul McCartneys etc....and I'm quite happy working in a shop.....It also fits in with me being a carer and with home education too.

It's a big sacrifice but one that nearly all Home Ed families feel a worthy thing to do.


And now, I'll leave you to go back to your Edukashon System Sneering Down upon on other people you deem lesser beings than yourself...

Perhaps Emma could find me a more insulting word than Clutterbuck (not that I knew it was an insulting word, much less...a word!)


You really are the most terribly arrogant snob, aintcha!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 02:14 PM

"Home Education is far from 'stupid', but is a very natural way of learning and it's the way people learned for generations, even if they couldn't read or write. They learned to be farmers, farriers, blacksmiths, taught by their fathers, or mothers..or housekeepers"

What children learned to do the 'natural way' before compulsory education -


No. 116. — Sarah Gooder, aged 8 years.

I'm a trapper in the Gawber pit. It does not tire me, but I have to trap without a light and I'm scared.
I go at four and sometimes half past three in the morning, and come out at five and half past.
I never go to sleep. Sometimes I sing when I've light, but not in the dark; I dare not sing then.
I don't like being in the pit. I am very sleepy when I go sometimes in the morning. I go to Sunday-schools and read Reading made Easy. She knows her letters, and can read little words. They teach me to pray. She repeated the Lord's Prayer, not very perfectly, and ran on with the following addition:--"God bless my father and mother, and sister and brother, uncles and aunts and cousins, and everybody else, and God bless me and make me a good servant. Amen." I have heard tell of Jesus many a time. I don't know why he came on earth, I'm sure, and I don't know why he died, but he had stones for his head to rest on.
I would like to be at school far better than in the pit.

No. 72 — Mary Barrett, aged 14. June 15.

I have worked down in pit five years; father is working in next pit; I have 12 brothers and sisters — all of them but one live at home; they weave, and wind, and hurry, and one is a counter, one of them can read, none of the rest can, or write; they never went to day-school, but three of them go to Sunday-school; I hurry for my brother John, and come down at seven o'clock about; I go up at six, sometimes seven;
I do not like working in pit, but I am obliged to get a living; I work always without stockings, or shoes, or trousers; I wear nothing but my chemise;
I have to go up to the headings with the men; they are all naked there; I am got well used to that, and don't care now much about it; I was afraid at first, and did not like it; they never behave rudely to me;
I cannot read or write.

No. 26. — Patience Kershaw, aged 17, May 15. *

My father has been dead about a year; my mother is living and has ten children, five lads and five lasses; the oldest is about thirty, the youngest is four; three lasses go to mill; all the lads are colliers, two getters and three hurriers; one lives at home and does nothing; mother does nought but look after home.
All my sisters have been hurriers, but three went to the mill. Alice went because her legs swelled from hurrying in cold water when she was hot.

I never went to day-school; I go to Sunday-school, but I cannot read or write; I go to pit at five o'clock in the morning and come out at five in the evening; I get my breakfast of porridge and milk first; I take my dinner with me, a cake, and eat it as I go; I do not stop or rest any time for the purpose; I get nothing else until I get home, and then have potatoes and meat, not every day meat.
I hurry in the clothes I have now got on, trousers and ragged jacket; the bald place upon my head is made by thrusting the corves; my legs have never swelled, but sisters' did when they went to mill; I hurry the corves a mile and more under ground and back; they weigh 300 cwt.; I hurry 11 a-day;
I wear a belt and chain at the workings, to get the corves out; the getters that I work for are naked except their caps; they pull off all their clothes; I see them at work when I go up; sometimes they beat me, if I am not quick enough, with their hands; they strike me upon my back;
the boys take liberties with me sometimes they pull me about; I am the only girl in the pit; there are about 20 boys and 15 men; all the men are naked; I would rather work in mill than in coal-pit.

This girl is an ignorant, filthy, ragged, and deplorable-looking object, and such an one as the uncivilized natives of the prairies would be shocked to look upon.

*
The Unthanks perform The Testimony of Patience Kershaw


Let's all go back to The Good Old Days!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 02:23 PM

Hurriers coal trappers and thrusters


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 02:56 PM

I knew it was a mistake. But I'll add "being a snob" to all the other insults that come hurtling through the ether.
Getting quite a list now!
Haven't had the gratuitous sarcasm that others have had to put up with....yet. No doubt it will be on it's way.
I'm not going to go down that line of "my job is more miserable than yours"
.....Actually I will.

1972
First job, working as a supplementary benefits officer for the DHSS in London.(known to the Red Tops as "Sex Spies"..which was nice)
I was means testing an unemployed chap. Unhappily he was just over the threshold for benefits.
He went very quiet for a few seconds. I said "sorry, but those are the rules"
He thanked me kindly, walked to the window and stepped out.....4 floors up...
He had two kids.
Satisfied?

Emma has quite lucidly pointed out how children were treated 100 plus years ago.
I know the Patience Kershaw story, and am grateful (if that is the word) to have been pointed towards the other two sad cases. (and I'm sure that there were thousands of others in the 19th century and before.)
Child exploitation was rife before the early 20th century. Women were chattels, until the suffragette movement got them the vote.
And it took until after the second world war to form what is now known as the NHS.
And you squeal about the temerity of teachers to perform their "Duty of Care" by keeping an eye on your little darlings during school hours. And that you can do it better??? With no traiing???
Words fail me.
Lizzie welcome to the 21st century. Take those rose-tinted spectacles off, and see all the gun and knife crime around you. Who caysed it?....Teachers? They haven't got bloody time to show kids how to roll a spliff, take crack cocaine, not to mention the techniques of murdering people.
No, In the main its caused by lack of proper schooling and feckless parents, who either can't, or don't want to care.

I would suggest that you spend a week watching the Jeremy Kyle show. That is broken Britain. Not...Social Services or the Teaching profession.
You profess to want to change the world. Well...Go on then...But leave us decent intelligent people alone and start ranting at ITV (or whatever damn channel it's on)

When you are sitting in your nice warm National Trustshop tommorow, selling mugs to tourists. Remember Patience Kershaw, and the others.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 03:00 PM

I know it is frowned upon to comment on a certain persons rants but I am now calm enough now to mention some of the personal attacks that have been going on here. Unlike the way I felt a few hours ago. There was a post a few hours back that literaly made me feel sick. It was the vilest and most underhand thing I have seen on any forum ever. I have already PM'd the management about to ask them to delete the posting. I think now though that it would be better to leave it on show to see what depths some people can sink to.

Goodnight and hoping to never have to witness these sick ravings again.

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 03:02 PM

And before you jump down my throat again Lizzie, The sentence that reads

"In the main it's caused by lack of proper schooling and feckless parents"
Please delete "of proper schooling and"
(Wish this site had an edit function)
It should read.
"In the main it's caused by feckless parents"


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 03:06 PM

BTW - I case of doubt the posting I refer to was at 6:14AM.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: jeddy
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 03:18 PM

agreed david, although after the 'rape' thread it doesn't suprise me, it shocks me!! i thought things couldn't get much worse. just goes to show how off my thinking is.

just so you all know the miss sweetheart i was referring to wasn't the one in the story, i didn't get that far! well.... i read her name once.

i wish there was some things i could let ride when they sicken me
but better me say something than people think i agree by silence.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 03:34 PM

Agree Jeddy.
Hence my little spat above. Mea Culpa to any who might have beeen offended by my musings (Except one of course!)
I always remember my father explaining to me that the reasons the Nazis did so well, was that nobody stood up to them (either by fear or ignorance).
You could apply that to the BNP too.
Peace Ralph


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 03:34 PM

Sorry, you've lost me. What was 'sickening' about Miss Sweetheart, jeddy?

It's interesting ain't it, because as I write this 'Lark Rise to Candleford' is on the TV. The story this week is about a teacher who left the village school, because of the way the children were acting up. One of the village mothers stepped in to help out. She was ousted, albeit kindly, by another woman from the town, who deemed herself to be 'a teacher'.

Of course, she was total crap at the job and the children gave her a hard time. And so, the mother stepped back in, told the kids stories, educated them in the way she knew they'd understand, brought in the things she knew they'd listen to, want to learn about...

Well, well, well, well, well. :0)


Ralph, you being a former BBC employee, I should imagine you'd want to take this terrible atrocity up with the BBC and producers of Larkrise, because hell's bells, for them to dare to infer that a mere woman of the village...a MOTHER, to boot, would have the brainpower and the children skills to make a better teacher than the 'official' one, needs to be dealt with ASAP.

Sorry, I'm chuckling as I write this. Ha! Lark Rise couldn't have come at a better time, really, could it.

OK, you lot, back to your HATE Registers, where you can fill my words all in and send them to the Headmaster as fast as you can.

;0)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 03:39 PM

No, Ralph, you were demeaning to people who work in shops.

That is why I called you a snob. You are actually far worse than that, patronising comes to mind.

How DARE you assume that you are better than anyone else? How DARE you assume that those who work in shops are not worthy for you to wipe your boots on?????

I was taught by my Father that I am better that no man and no man is better than me.

I suggest you adhere to his outlook and get off that high horse of yours, before you fall off.



Perhaps, jeddy, you have a story where Miss Sweetheart is really Miss Whiplash?

I know a GREAT song about Miss Whiplash!! Where's ALAN? Someone send for Alan and we'll sing a few rousing choruses together...


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 03:49 PM

Lark Rise is fiction.
My story, which you chose to ignore, was fact.
Have you ever been the unwitting cause of someones suicide because of the circumstances of your job?
Pleased to note that you are chuckling. I'm not.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 04:02 PM

Excuse me

Aaaaaaaaaagggggggggghhhhh!

Thank you. I feel better now.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 04:16 PM

David you are a vey naughty boy ! Lol!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 04:25 PM

'Lark Rise is fiction.'

Well Ralphie as has been mentioned in another thread the TV version certainly is!

However the book of memoirs written by Flora Thompson , a slip of a girl working in a village post office having left school at 13, was not

'In Lark Rise, Over to Candleford and Candleford Green, Flora describes her childhood in the impoverished farming community of Juniper Hill in the remote corner where Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire meet.

She writes with such warmth, freshness and unsentimental clarity that you can smell the bread baking in cottage kitchens and hear the laughter of children playing by the brook.

BUT you can also smell the stink of privies and feel the pangs of near-constant hunger, for this is no misty-eyed account of a lost rural paradise.
Life was harsh, deprived and primitive. It was common for a family of 10 to live in a two-bedroom cottage with no running water

Then, virtually all the men worked on farms for a mere 10 shillings a week, which pauperised them and their families.
They ate what they could grow in gardens and allotments, keeping a pig and hens for meat.

"Poverty's no disgrace, but 'tis a great inconvenience" was a favourite saying that occurs frequently in the book.'

From 'Literary landscapes'

There are more objective archive records from Thatcham, another rural community in Berkshire during the same period as the Larkrise memoirs

The Newbury Weekly News correspondent reported:
"A pitiful wail reaches me from Ashmore Green where many men with large families are out of work, some of whom have been making a tour round (to find work) but without result. Though the people hear of soup being given away in this parish (Thatcham), none of it reaches the hamlet; in fact, a humorist friend says, they are worse off than their neighbours, who get Cold Ash daily; the Ashmore Green people get the cold shoulder, and that over the left", (N.W.N., 8.1.1891). Although a good deal of charity was being distributed, many people still suffered unnoticed through no fault of their own.


Life in Thatcham at the end of the nineteenth-century was still hard, and there were people in the twentieth-century who could look back and remember the village in the 1890s.
One of these people was George Rutter, who wrote a series of articles for the Newbury Weekly News in the 1950s; he remembered the hard times:
"Many are old enough to recall the poverty, distress end malnutrition . . .", he wrote, "so obvious to philanthropic minds that efforts were made to feed and clothe the more necessitous cases. There are memories of soup kitchens and food canteens. . .".

Rutter describes the lives of the inhabitants of the village in the 1890s.
The women of Thatcham ". . . were hard-working and self-sacrificing, knowing how to provide meals for many stomachs with but a few pence, scrupulously clean and never having any leisure from this full-time job of chores, cooking and mending...
The public house was an additional headache to many women of that day. Beer was cheap but even so money for it could be ill-afforded out of the house-hold budget . . .".

For others life was even harder: "There was also a weekly queue in the Broadway, rather a sad one, a gathering of the old and poor, who waited outside the registrar-cum-relieving officer's home on Friday mornings, in all weathers, for the weekly dole of a shilling and perhaps an order for bread".

Extracted from Thatcham Historical Society

Not what people want to sit down and 'escape' with on Sunday evening


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 04:27 PM

Er Lizzie...
Confused now.
I've worked in many a shop...Yes, Yes, Yes....Have done bins too.
Therefore that makes ME, better than ME?
Are we moving into the realms of Quantum physics, where a particle can exist in various states simultaneously?
Ralph
(When do I get the upgrade to the Moaning Minnie status...rather be that than just a Snob.)
Is it something to do with Farmville?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 04:34 PM

Emma B
I doff my cap to you. Very interesting and informative.
I never read the original diaries, maybe I will now.
Knowledge is strength after all.
Bob Coppers "Song for every season" is worth a glance if you can find a copy. Also Packie Byrnes "Songs of a Donegal Man" is prety good too.
Dave Eyre might be able to help.

So nice that we can put this thread to bed on a harmonious note, without interruption!
Good Night
Raplhie.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 04:54 PM

Just to add a dose of reality: I would point out that neither of the women in tonight's episode of Lark Rise actually ended up as the teacher - neither was qualified. The school board duly brought in a properly qualified teacher at the end of the episode.

And yes, it was a work of fiction. If all teachers ever had to do was tell ghost stories and make puppets, as the village mother did in Lark Rise, their jobs would be far less demanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 05:52 PM

Now of course I am forbidden to address teacher's pet, or to discuss her, but I can I hope discuss song lyrics.

"Who put the bomp in the bomp-she-bomp-she-bomp
Who put the dim in the dit-de-dit-de dim"?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 06:08 PM

Just in case you forgot what you said, Ralph..it's here.

"...By all means, remove your children from the system if you so wish. Your choice. We wouldn't dream of doing such a stupid thing.
I suppose Universities are out of the question too?
Is that why you are a shop assistant?..."


I'll leave you to explain exactly what you meant by the 'shop assistant' bit.

I would however, point out to you that I'm damn LUCKY to have ANY job at all, because people are piss poor down here in Torquay. There are NO jobs, and if some do come up, then there are dozens of people going for every single one. People are struggling, REALLY struggling.

Your jobs do not interest me.

This thread is not about anyone's jobs. It is about education and the madness of what is happening inside The System which is putting appalling pressure on teachers, parents and most importantly, children.

I don't give a fig about you, or about any of your buddies who are the usual gang, although they've now roped in jeddy as well, which is a shame because we did used to be quite friendly...but that is her choice and her responsibility.

Richard, do you know something? You are so starting to sound like that person on Facebook, the one who makes double pages of folks in here, then puts unpleasant comments on about them.

I'd have thought, what with you knowing all about those pages, that you'd have decided to never get like him. Hey ho. Again, it's your choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: jeddy
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 07:23 PM

lizzie, i haven't been roped into anything, yes we were friends once, even going over to FB. but the first time i disagreed with you, you defriended me! not something a true friend would do.

since then the more i have read of you, the more i dislike you.

i actually agree loosley with some of the things you say, but not your approach.
i have seen little in your posts that you are able to accept you are wrong or mistaken on anything.
you worry me lizzie. the way you can upend every subject to suit your mood that day is actually rather scary. i know i use the word I alot, but am quite happy to try to understand how things i write can affect other poeple something which you seem to have problems with.
you say you care about people when you comes accross as being incredibly self centred.

to you and me (depending on the subject) words on a screen are exactly that. but i think you forget that there are PEOPLE behind that screen with emotions and feelings.

i need no one to pull my strings and have a brain of my own. i don't know about your friends but mine would never try to TELL my what to think, just inform me and they trust me to make up my own mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: jeddy
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 07:30 PM

i got 500!!!! yay meeeee.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: jeddy
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 07:31 PM

oops, who can't count? i meant 150.
good job i don't work in a bank, you would all love me!

x x x x x x


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 02:57 AM

"lizzie, i haven't been roped into anything, yes we were friends once, even going over to FB. but the first time i disagreed with you, you defriended me! not something a true friend would do.

Eh?

jeddy, for your information, I removed ALL my friends from my Facebook page because I closed that page down. I took the whole lot off, friends, videos, words..everything. It was not personal, you know. That is the danger of the internet, people misinterpret things, assume the worst. I did not have the time, nor the inclination, to write to everyone on my page. I merely shut that page down.


"since then the more i have read of you, the more i dislike you."

Fair enough. That is entirely your choice. I am not here to justify myself to you, or others. There are times I'm not too keen on things you say, but please note, that I do not openly attack you or say the things you do about me or to me.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 05:50 AM

I don't realy think Ralph needs to explain his shop worker comment. It was not a slight on any of those remarkable, patient and long suffering crew that have to put up with the mad rants of the few day in, day out. Did I tell you my first two jobs were in retail? I actualy rode one of the last few grocers bikes (Granville of 'Open all Hours' style) making deliiveries for Redmans in Salfard. I also worked in Eccles market hall - On the handbag stall of all things! Anyhow - back to the point. It was obvious to anyone with a modicum of sense that Ralph was not having a go at shop workers. He was simply wondering why, with all the obvious skills some people have, they were not running the country instead of working in a shop. Maybe it is me, but if I ever wanted advice on what to buy, I would go to a shop assistant. If I wanted advice on how the education system is being run I would go to a teacher. Stupid I know, but that is me...

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 05:53 AM

'but if I ever wanted advice on what to buy, I would go to a shop assistant.'

Obviopsly you've never shopped at Dixons Dave :)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Derecq
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 11:04 AM

I think you are all wrong about Lizzie and she needs to be congratulated.

As well as working in a shop, doing open-heart surgery for Paul McCartney, making sure the whole dog population of South West England gets walked each day, advising parents with dyslexia on how to handle their teachers, giving her mother-in-law 24/7 hour attention, looking up everything anyone needs to know about autism and dyslexia so she can argue with people about it, making up web pages with a bloke from Canada, looking after American visitors and making sure their needs are met whilst in the UK, following up conspiracy theories, and posting replies to them, running a Show of Hands website, a Reg Meuross fan magazine, and a Bruce Murdoch fan club, She still manages to post on here and educate her son.

Why not give one of these things up Lizzie? Preferably posting on here. Go look after your son.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 11:59 AM

Well said Derecq,
(Didn't I see you in a film last year?)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 12:03 PM

No, but I expect you listen to his radio show, Ralph. It's run under his other name, of Folkiedave.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 12:14 PM

"Maybe it is me, but if I ever wanted advice on what to buy, I would go to a shop assistant. If I wanted advice on how the education system is being run I would go to a teacher. Stupid I know, but that is me..."


I can assure there are very many shop assistants who haven't a clue about what they sell, nor an interest either. They are not bovvered at all.

EXACTLY the same can be said for many teachers and 'their' education system.


There are also excellent shop assistants who know their stock, their companies, inside out, who put their heart and soul into their jobs and do all they can to help their customers.

EXACTLY the same can be said for excellent teachers who care about their pupils in the same way.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 01:07 PM



Very sensible comment. So why insist on lumping them all together by condemning the whole 'edukashun' system?

But my point is not about the good and bad, it is about the average or norm. I GENERALY ask shop assitants for advice because GENERALY they know what they are talking about. Just in the same way as MOST teachers are GENERALY good. Neither excelent or terrible. Just getting on with the job and making a pretty good job of it while some people insist that 'they' are ruining our children and not making the distinction between good and bad!

Sorry but there are too many polar opposites here for me to make any sense of what is being said.

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 01:07 PM

I just re-read that and realised that there can only be TWO polar opposites! Well - it is still one too many for me:-)

D.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 01:22 PM

I was referring to the film. "Morris a Life with bells on"
A satire on an abstract Morris side.
The lead character's name was Derecq.
Who's Folkiedave?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 01:24 PM

"Very sensible comment. So why insist on lumping them all together by condemning the whole 'edukashun' system?"


Dave, I have always said that I support brilliant teachers who care about their pupils.

So many of the excellent teachers have left though. They have left because of 'The System' and the way they are no longer able to teach as THEY want to, in a way they KNOW works.

Our Education Welfare Officer, a former teacher himself, of long-standing, as was his wife, before she was paralysed in a car accident, used to almost weep at what was happening inside The System, and believe you me, he KNEW!   

He knew that Home Education was growing on a rapid scale and he knew the reasons for most of that growth too. He dealt not only with the likes of us, but with the children who were expelled too. He used to turn up at their house, five days a week to deliver 5 hours of edukashon to a child that had no interest in learning.

He was a wonderful man, understood kids inside out. He soon had them working alongside him and enjoying doing that work, because he'd used different methods to bring the children over to his side, to make them interested, to inspire them.    They were entitled to 25 hours free home education a week. I think that may now have increased to full time hours, along the same hours as ordinary schooling.

We, as home edcators, got nothing from the system, other than a yearly inspection (6 monthly if they were worried, but we never needed extra visits) and the top mark of 'satisfactory'. They never awarded anything higher to home educators, than 'satisfactory', no matter the calibre of the child, no matter their intelligence, the work they'd covered, the examinations, the degrees achieved, nothing, but NOTHING went above 'satisfactory'..which shows you the mean minded, mean spirited, narrow minded prats who are in The System, because they couldn't BEAR to think that ANY home educated child was better educated than if they had been at school.

So bloody insulting!


And I disagree with you about good teachers. They are NOT, imo, 'in general' but 'in the minority'. Most people only remember the good teachers, and they only remember a very few of those. They tend to stick in our minds because they were the ones who were kind, gentle and understanding to us, who made us laugh and feel good about our work and about ourselves.


There are now more Factory Farm Schools than ever before in this country, vast souless places where thousands of children spend their secondary school life. Smaller schools have been closed down and centralised.

Bit like Russia..?

They were saying in the paper the other day that pupils and teachers alike are struggling in these mega schools. They breed trouble and fear, more often than not. I know. My daughter went to one such school and now, it is even BIGGER than it was then. Totally nuts!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 02:03 PM

And I disagree with you about good teachers. They are NOT, imo, 'in general' but 'in the minority'.

And there we have it. The point of disagreement. In my opinion they are, in the main, good. Like all other walks of life, apart from politics where they are all idiots, I believe the majority of people are good at what they do. The fact that you chose to believe the worse is pretty significant. In other things you tell us that you are optimistic, 'half full', positive. You frown upon people who are nay-sayers and yet, over this one point, you have decided that the majority of teachers are bad. Why is that? I am no psychologist so I will not even attempt to find out but one thing I will say. If you do not know one way or another, do not argue about it. Get the facts first. Argue from a solid standpoint.

I am not going to quote any facts and figures but I am pretty sure that any survey will support the view that most people are good at what they do, enjoy it and give their all to make sure other people benefit. Whether they are shopkeepers or teachers.

Give it up Lizzie. We are never going to change your mind. What makes you think you are going to change anyone elses?

DeG

BTW - I remember every single one of my teachers at secondary school. All but one were brilliant.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 02:14 PM

Then you were, imo, very lucky, David.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 02:24 PM

So, a very simple answer to all this fuss then. Lizzie believes that the majority of teachers are bad.

And I disagree with you about good teachers. They are NOT, imo, 'in general' but 'in the minority'.

The rest of us disagree for various reasons. It's very easy to prove or disprove I guess. Without getting emotional, particularly if you are a teacher or if someone close to you is, can anyone provide a guidline for what is a good or bad teacher and whether the majority of teachers are above or below that line. Nothing anecdotal please. Just the bare facts.

Seemples.

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 02:27 PM

BTW Lizzie - Don't take this so personaly. No-one is getting at you. There is no need to justify to anyone here or anywhere else that you made the right decision in taking your children out of the system. It was right for you. It was right for them. Other peoples experiences are different, that's all.

D.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 03:16 PM

Dave, many people are 'getting at me'...I am their prey, always have been, and you are friends with one of those folks.

The whole point you have missed is that Home Educating families so very often know that school is absolutely wonderful for many children, as I've said so many times before. We do not have a problem with others sending their children to school. What I have a problem with is being told that home educating is bordering on the criminal, when 'the system' nearly made my child give up on life.

She is far from alone. If you read home educating magazines you will read the same story, over and over again, of children who cannot cope with factory farm schools, tick boxes, exams, tests, pressure, being bawled at, being bullied. They are so often deeply sensitive children who need quiet lives, who WANT quiet lives and they are sent into places that literally drive them half mad with fear and worry.

I would NEVER expect, let alone *force* a child to learn something they have no interest in, because I know that a child won't learn it.
Why the hell should they? Who decides what a child learns in 'The System'?   What makes them think they know what is best?

"YOU MUST LEARN TO READ AND WRITE!"

Some people can't. Yet they are able to build their own houses, be your builder, your plumber, whoever...

"YOU MUST LEARN MATH!"

Some people can't. Yet they get by OK, with simple sums that are needed for everyday life.

"YOU MUST LEARN SCIENCE!"

Some people may never want to. They love the magic that lies inside things, without ever wanting to know the scientific facts.

Some adore History, some Geography, some are born Mechanics, some are Healers, some are simply wonderful at listening to others...They are artists, musicians, writers, potters or poets..

Everyone has something they are wonderful at, no matter how small the wonder might be. It is how nature has designed us, as a species, to have different skills, different interests, different brains which light up in different areas...

The National Curriculum seeks to destory these natural gifts, turning off many children from their natural love for YEARS. Some never recover it, some do.

Some adore the National Curriculum. They love to be told what to do, what is expected of them, and they thrive on achievement. That is right...for them.

It is not right for all.

You educate your child your way. I will not stop you.

My children learnt their way, eventually, when they were free of The System, which was a System that poisoned their souls for a while.

They are now free of that poison. Thank God.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 03:31 PM

And Dave, I'm intrigued.

A short while back you went bananas over a post of mine. It was the story of Jimmy James and The Hate Register. That Reigster is due to be brought into schools.

Above here, at 11.04am, there is a post from someone who has come in as 'Guest' to post a deeply personal message about me. It is incorrect, it lies, it is deeply abusive, it is highly unpleasant, bullying and unkind...

...and yet, you have made no mention of it whatsoever.

Why not?

Why would complain about a story highlighting the dangers of a Hate Register, in the wrong hands, and yet you are perfectly happy to let that post about me stand, and to let others agree with that post, whilst not jumping to my defence in any way at all?

I am not shouting 'victim' here, I'm merely puzzled about what I perceive to be deeply varying attitudes over some messages.

There is no need to answer. Just a need for some thought, perhaps.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 04:37 PM

No need to be intrigued, Lizzie. Quite simple - I take no notice of guest posts.

All the rest you have posted is aside to the main issue. You believe that the majority of teachers are bad. Other people, including myself, argue that the majority of teachers are good. Seeing as it is you that are making the argument it is generaly accepted that the onus of proof lies with you but I am quite happy to accept proof either way and I would also add that you could be right. I doubt it but never let it be said I am not open minded.

In a nutshell - I am quite happy to accept PROOF that the majority of teachers are bad if you are willing to supply the hard evidence rather than the hearsay and anecdotes you usualy give. Either prove conclusively that most teachers are bad or stop saying it.

Of course you don't have to provide proof but would that not make people wonder about your credibility?

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 04:54 PM

OK, dave...you prove the majority of teachers are good.

Off you go....it works both ways...


"No need to be intrigued, Lizzie. Quite simple - I take no notice of guest posts."

My, how convenient for you. Of course, had a 'Guest' posted wonderful, beautiful, magical, sparkling things about me, I've no doubt they'd have been shot to smithereens then 'enlightened' about the 'truth about Lizzie'

Good job this thread isn't about Hypocrites, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 05:09 PM

OK - No problem even though it is the wrong way round. It is usualy the proposor of he argument that gets to start but fair enough, we will work to your rules.

This should make you happy. It is a 2009 Ofsted report that states that inadequcy is 'soaring' in our schools. 1 in 13 schools, and their teachers I suppose, are now considered inadequate so I guess you are right. Oh, hang on, maybe my maths is wrong. Does 1 school in 13 being inadequate equate to the majority being bad? I realy must try harder.

Back to you to provide this proof of the majority of teachers being bad I suppose:-(

I realy don't know what you are on about in the second bit. I would have had no idea if the guest would have agreed with you either. I repeat once more. I take no notice of guest postings. What has hypocracy got to do with bad teaching or the price of fish?

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 05:27 PM

BTW - I should be at Swinton Folk Club but I am stuck on the computer 4 feet from the bathroom because my 11 month old grandson came back from London with rotovirus induced gastroenteritis. It is particulary easy to pass on as those who have had children know. For those that have no kids I'll spare you the details:-)

I think it is the fault of someone else, probably a teacher, but I take full responsibilty for my actions because if I had not had a grandson I would not have got it.

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 05:31 PM

The problem with 'headlines' with emotive terms like 'soar' is that it is necessary to actually read the full report to read what is really behind such attention grabbing headlines

The article posted by Dave points out that the increase in schools judged to be 'inadequate' in some way (not necessarily the standard of teaching) have increased to 7.5% of all schools inspected, compared with 4% six months ago

However an explanation for this apparent 'increase' is also given by Ofsted

"it is important to note that the new inspections have been focusing more on weaker schools and THIS COULD BE EXPECTED TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON OVERALL OUTCOMES"

"Under the new arrangements, outstanding and good schools are now only inspected once within a five-year period, satisfactory schools are inspected every three years, and inadequate schools are visited regularly until they make the improvements necessary.
We have also made it clear that every time an inspection framework is revised, expectations are raised too."

My apologies for introducing despised facts

Thank you


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 05:50 PM

"Back to you to provide this proof of the majority of teachers being bad I suppose:-(
"


The headmaster who did SO much damage to my daughter and many within her Year Group, those who'd come before her, and those who came after, was finally ousted by the parents of that school.

He got a new job....as an OFSTED inspector.

So you'll excuse me if I don't believe the word of OFSTED. I have seen, with my own eyes, bad teachers, Dave. My daughter was messed up by them, as was my son, as was I when I was at school. Most of the people I know only remember a very few teachers with fondness.

Rotovirus?

My son was in hospital for nearly 10 days with that, when he was just 3 years old. It is the only time in his life he was in there and he was very poorly indeed.

I hope your grandson makes a swift and full recovery.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 06:13 PM

He seems fine now, thanks Lizzie. I realy do appreciate your concern. Apparently everyone in the world is expected to get the rotovirus before they are two years old! That is something that realy does concern me!

Now, back to the point. You have asked for proof that the majority of teachers are good. I have provided it. You refuse to believe that proof. Where do we go now? If we are to rely on hearsay and anecdotes instead of concrete evidence where will it end up?

I am not doubting your experience but why should I believe that yours is typical and not mine or Freds or Berts or anyone else's? It is only hard evidence that cuts the mustard. Where is yours?

Dashing to the loo again

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 06:21 PM

Oh - BTW, the OFSTED report was quite damning. When you say So you'll excuse me if I don't believe the word of OFSTED do you think that their findings are better or worse than they report? And what basis do you have for that view? What proportion of schools do you believe are inaequate and why? What, in other words, are the reasons you expect us to believe that the majority of teachers are bad?

Just made it back:-)

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 07:17 PM

David, forget this fucking stupid game you like to play and listen!! I've just turned the computer back on to come and tell you this, because it's worrying me.

"I realy do appreciate your concern. Apparently everyone in the world is expected to get the rotovirus before they are two years old! That is something that realy does concern me!"


Whoever told you that was talking rubbish. Yes, it's common, but it's not THAT common. Also, it can be really awful, and I mean mega AWFUL.
My son slipped into unconsciousness for near on two days when he had it. He was utterly and completely dehydrated. I have never seen a little soul go downhill so rapidly and so frighteningly.

IF things should start to get suddenly worse, then do not waste ANY time, do not take any crap from any GP who tries to fob you off, just get him to hospital FAST, because he'll need to be on a drip. They were deeply concerned about Josh, to the point where when I questioned if he'd get better, they just stared at me and looked awkward. That was it. From that moment on I didn't leave his side, other than to use the bathroom. I slept right next to him, held his hand 24/7, changed his bed hour after hour after hour with the sweet nurses who helped me as much as they could.

Rotovirus can be **very** serious, so *please* read this and remember, because my son was quite a bit older than your grandson, but still it layed him out for that length of time. Afterwards, he was extremely weak, taking well over a week to recover enough to leave hospital.

Forget everything else to do with this thread, and just make sure you keep a very close eye on him.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST, Poxicat (NB perfectly consistent ID)
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 04:01 AM

The actual facts about rotavirus, not that that will matter to some: -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wi ki/Rotavirus
    Yes, your ID is consistent, but you are still a Guest - and 100% of Guest messages are reviewed. Calling people names like "stupid" can get anyone deleted, even if their ID is consistent. And though you may use a consistent ID, you are not registered under that ID and have not furnished a valid and true name and e-mail address - so don't expect to ever get the benefit of the doubt. If there's a hint of nastiness in a Guest post, it gets deleted.
    -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 05:06 AM

Sorry - my bad memory. It was by the age of 5, not 2. From the article kindly linked by Poxicat -

By the age of five, nearly every child in the world has been infected with rotavirus at least once

You see why people begin to doubt you, Lizzie, when you rely on anecdotes and one-off experiences rather than the confirmed facts? When most things you say go against what is actual fact and against most other peoples experience is it any wonder that it seems you are a lone voice?

The important thing is that he was under the doctor and not 'fobbed off' by the GP. The doctor took it very seriously and confirmed that if he was to get any worse or show no signs of improvement bu last Thursday he was to go to hospital. Fortunately he did improve dramiticaly within the specified week and he is fine now. But the legacy lingers on in us carers!

Oh, and btw, what is this fucking stupid game you like to play. It is now my turn to be intrigued. Do you mean the game of finding facts that do not fit your theories or simply the game of accepting real life?

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 07:36 AM

The threshold in teaching was introduced about 10 years ago. You only have to look at how many teachers have crossed the threshold in teaching and are now on the post threshold pay scale to see how many good teachers there are in our schools today. Each step requires 2 years of assessment for each teacher including observations of classroom teaching and evidence from Performance Management Reviews.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 07:48 AM

Thanks eanjay. I guess that means that the majority are classed as good? The excelent ones get a higher pay, the poor ones get less and the worst get the sack?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 08:13 AM

It is much more difficult for poor teachers to survive for long in schools these days. There are some very good teachers around whose expertise, commitment, professionalism etc. give many children a good experience during their school life. The pastoral side of teaching is just as important as the academic and there are some excellent form tutors and year heads.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 08:22 AM

Thanks again eanjay. It is much more difficult for poor teachers to survive for long in schools these days. sort of says what I believed all along.

Like I said before, the argument is simply about whether we believe Lizzies statement that And I disagree with you about good teachers. They are NOT, imo, 'in general' but 'in the minority'. or whether we belive that the majority of teachers are good. I know which I believe and I am not likely to be swayed, unless someone comes out with verifyable proof, and Lizzie is not likely to be swated even if proof is provided.

You are perfectly entitled to your opinions, Lizzie, but no matter how often or how loud you proclaim them, they will not become facts I'm afraid.

Sorry

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 08:37 AM

I have a lot of experience in education and good teachers are most definitely not in the minority; there are some unsatisfactory teachers but these are the minority and they are soon discovered and things are put into place to change that. In all fairness to Lizzie she did say that it was "in her opinion" which she is entitled to have, but there isn't any actual evidence to support that opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 04:14 PM

David, I tried to help you last night, out of concern for your grandson.

I was wrong to do this, because even THAT you have used to belittle me.


I find that deeply disturbing.


I will not bother again.



Sorry, eanjay, on this one, I am not with you at all. I have had exactly the opposite experience of teachers and I have dealt with many over the years at various schools. There are only two that I would refer to as 'teachers'...the rest were a complete waste of space, as far as I was concerned. They did not inspire my children in the slightest, in fact..the exact opposite.

This is still going on with my friends' children who are having very similar problems with the 'I'm in charge' brigade.

Brilliant teachers are born, not made. And they do a huge amount of good in this dumbed down world, changing children's lives around, inspiring them, often, for life. THAT is the role of a teacher, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 04:27 PM

We'll agree to disagree then Lizzie.

It's a shame that you and some of your friends have had bad experiences and I can understand your opinion based on those experiences although I do not agree with it and I think it is unfair to make sweeping generalisations about the whole teaching profession and education system based on those experiences.

My opinion is based on my experiences too, but it is also based on facts and evidence ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 04:46 PM

"My opinion is based on my experiences too, but it is also based on facts and evidence ;-) "


So is mine, eanjay.

The facts are that my children had to endure one helluva lot from teachers who should have known better.

The evidence was plain to see in the deep unhappiness caused to both my children because of what had happened to them at school.

Facts and Experience don't get much more personal than that.

I always support excellent teachers, but I damn The System, because I have personally seen way too many children who have been damaged by it, heard too many parents deeply anxious about their children, their exams, the way it's affecting them all.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 05:28 PM

Lizzie, they may be facts - but those facts are still based on your experiences; you cannot judge the whole of a profession and the education system on those experiences. I'm not saying that what you are saying, based on your experiences, is wrong but your experiences do not represent the majority of experiences throughout the country so you cannot condemn the whole system.

I am a qualified teacher with a lot of experience. I have taught in different schools, on temporary contracts, on permanent contracts, I have worked as a supply teacher, I have taught in a Young Offenders' Institution and I have been a REOTAS (Re-integration and Education Otherwise Than At School) tutor. I have held positions of responsibilty in schools and I have been an ITT (Initial Teacher Training) mentor - in other words I have been part of the teacher training process. I am also a mother. I have seen many wonderful teachers during my teaching career and many happy children. I have had a lot of experience and success teaching children with learning difficulties ~ in maths too :-)

I understand what you are saying about teachers being born to teach but there are many wonderful teachers out there who have worked hard to become good teachers and I am sorry that your experience has been so poor.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 05:35 PM

Well, we should all be very grateful to Lizzie for one gem of information.
Be Warned. Don't send your children to school in Sidmouth!
(note to eanjay....It's not worth it. she doesn't and won't listen to reasoned arguement. It's been tried for years to no avail. My partner is a teacher, as is my sister, and many friends)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 06:07 PM

Lizzie - where did I belittle you? I did nothing but point out that you were wrong. Which is not belittling someone. It is what people do when involved in serious discussions and should it be proven that I was wrong I hope I would be grown up enough to accept it without rancour or cause to develop any conspiricy theories.

Let us go back to the shop assistant analogy again. I know very little outside the narrow fields of music and high availability computing. If I want to buy something I ask a shop assistant. If I want to be educated I ask a teacher. If I want to avice on health matters I ask a doctor.

I am 100% sure that you are a wonderful shop assistant and that shop keeping is indeed a noble profession. Was it Napoleon that called us a nation of shopkeepers? He meant it as in insult but it made everyone proud to be British - rightly so! Anyhow, I would ask your advice and believe it wholeheartedly, on any concern I had over the fitnes of purpose or merchantable quality of my purchses. But you must excuse me if I take not the slightest bit of notice if you offer unsolicited advice on matters as important as childrens health and education.

Crazy though I may be I would rather trust the professionals. Oh, and those plumbers and builders that you mentioned that cannot read or write? Rememeber? I would not trust one of those to know the vital life-saving safety regulations on the latest gas or electrical equipment. If you chose to risk it then that is entirely up to you.

Good luck.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 06:15 PM

BTW - Forgot to ask before. Which of the 'wolf pack' hunting you down am I supposed to be friends with? I have only met two of them. One once and the other twice. I do have a fond regard or everyone I have ever met here but I have probably communicated with you as much as anyone else on the mudcat! And I still don't know what 'game' I am playing. I would love to as I am usualy crap at games and only play the ones I know I can win! Let me in to the secret. Please!

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 06:20 PM

Actually Ralph, you should worry about sending your children to school in Sidmouth,because my daughter was taught by a paedeophile, as I've said many times before. He was sent to prison for it, put on suicide watch. His mate, another teacher, KNEW what he was doing, yet he did not tell the headmaster for a very long time. He simply told his mate he shouldn't be doing it.

What this teacher was doing was getting young girls to reach up to a particular shelf, those girls who had skirts on...and of course, he had a camera built in there. The photos were then loaded up on to the internet. Luckily, someone found some of the photos and alerted the police. I don't know how they found them, but the whole story can be checked with The Sidmouth Herald, if you don't believe me.

I'm not going through the many incidences of bad teachers again, as I've put them down here in Mudcat many times over, but I had those exact circumstances happen to me too, of teachers belittling me, yelling at me, getting cross because I did not understand...and it wasn't just me, but some of my friends as well.


"...Take children out of school and "educate" them your way and you will produce the useless and incapable."

And YOU call ME 'stupid'? That remark is so beneath contempt that it is barely worth replying to. Tell me, O Arrogant 'Poxi' One, what is it in your mind that has so brainwashed you into thinking, into believing that the ONLY way a child can learn is through school?

Open your mind.

"Anyone who thinks that children don't need to learn grammar, spelling, arithmetic and mathematics and the general need to obey rules is condemning those children to failure and misery.."

My children know to question rules. They know to question those who make 'the rules' too. They are intelligent, kind, compassionate human beings. All the employers my daughter has worked for have asked her to stay on, told her there is always a job open for her, because they know she is intelligent, reliable, honest and hardworking.

She does not need your approval, nor the stamp of 'THIS CHILD HAS BEEN SCHOOLED AND IS THEREFORE A PROPER HUMAN BEING' upon her head.

And..for your information, had she decided to study Art at Exeter College, they'd have taken her without any GCSEs or A Levels, because they are deeply open-minded to Home Educated children these days, knowing them to have a love of learning and to not want to be destructive or abusive in class. My daughter chose an Open University course instead though, after the Head of Art had warned her that if she was expecting the College to be any different from school, she had to let her know that it wouldn't be, because there were still young people there who did not want to learn, who disrupted lessons and who were only there for the money they now get paid to stay in Further Education.

My daughter has been there, done that, got the scars and is fed up to the back teeth of kids who don't want to learn.

You choose your way. I'll choose mine. And I can assure you, that mine, is probably even better than yours, because the child learns what they have a love of. It starts with giving them a love of reading, a love of learning...and letting them understand that the world of books, the world of the internet, gives you an open library of thought, feelings, discoveries...

So, 'Poxi' may I suggest that you take your 'STUPID' and shove it where The Turnip People live.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 06:31 PM

Lizzie, being taught by a paedophile is not the norm; you have been so unfortunate in your experiences.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST, Poxicat
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 07:08 PM

I'll lay you odds. If you understand how statistics work.

Take the two populations - one the children who were school educated and the other the children who were home educated (or the idiots who bunked off). Now figure out (if you can) the proportion of the first population who are in the top decile of earners and the proportion of the second population.

Now reverse it. Of the first population, what proportion are in the bottom decile of earners, and of the second population waht proportion are in the bottom decile.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

Or if you like, what proportions of the first population and the second commit suicide.

Or what proportion of the first populations and the second are imprisoned at any time, or convicted of any offences at any time (juvenile or adult).

It's a no-brainer. Rubbish finishes up at the tip.

bottom


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 08:50 PM

I don't have a dog in this hunt, but I do have some opinions on home schooling. In the US I don't believer it is considered odd nor that it puts children 'at risk'. Rather, in my experience, a family that homeschools tends to be considered 'hands on' parents with a great interest in seeing that their children do well without the distractions of problem children in the public schools and with the hope of getting the children safely past the peer pressures.

The children that I know that were homeschooled are almost invariably ahead of their age groups in class levels and with higher grades.

My daughter (in public schools all the way) homeschooled - in California - her three children for the first three grades then went to a dual set up, where she taught at home three days a week and they went to charter school for the other two days. My daughter does not have a teaching degree (She majored in English) but for those two days each week she taught as a teachers assistant in the same charter school.

When they reached high school age, all three children went to parochial high school, I think it's called. One child now is in her second year at Arizona State, her twin is attending Community College, getting some of the required courses out of the way and working part time, the youngest child is a senior at high school.

My niece and her husband in Oregon also homeschool their brood. Their two biological children attended public schools all the way: one is a young man who today doesn't seem to know what he wants out of life, the other is a young woman who will always do well. She is a Nurse Practitioner/Midwife who teaches several nursing courses annually at a local college; she got married several years ago and they now have a year old baby.

When their children were half grown my niece and her husband started taking in foster children; they ended up adopting nine of them. All of them Fetal Alcohol affected, to a greater or lesser degree. They homeschooled every one of them.

The first three - all about the same age - are about 22 years old now: two are now married and one just had a baby a few months ago. My niece and her husband's remaining children range in age from 8 to 14 or so.

Oh- neither my niece nor her husband attended college.

My whole point is that every case is different, but - at least in the US - home education does not trigger a black mark against the student, and that it needn't entail an either/or situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 09:53 PM

The differences between the legislation relating to home schooling in America and in England has been discussed in a previous thread.

As outlined in wiki

"Homeschooling laws (in the US) can be divided into three categories:

1. In some states, homeschooling requirements are based on its treatment as a type of private school (California, Indiana, Texas, for example)
In those states, homeschools are generally required to comply with the same laws that apply to other (usually non-accredited) schools.
   
2. In other states, homeschool requirements are based on the unique wording of the state's compulsory attendance statute without any specific reference to "homeschooling" (New Jersey, Maryland, for example).
In those states, the requirements for homeschooling are set by the particular parameters of the compulsory attendance statute.

3. In other states (Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa, for example) homeschool requirements are based on a statute or group of statutes that specifically applies to homeschooling, although statutes often refer to homeschooling using other nomenclature (in Virginia, for example, the statutory nomenclature is "home instruction"; in South Dakota, it is "alternative instruction"; in Iowa, it is "competent private instruction").
In these states, the requirements for homeschooling are set out in the relevant statutes.

While every state has some requirements, there is great diversity in the type, number, and level of burden imposed"


However in the UK the number of children not attending school is not even known but is 'thought to be' between 20,000 and 50,000 !

Parents have to tell a local authority when they remove a child from school, but not that they are home educating, and local authorities can only insist on seeing children when there are very specific welfare concerns.


A website that is aimed at home educators admits

"Many new home teachers are surprised to find that ... in order to provide a child's education at home, parents (or any other home educator figures) are not required to have a teaching qualification, or in fact any subject or other qualification.

Many home teaching parents are very surprised to discover the lack of rules or regulation monitoring the home educator.

Again, new home educating parents may be surprised to find that they are not required to follow any curricula, including the National Curriculum, with their home school child, the teaching timetable (or indeed, a decision to learn without any kind of timetable or teaching structure) is open to the home schooling family to determine.
Nor do home schooling families have to learn for or participate in national tests like Key Stage tests or Standard Assessment Tests - these are all non-compulsory.

Home educators are not subject to any kind of formal assessment that might occur in schools, such as inspection or testing of pupils to check the education is being aptly provided."


A recent independent review of elective home education in the UK looked at on the one hand, the absence of prescription in relation to home education and the ability of home educating families to refuse contact with their local authority, and, on the other, the duty on local authorities to ensure that every child in their area is receiving a suitable education

and concluded that -

All children and young people are entitled to a good education.
This doesn't necessarily mean children have to go to school: many parents choose to educate their child at home

but

suggested closer monitoring of home educators, including a compulsory annual registration scheme and that that home educating families should provide some form of statement of their intended approach to their child's education.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 10:58 PM

I agree, Emma B. I can't imagine not having to show results. In the US - at least in the states with which I'm familiar - parents/children mail their papers to a central body. In Alaska, it's a 'school district' that serves all communities. One Mudcatter that I know used to work for one such school district.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 02:36 AM

Thanks Emma B.
So, in the US, home schooling is allowed, with differing checks and balances between states, but the progress of children is monitored on a regular basis so, that the child can be seen to be getting a decent level of education.
But, in the UK, no such system is in place?
If so, why do people train to be teachers. Why not just have a child and say. "That qualifies me to teach".....
Personally, I would say I know about the sciences and music, but, I'd be rubbish at languages or literature..
I'm intrigued as to how a full time Mother (or Father obviously) with all the jobs that running a home entails, can also be an expert in such an array of subjects, up to GCSE standards?
Even if it was possible. How many hours are there in the day to provide competent teaching for their children?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 03:48 AM

I'm retired, so I was able to afford the time to homeschool my stepson through high school. We registered with a charter school that provided books, tutoring, laboratory classes, Rosetta Stone for German, and teaching for subjects I couldn't teach. We had as mentor teacher who monitored our progress and conducted testing. All expenses were paid by California taxes. It worked very well for us, but the mentor teacher complained that a lot of parents did not have the time or ability to give their children a good education at home.

I have a friend who's a college professor (and sometime Mudcatter). he and his wife are homeschooling their children independently, without help from a charter school. Even though he's a professor, he gets hassled. I don't know if it's law yet, but there has been a proposal to require homeschooled California children to be taught under the supervision of a credentialed teacher.

There are three homeschool charter schools in my area, and they seem to be quite popular and successful. The elementary schools in the area are low in enrollment and struggling financially, so charter schools can have a very bad effect on the regular schools.

Still, I'm very glad I homeschooled Josh. He had problems all through grade school and hated going to school. Now he's in college, getting good grades, and really enjoying himself.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 04:14 AM

Joe.
Thanks for that insight from your side of the pond. Sadly, I don't think that the same checks and balances apply over here in the UK.

And I think it is dangerous to allow parents to make such a (potentially) life changing decision about their childrens future education, without explicit counselling and support from experts.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 04:49 AM

Ah well. I guess we just need to agree to disagree once again. I get no particular pleasure from banging my head on a wall but I feel it right, every now and again, to try reason and logic. It is obviously never going to work but I will probably try again in a week or two. And be accused, once again, of victimisation or bullying or some other such nonsense. I will add one thing to my list of experts to ask

For advice on purchases I go to a shopkeeper
For education I go to a teacher
To get well I go to a doctor
For a headache I go to one of these threads...

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 05:31 AM

Well, seeing as no-one else has claimed it - 200!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 06:19 AM

The information provided by Joe Offer was very interesting; I had not heard of Charter schools before.
The use of a mentor and facilities, that would not normally be available in the home, sounds like an excellent idea.

I can appreciate however his comment that their popularity may further diminish the effectiveness of local public education provision. in some kind of downward spiral

In attempting to find out more about this system I discovered that it is subject to strong criticism from some homeschoolers such as Eugene Newman, president of Christian Home Educators of Michigan and father of ten homeschooled children,
on the basis that -

'Public education isn't necessary and it is destructive of our society'
'A home-based charter school will bring the government into the home.'
and
'Home-based charter schools would affirm in a new way the illegitimate role the state plays in education. Dependency, any dependency on state programs, in any area, will always be at the expense of the private moral duty of citizens."


It is this aspect of registration and a minimum of monitoring recommended in the Badman Report that seems to have inflamed home educators in the UK

However, the report also recommends that local authorities should work in collaboration with schools and colleges to offer more support to home educated students, including access to libraries, sports facilities, music tuition and work experience and also must provide support for home educating children and young people to find appropriate examination centres and provide entries free to all home educated candidates who have demonstrated sufficiently their preparedness through routine monitoring, for all DCSF funded qualifications.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 06:26 AM

Home educating children varies from country to country and is illegal in some countries. It is growing in the UK and there is help available for those parents who would like/need it.

For the majority of parents it would be impossible for them to educate their children properly at home - time constraints, confidence etc. If a child becomes a school refuser through, for example, bullying then there are special, qualified and sympathetic teachers provided by the education system who will go to the home and tutor that child. A parent/guardian has to be present in the home to protect both the child and the tutor. If a parent/guardian cannot be present because of work commitments then there are other 'safe' places where the child can be taught - not necessarily at a centre but it could be the local public library for instance.

Many parents are not able or even willing to home educate their child. Those children are catered for by the many good/very good/excellent teachers in the many good/very good/excellent schools that we have in the UK.

There are systems in place to identify poor teachers/poor schools and to address those problems.

As for fining parents who keep their child off school at the drop of a hat with no substitute education in place then there has to be something to discourage this because every child is entitled to an education.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 07:31 AM

As for fining parents who keep their child off school at the drop of a hat with no substitute education in place

You know I was just thinking about that! This thread started in support, apparantly, of parents who keep their children off school with NO substiture education. The parents who are fined, usualy as a last resort, because their children are not being educated at all. While I agree with many of the posts on home education and can see how it works well for some I cannot understand why anyone would support children not being educated at all. Perhaps it's all to do with returning to those old fasioned values we keep being told about:-) Keep the riff-raff out of schools. Education is just for the middle classes driving around the countryside in their Austin 7's whilst bemoaning the youngsters who show no respect...

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 11:14 AM

I forgot to mention this bit in my amazement at how twisted things can get...

From Lizzie -

David, I tried to help you last night, out of concern for your grandson.

I was wrong to do this, because even THAT you have used to belittle me.


I find that deeply disturbing.


I will not bother again.


Does anyone apart from me remember HOW that help was offered and how ironic the 'deeply disturbing' remark is?

Well, I can show you. This is how the 'helping me' post was phrased -

David, forget this fucking stupid game you like to play and listen!! I've just turned the computer back on to come and tell you this, because it's worrying me.

"I realy do appreciate your concern. Apparently everyone in the world is expected to get the rotovirus before they are two years old! That is something that realy does concern me!"


Whoever told you that was talking rubbish. Yes, it's common, but it's not THAT common. Also, it can be really awful, and I mean mega AWFUL.
My son slipped into unconsciousness for near on two days when he had it. He was utterly and completely dehydrated. I have never seen a little soul go downhill so rapidly and so frighteningly.


So, in a nutshell, to 'help' me, she began with a personal attack (forget this fucking stupid game etc.) It then went on to state that my verifyable statment about everyone getting it was rubbish. Well, OK - That was part right. It was not everyone before the age of two, but everyone before the edge of five. Rubbish though? I think not. It then went on to Lizzie's favourite subject, Herself. No matter what has happened to anyone it has always happened to Lizzie, worse, more often, differently and with knobs on.

How was any of this suppose to be helping me? For anyone to even imagine it would is what is realy disturbing...

I am getting heartily sick of it all.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 11:21 AM

Then stop taking the bait Dave.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 11:39 AM

I can't BWM - I use it on my own rod:-) Besides, I like to do my bit to help the attention deficient...

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 11:55 AM

It was not bait, Backwoodsman, so please, back off!

It was not a personal attack, Dave!!!

It was ANGER and CONCERN!!!!!


It took me TWENTY bloody minutes to turn my computer back ON. It was late, I'd already gone to bed! But I got back out of bed, came in here...

WHY????

Because MY SON had that virus...and he was in Derriford Hospital, touch and go, for the first few days, as his whole body started to close down with the shocking dehydration he suffered!

I got through the ENTIRE vast linen cupboard on that ward in ONE night, David! You've seen rotovirus in its mild form, well trust me, in it's worst it is shocking, absoulutely shocking!!!

I was helped by the nursing staff who were themselves worn out and overworked...

That is all irrelevant really, but it came out because my mind was filled with the horrors of that terrible ordeal when I thought I'd lose my son. My mind takes me write back to that time, runs the whole film through again in every minute detail!

I was worried sick that your grandson may of started to go down the same road, so I wanted to tell you what the worst case scenario was and not to take any shite from anyone.


I AM tired of the fucking stupig 'games' you all play with me, to while away your hours, throwing the most incredibly unfeeling, uncaring remarks my way, about my children, my intelligence, my family, my personal life.

There are some fucking nasty people in here, some of whom follow me round the internet. Why? What the fuck for?????????????? WHY THE FUCK would they put down little 'secret codes' to me to tell me, in secret, that they know something else about me?????

Come on, Folkiefuckingdave, come out here and fight like a man, you creep! Stop creeping round the internet, then telling your buddies about it, so that they too put down their coded messages...eh, 'ruth'.....

GEEZ, you people make me sick!

And Show of Hands think that *******I******* am unpleasant??????



NEVER again, Dave, will I take the trouble to do something like that. I was deeply concerned for your grandson, NOTHING else!! But here again..here you go with the Oh, Lizzie's had this, Lizzie's had that and she's had it worse..."

Well, YES I DID!! My son was incredibly ill! So make of that what the fuck you want!

And don't go crying into your cup about this message, because you have been baiting and baiting me for message after message!!




Here...another way of looking at things!

"Dear Lizzie,

Thank you so much for telling me about your son. I realise, after having been such a total shite to you for so long in here, that it was a big step for you to overcome your anger. But you did, and you did it for my grandson.

Thankfully, he is now OK, but I realise he could well have taken a turn for the worse, and your message may well have then proved invaluable.

I hope that from now on we can be friends and I am backing right off, as of this moment, from constantly belittling your words, your children, your life, your intelligence. I am no longer going to be part of this disgusting Witch Hunt...

I have judged you so wrongly, and I apologise.

Best wishes
Dave"



Hah! Fat chance, eh!



Oh..and if Chris Murray is in here, or out there, someone tell her, and John Freeman that I am NOT on the BBC board, and whoever started the Reg Meuross thread was NOT me.   BUt again, out they come with their pompous "We KNOW it's you, Lizzie!" Well, it fucking wasn't, so didn't all of you look dumb!   

Leave me alone, get out of my life, out of my face.


Oh...and could someone please explain to me why, if school is so fucking wonderful, my country and the USA, where the National Curriculum started, are now both SOOOOO dumbed down to the point of total disbelief????

Thank you.



And Joe, I'm sorry, but these people drive me nuts!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 12:03 PM

"Leave me alone, get out of my life, out of my face. "LC

Good God! You could do the same thing by just leaving.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 12:07 PM

Lizzie, please get some professional help before its too late.

I say this out of concern, not out of anger.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 12:07 PM

Has she gone?
Is it safe to come out now?
Only asking....


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: jeddy
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 12:17 PM

lizzie,
i have waited a little to reply to you.
i think my last post was a little harsh, i am sorry if you feel this is some kind of conspiricy. it isn't.

when you shut down your FB page, it would have been nice if you had posted thats what you were going to do. even just the day before then shut it down. but it seems as though you cared nothing for the friends you did have and how they would take it.

personal feelings aside.
i see why people get so angry and frustrated talking to you. take the worry about dave. rather than making him feel better, you probably worried the hell out of him.
sometimes too much info is worse than not knowing.
where you could have said my son had it, it is very nasty, so please be watchful and be ready to phone an ambulance. you went on about your experiance, i can only imagine how scary that was, but may have just scared the bloke senseless needlessly.

i think the problem is that you don't relate your feelings to anyone else.maybe if you could be abit more empathetic it would help you communicate?

i know you feel victimised and there is a way to stop this happening. if you wanted it to.
it often comes across as you want and need the attention that being controversial brings.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 12:23 PM

And don't go crying into your cup about this message

How about laughing my socks off?

I have no doubt that your lad was very poorly indeed. I have 5 kids and now 1 grandson. I have had my share of nasty disieses and life threatening situations.

Diabetes
Pnemonia
Bronchalitus
Asthma
Rotovirus
Depression
Stress

I could go on (and on and on) but I prefer not to make every thread about me. I prefer to listen to the advice of EXPERTS and, up to now, they have generaly done well by us. This latest incident was well controlled and did not develop into a serious case of dehydration because we followed the advice given.

Had I followed the advice of the greengrocer or the man who sells newspapers I am sure our poor little lad would have been a lot worse as well. Or maybe I should follow your advice?

You've seen rotovirus in its mild form

Judging by a few comments on the internet, never having seen me or my grandson and having no medical training at all you have diagnosed my grandson as having a 'mild form' of rotovirus? And you wonder why people shake their heads in disbelief?

Get a grip on reality before you do some serious damge to someone daft enough to believe you.

Dave.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 12:27 PM

I really do not think that this thread or any of the comments in it are worth getting upset over; it just is not worth it!

Home education is right for some children and school is right for others. Some parents do a wonderful job educating their children at home and others don't. The same applies to schools. It's as simple as that.

As for the fines - it is the right of every child to have an education. Something has to be done to ensure that each child has that opportunity. I've forgotten everything that was said at the start of the thread so this could already have been answered but presumably it works the same way as some other fines in that people are means tested to determine how much they can afford to pay or to determine if there is some other more appropriate action that can be taken. If there was a blanket fine then some already disadvantaged child could be even more disadvantaged and that would be unfair.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 12:57 PM

Actually Ralph, you should worry about sending your children to school in Sidmouth,because my daughter was taught by a paedeophile, as I've said many times before. He was sent to prison for it, put on suicide watch.

The allegation that someone is a paedophile is a very serious one. Especially when the writer says it has been repeated on a number of occasions. But even more especially when it isn't true.

"The judge, who said Toye did not represent a threat of serious sexual harm to children, ordered destruction of the photographic equipment, and ordered him to go on the Sex Offenders Register."

The allegation that someone was sent to prison is a very serious one, especially when it isn't true. He was sentenced to a supervision order.

The story is here.

I will also point out that the daughter in question was either home educated or taught in this school.

I will also point out to Joe Offer before this is moderated off the board that by allowing this allegation to remain on the Mudcat, and because of the peculiar nature of the English libel law - Mudcat is equally liable for this false allegation.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 01:14 PM

I agree.
Home education can be the best way to go for some children, but (as in the US apparently) it has to be monitored, and criteria have to be met.
Just hoiking your child out of school and not teaching them anything worthwhile, achieves nothing.
Which is why (UK) we have built an education and health system that is still "Free at the point of need"
Yes, of course it's imperfect, underfunded, etc, etc.
Isn't any government run institution guilty of that?
But here are my thoughts.(Worth nothing, obviously!)

I'd rather have health and education run the way it is here (however rickety the system) than in other countries I could mention.
Back to the origins of this thread 800 pound fine for low school attendance? I'd make it 8000 pounds. (and a jail sentence for child abuse)
Let's just leave parenting to parents, and teaching to teachers.
And lets just hope that teachers and parents do their jobs correctly.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 01:17 PM

BTW -

It took me TWENTY bloody minutes to turn my computer back ON.

Ever thought of taking a computer course? It should realy take no longer than two or three.

Just being helpful - honest.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 01:20 PM

From the link:
"Defence counsel Michael Brabin said Toye had been so worried about his behaviour that he had sought help, but the person from whom he sought counselling was without qualification in that sort of work and it was an ineffective exercise."

It would have been nice if the person from whom he sought counseling had competent training in the subject, nicht wahr?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 02:44 PM

The man, whose name I have NOT put into this thread, by the way..was held in prison, on remand. Whilst there, he was put on suicide watch.

He liked little girls in underwear. He took photos of young girls in their underwear. He had rigged up cameras under desks and in other places, for this purpose. He then put them on the internet.

He is apparently NOT a danger to children, sexually (yeah, right) according to the judge, who, for some strange reason, then put him on the Sex Offenders Register and banned him from ever working with children again. Despite him saying the man was not a danger to children..makes sense, huh?

I knew that man. I used to walk past him every day. I spoke to him at Parents Evenings, I spoke to him in passing, I knew where he lived...In fact, folkiedave, I know a helluva lot more about him than you do. He was one of my daughter's teachers. He used to tell me how much he liked my daughter..(yeah, right) Luckily, she always wore trousers to school, so her underwear was never on show, and therefore, I'd assume he never took photos, but who the hell knows, eh?

So, stick that up yer 'I know everything better than you!' jumper...folkiedave...

And while we're at it, shall we ask that same judge to pass sentence on creepy men who follow women around the internet, folkiedave??????? Shall we show him the **evidence**??????????

Because if you don't stop fucking stop doing what you're doing, I'm going to be bringing charges against you, mate...and the evidence is all here, on Mudcat...of the way you stalk me!

David, thank you for your sarcasm. I'm sure it made you laugh. My computer though, is old. So is my brain, but that is not yet old enough to not be able to work out how to turn a computer on. I went through the boring machinations of my old computer for your grandson.
I will never bother again.

Jade, stop lecturing me. You're really getting up my nose! I can whatever I fucking well want with my Facebook page, as can every other person on the planet! I do not have to explain to ANYONE why I am closing it down, or even THAT I am closing it down. The fact you took it so personally shows the craziness of the power of Facebook, where people become so stressed out because of something so utterly insignificant.   I have said on here many times, that I don't like Facebook and have closed various pages I've made, down.

And I will write as *I* want to, not as YOU want me to. I have never told you how to write, nor what to write, nor commented on your writing in any way, other than to say I'm fair fed up with your behaviour towards me.   You are completely free to behave that way though, but do NOT tell me how to write, or try to analyse me all the time. My brain is mine, not yours, and ONLY I know how it works, because ONLY I have the key to it. I have been told by the Moaning Minnies, for over 6 years that I should write in a way they like, they want, they demand. I've told them all, at different times, to fook off and leave me be. If you don't like what I write, you don't have to read it....it really is that simple, just see my name and stroll on by...

Interesting, Ralph, that now Joe has come forward about home education, you've become a changed man....Hmmmmmmmm


"Back to the origins of this thread 800 pound fine for low school attendance? I'd make it 8000 pounds. (and a jail sentence for child abuse)"

There are many teachers who are guilty of child abuse...It is mental abuse that very often lasts a lifetime. They should be fined FAR more than £8,000 for it...and lose their jobs too.


"Let's just leave parenting to parents, and teaching to teachers."

Why?

Parents are teachers also. We teach our children to feed, to crawl, to walk, to talk, to dress themselves, to eat, to cook, to look after their belongings, to read, to sit, to listen, to bathe, to brush their teeth, to wash their hair, to mend their clothes, to have a bank account, to read, to add up, to take away, to times their tables, to garden, to plant seeds, to find their way on public transport, to use libraries, to shop, to use the internet, to love music, to love, to tolerate, to read maps, to pack their suitcases, to do their washing, their ironing, to be polite, to be kind, to be thoughtful, to be empathetic...

What the fuck makes you think we can't teach them about any other subject under the sun????????

With computers we can travel to The British Museum, the British Library, we can look at any subject under the sun, and find out amazing things about those subjects!

ALL parents are teachers, even if they are bad parents.
Not ALL teachers are parents..

Confirm in a child's mind that they never have to Conform!

School restricts, rules and regulates.

Home Education brings Freedom of thought, lessons, speech, time, life.

I have seen the results, many of you have not. I have seen BOTH sides of the coin, and I know in which method of learning my children have flourished.

They do not learn to anyone's criteria, other than their own, and that is what has made them the fascinating, magical and intelligent young people that they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 03:03 PM

Oh Dear.....


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 03:19 PM

Actually Lizzie. I have changed not one jot. Joes information about the education system in the states was very welcome and enlightening, honestly stated in a calm and considered way. I agreed with him that the US way of home tutoring could teach our government a thing or two.
Your problem being?
At least in the US, there are checks and balances when it comes to home tutoring. Somebody in their education system keeps an eye on what the parents are doing.
Obviously that doesn't happen here. Does anyone from the local education authority check up as to how you are progressing as a home tutor?
Unlikely. Which is not a good thing.
I just hope that none of the people supervising you as a home tutor are reading this.. You might not have any children left to teach. Apart from your antagonistic attitude, your language would not be permitted in any classroom I know of.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 03:29 PM

Frankly I wouldn't leave the parenting to 'some' parents let alone the teaching!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 03:34 PM

I was not being sarcastic, Lizzie. Just trying to help! How come it is OK for you to do that but not me? Even an old computer can be made to speed up with the right care and attention. Look at the start-up, the registry, disk fragmentation. All that sort of stuff would be covered in a computer course. What is wrong with suggesting it?

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 03:53 PM

Well I am not permitted to talk to Lizzie, nor about Lizzie but I trust I can quote Lizzie: -

"Confirm in a child's mind that they never have to Conform!"

Well in that case - no comment.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 03:55 PM

"....Somebody in their education system keeps an eye on what the parents are doing..."

Oh yes, because we mustn't EVER think that parents are capable of looking after their children, let alone teaching them, must we?...


"Obviously that doesn't happen here Does anyone from the local education authority check up as to how you are progressing as a home tutor?"

I have stated, SO many times, Ralph that I have an Education Welfare Officer....a former teacher of long standing, who has 'checked up on me' and my children ever since they came out of school. He comes once a year. If he was worried, he'd come far more often. He has NEVER been more than once a year, because we have always been given the highest grade the Corporate Education Bastards will give you, which is a mere 'Satisfactory', no matter how well you are doing.

This man is also a grandparent now and he is worried sick about his grandchildren. The stress that his own children are putting on their children to achieve, achieve, ACHIEVE, is driving he and his wife to the brink of deep worry. They have extra tuition, they moved schools to go to the one with the best grades, they demand high results...and their children are so little..around 6 and 8. It depresses both of these wonderful people.

They asked us round to tea, I've told you this before...and I sat talking to his wife for ages. She was paralysed in a terrible car accident 20 years back. She was a maths teacher. People have tried to get her back into some form of educating again, but she wants nothing to do with it, because she highly disapproves of the rigourous and constant testing, the workload so many children have and the fact that now, so many children are not judged on WHO they are, but ONLY on their exam results.

Her husband made my kids feel wonderful about themselves..praise, praise and more praise. He brought his National Geographic magazine collection round for them to have, masses of magazines. He brings music, classical and jazz, he shares his photographs, as he's a wonderful photographer..and he tells them stories that inspire...

He's distraught about what is happening inside The System..utterly distraught.

He teaches the children who are expelled. He gives them his very soul to try to inspire....and he does the same with my children..did, as my daughter is now in her 20s. We were so very, very fortunate. Many home educators have EWOs who are like a lot of the people in here, Little Hitlers who demand they do things their way...which of course, they have no right to do.

I do not have to let any EWO see my children. I always have done. They used to bake cakes for him, which he'd gobble up happily, whilst he told us about his life, spoke to my children..all the while cleverly finding out information on their education...

No, Ralph, my abilities as a teacher for my children were NEVER brought into question. I was praised, as much as my children were..


"...Unlikely. Which is not a good thing."

See above, and yes...I accept public apologies.


"I just hope that none of the people supervising you as a home tutor are reading this.. You might not have any children left to teach. Apart from your antagonistic attitude, your language would not be permitted in any classroom I know of."

In most classrooms, it is commonspeak, if you are a young person...because they, like me, are fed up to their back teeth with the fucking Edukashon System. It is that system, and you lot in here, who made me swear as I do, when I write. I do not swear in front of my children..they do not swear at all. I will, however, use some great anglosaxon words when confronted with complete plonkers, be they politicians, teachers, or messageboard users...I particularly will swear when confronted with perverted stalkers who follow me round the internet giving me 'secret signs' on here...because they truly are utter scumbags, in my opinion, of course.

And my EWO would more than likely join me in the use of language because he is as angry as me about what is going on...and why so many people are sticking their heads into Ostrichland, whilst dashing out to make sure Little Johnny is the best in his class, so they can tell all the other Ostriches...not seeing that Little Johnny may well be falling apart, because he doesn't want extra tuition, he simply wants to be.........a child.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: jeddy
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 03:59 PM

thanks for the chuckle lizzie.

i am not telling you to change how you talk, merely trying to help you feel less like a victim of stalking. only i think you love it.

good idea to skip your posts, i used to until i realised how dangerous some of your posts can be.

ok, reality check time.
so it is ok to meet a boyfriend online, to be totally in love and have a soul connection, but not to care about people you have never met as friends online?????

DOUBLE STANDARDS or what?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 04:02 PM

I wonder where Dan Brown get's his inspiration from?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: jeddy
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 04:02 PM

thanks richard for finding this gem!!!!

"Confirm in a child's mind that they never have to Conform!"


rape thread anyone???
thats the reason i am, not exactly angry, but amazed at some of your attitudes.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 04:07 PM

To call someone a paedophile when they are no such thing is libel.

To say they were sentenced to prison when they were not is libel.

No matter what you say.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 04:08 PM

And to be honest I still haven't worked out what your daughter was doing at school when she was being home-educated.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Melissa
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 04:21 PM

LC: "It is that system, and you lot in here, who made me swear as I do, when I write."

Does that mean you aren't Responsible for the choices you make while posting?

If you're swearing because others 'made you', does that mean you swear in order to Comply with their wishes?

Maybe the big water between us means I just don't understand..


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 04:34 PM

"In most classrooms, it is commonspeak, if you are a young person..."

No, it isn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 04:45 PM

I have also known several Education Welfare Officers, personally and through my job.

Their role is a professional one and they are required to carry out a number of statutory functions on behalf of the Local Education Authority (LEA)

They are required, like all such professionals, to work within a legal framework
This could include giving consideration to applying for Education Supervision Orders under section 36 of the Children Act which empowers local authorities to apply to the courts for an order in respect of any child of compulsory school age who is not being properly educated suited to their age, ability aptitude and any special educational needs

For this reason it is extremely critical that, while supporting parents wherever possible, the relationship always remains on strictly 'professional' terms - certainly not the one described in a previous post.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 05:11 PM

Good grief- it appears that I'm going to "attack' a certain person again. But I just don't want to let this go:

"It is that system, and you lot in here, who made me swear as I do, when I write. I do not swear in front of my children..they do not swear at all. I will, however, use some great anglosaxon words when confronted with complete plonkers, be they politicians, teachers, or messageboard users...I particularly will swear when confronted with perverted stalkers who follow me round the internet giving me 'secret signs' on here..."

Would your daughter, who is now in her 20s, be surprised at the language her exemplary mother uses online? Why not advise her to dip into Mudcat so that she can see how mistreated her mother is?

More to the point, no one makes you swear, OK? That mindset is the same one that many ne'erdo-wells- and I don't want to enumerate them - use to excuse their own behavior.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 05:22 PM

"And to be honest I still haven't worked out what your daughter was doing at school when she was being home-educated. "

Then look up your notes on my family. You'll find the entire story there.

Our EWO was not a cold, calculationg person, who sat there ticking off tick boxes. He's the most inspirational man I have ever known, as a former teacher and as an Education Welfare Officer. He knew there was nothing he could give us apart from his support, so he gave us that in bucketloads.

You will find, if you read Education Otherwise, that many people have a tough time with cold, calculating, suspicious EWOs. Not all though, because some are lucky and meet magical people who support and inspire as much as possible.

"For this reason it is extremely critical that, while supporting parents wherever possible, the relationship always remains on strictly 'professional' terms - certainly not the one described in a previous post."

Luckily, Emma, neither you, nor the folks you know, were assigned to my children. I was blessed with someone who cared about them, deeply. He cared about all the young people in his care. He cared about the parents too, because he knew how hard it was to go against a system that has brainwashed so many, for so long.

And Jeremy Paxman is about to host 'Newsnight' shortly, where he'll be discussing the state of our Education System....and what can be done to improve it..

I do not know you, jeddy...and after your recent posts, I have absolutely no plans to know you.   With regard to the 'confirm' and 'conform' comment, being 'non-conformist' has nothing to do with not being responsible for your actions or behaviour.

Melissa. Excellent point. I hereby take absolute and full responsibility for using the f word, because I am so incensed at some of the people in here and their behaviour. They however, do not MAKE me do it, I choose to do it myself, because to use any other words than the ones I do would be doing some of them a gross injustice.

Oh..and jeddy, I am nobody's 'victim' but some people's prey. There is a huge difference.   

Personally, internet stalkers give me the creeps..and with regards to the 'rape' thread, I'm extraordinarily surprised that it doesn't give you the creeps as well, because in my opinion, men who become so obsessed with women are more than a little worrying. Women who also become obsessed with other women are equally as worrying, as are those who take the side of the internet stalker...

But heyho, you alls pays yer monies and takes yers choice..


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 05:25 PM

"Would your daughter, who is now in her 20s, be surprised at the language her exemplary mother uses online?"

Nope, because she knows about the pack mentality on here.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 05:27 PM

'Luckily, Emma, neither you, nor the folks you know, were assigned to my children'

At last something I can actually agree with :)

I thank you :)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 05:36 PM

"To call someone a paedophile when they are no such thing is libel.

To say they were sentenced to prison when they were not is libel."



Noun 1. paedophile - an adult who is sexually attracted to children

The guy likes to look at little girls in underwear. What does that make him in your eyes...He went from looking at photos, to taking his own....to putting them on the internet...

Noun 1. paedophile - an adult who is sexually attracted to children


So, you're defending this man?   

I mean...come ON, I know you STALK me on the internet..but now, are you defending a man who is sexually attracted to children, as in a PAEDOPHILE?


He was sent to prison, on remand and whilst there he was put on Suicide Watch.


And now, I have to watch Jeremy Paxman talking about the school system


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 05:38 PM

Ooh, just listening right now...We're 17th in Reading and 24th in Maths...in some poll or other..We're behind Estonia!

Wow!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 05:46 PM

Lizzie please PLEASE read your local paper again it says

"Voyeur teacher awaits sentence"

NOT Paedophile - voyeur - the man was sentanced to a 3 year suervision order after being found gulty on 'five charges of voyeurism'

You talk (at great length) about 'personal responsibilty' have you no sense of any responsibilty at all by asserting again this man is a peadophile on an internet site when we know that illiterate vigilantes are quite capable of attacking even the home of a female hospital pediatrician?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 05:48 PM

Ooh...a secondary school headmaster is busy telling us how stressed out the children are with all the examinations! And the teacher sitting next to him is agreeing! WOW!

He's saying how respect for teachers has definitely gone down and that 7/10 teachers believe standards in the classrooms have gone down, because kids are REALLY WEARY of being constantly tested, which New Labour has insisted upon doing.

He's saying how teachers have been drilled into getting children to pass tests, to get results...

Well, well.......well...

I have to go listen to a little more of this progamme...


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 05:52 PM

The judge says he was not a paedophile.

You are correct he was held on remand - that means he had not been proved guilty of anything. You said he was sentenced to prison - he wasn't.

That is what the newspaper reports of the day say. You told people to read them.

I did.

I am not defending him, I am pointing out that what you wrote is libellous and that under the laws of this country, not only you but by publishing it Mudcat is equally guilty.

That's all.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 06:46 PM

7/10 teachers believe standards in the classrooms have gone down

Ermmm... Are these the good teachers who are in a minority or the bad teachers that, according to you, are in the majority. You have already said that you belive that the majority of teachers are bad so why the big deal about 7/10 of them saying standards have gone down. I would guess, if they are bad teachers and they don't know what they are doing, then them saying things are getting worse must be a good thing?

Funny how 'facts' can be changed at will to suit the circumstances isn't it. But even if you now say the teachers DO know what they are talking about a 'drop' in standards is very subjective anyway. No indication what they are measuring against for instance. Not that that mens too much to some people.

I think I have just fallen down a rabbit hole.

`I don't know what you mean by "glory,"' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument,"' Alice objected.

`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'


Not that I am attacking anyone by quoting stories at them...

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 06:58 PM

One cannot improve standards of education by removing children from education and encouraging them to learn less, or to ignore the subjects they do not like.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 07:08 PM

Working in schools very regularly, I have seen no evidence of kids being stressed out by too many exams. None. Most seem not particularly bothered about them, to be honest.

The thing I have observed, through working in a whole range of secondary schools, is that some schools are better than others. On the whole, this isn't necessarily down to catchment, or how well resourced the school is, or how much the kids are being tested. It is down, in my opinion, to how well structured the school environment is. The more slack the school, the more unstable the learning environment and the more stressed the kids generally seem. Any parent will understand this: kids feel secure when they are given consistent boundaries. A lack of structure and boundaries makes kids feel more stressed.

Structured environments can mean all kinds of things. It is not simply about kids sitting quietly and rigidly in rows at desks. The best schools provide clear guidelines for different kinds of teaching and learning, and provide the resources that allow these to be utilised. But what it does mean is that kids know and understand the rules, the rules are enforced, and the environment is managed and supportive. The schools where kids are expected to turn up on time, where uniform policy is strong, where there are very specific means of dealing with unacceptable behaviour, where policies about racist and bullying behaviour are clearly set out and enforced...these are the environments where kids seem the happiest, the most productive. There is a positive buzz from the minute you walk in the door.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 07:29 PM

"I am not defending him, I am pointing out that what you wrote is libellous and that under the laws of this country, not only you but by publishing it Mudcat is equally guilty."


Then I look forward to *you* removing ALL your libellous posts about me.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 03:52 AM

Just another bit of advice. I am sure it will be ignored or attacked but I will try anyway.

To be libellous, or slanderous in the case of spoken word, the statement needs to be both defamatory and false. Just defamatory will not do so you really need to prove the falsehood of the claim in any defamation case. Things, for instance, like 'The majority of teachers are bad' is both defamatory and untrue. Of course in this case as it is not against one specific person libel would not be found but I think it describes the situation. The addition of 'in my opinion' may help but I am not at all sure it removes all culpability.

All academic anyway. As we all know, we cannot remove our own posts. I would suggest a note to the moderation team with specific instances of libel would be the best way to get such posts removed. Of course it may be better to leave them there if you are considering legal action.

Again, just trying to help and I am sure that Richard would be better placed to give legal advice. He is another of those experts I keep going on about.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: MikeL2
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 04:56 AM

hi

I don't wish to take sides in what appears to have become a very personal topic but two articles in today's press do appear to be very pertinent to the didsussion.

1. Tesco, Britain leading private employer states that school leavers today " can't read, can't write and have attitude problems."
They go on to say " that in six out of ten schools fewer than half of the pupils gained Grade C in English and Maths".

2. OFSTED have classed one in ten schools to be in the lowest class compared with one in 25 in their previous last inspection. They also said " only 9% are considered outstanding compared with 19% in the same review period".

Perhaps Lizzie does have a point ???

cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:05 AM

This is not solicitor-client legal advice, merely general discussion. No duty of care to any person arises. I am not acting for any client in this post.

Actually DeG that is not correct. Truth is a defence rather than untruth being part of the cause of action. If material is defamatory it is up to a person seeking to establish "justification" as a defence to prove the truth.

Here is a website http://www.website-law.co.uk/resources/website-libel.html that is superficial but mostly not wrong, although fails to recognise the recent trend to treat ephemeral internet writings as slander rather than libel.

It does not deal fully with the question of who is liable for hosted material.

It is incomplete in its treatment of Reynolds privilege but that will not affect us in this case.

It fails to deal with "mere vulgar abuse".

It does not deal with the fact that a person responding to defamation of him has slightly more latitude in what he can say.

It also fails to deal with the fact that English libel law although in my view based on correct principles in most cases is regarded in teh USA with such hostility (in my view as a result of an incorrect approach to what the US constitutional position was intended to mean about "laws restricting freedom of speech") that there is a risk that the USA may enact legislation preventing the enforcement in the USA of UK defamation judgments.


"Most teachers are [insert epithet]" is not actionable because there is no identifiable plaintiff, unless there is other material that identifies a person about whom it is said. Also, it would be a form of trade libel to which other rules apply in that the words disparage a person (if spoken about a person) in his profession trade or calling.


The limitation period for defamation is one year, but in England that period runs afresh from each "publication". That is correct in my view but it is an unpopular rule with the media and intense lobbying has meant that it is likely to be changed some time so that limitation runs from first publication.

There is no form of what is commonly called "legal aid" for any form of defamation proceedings.

The conditional fee lawyers generally only take on big cases and they are unlikely to be interested in this microcosm unless they see it as a chance to get famous by breaking new ground on moderator liability, site operator liability, ISP liability, host liability, or the strained UK/US relationship over defamation law.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:11 AM

Like Dave said - go to an expert. Thanks for that Richard.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:11 AM

Of course, I fully expect that we will soon be treated to a display of expertise about defamation law from the resident heart surgery specialist/dog trainer/relationship counsellor/style guru/disability discrimination adviser/musicologist/etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:13 AM

MikeL2: no one is suggesting that schools are perfect; far from it, in fact. But what people find baffling is how yanking kids out of formal education and letting them run feral, to pick up whatever haphazard morsels of learning they might discover through searching the net (cause we all know how reliable so much of the information on the Internet is) constitutes a reasonable way of increasing the literacy, numeracy and other basic skills of young people. A structured, monitored home schooling environment is one thing; depriving kids of an education in some wifty-wafty, misguided notion of free learning is quite another. And it ain't going to make them more employable. This Luddite idea that kids never needed literacy or numeracy to be thatchers or builders or whatever is all very well, but we live in the 21st century. My mechanic yesterday checked what was wrong with my car, then went straight to his suppliers' handbook to find the parts, then on-line to order them through the firm's automated ordering system. My friends who are sheep farmers have a computer programe rhat allows them to monitor what goes on, predicts their yeilds and does financial projections, and let's them do their own accounts. They also have to fill in loads of government applications for grant schemes and the like. The horny-handed sons of the soil have come a long way. And the skills they need have changed.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:20 AM

Sorry Mike but headlines like 'School leavers cannot read and write' are both misleading and unhelpful in situations like this. I think I would realy like to see the facts behind that statement before commenting on it. The statement about grade c in maths and english etc. can be interpreted in so many ways I am not even sure what it signifies and finaly I would be a little reluctant to trust any survey commisioned by Tesco! Once more - don't ask a shopkeeper if you want to know about education:-)

I was aware of the OFSTED report, which Lizzie does not believe in any case. One thing that most reporters failed to mention ws that the incidence of schools in the 'lowest class' increased because many of the schools in the highest class were excluded during this inspection. Even with the skewed figures, one school in ten being in the 'lowest class' hardly amounts to the majority of schools or teachers being bad. If they bring the higher achieving schools back into the survey next time you will see a big performance increase.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:25 AM

Thanks Richard - Always happy to be corrected by someone who knows what they are talking about:-) I shall file that information away mentaly, forget it, dig it out in 2 years time and misquote it...

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:39 AM

Ruth is (as usual) right, but trust me DeG I have during my last about 10 years lecturing come across far too many who have gained admission to higher or further education who for practical purposes cannot read write add subtract think or use language grammatically.

In most cases this is not because of poor teaching but of excessive class sizes and pressures not to compel children to work - the creation of hiding places and excuses for the feckless by the wifty-wafty.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:03 AM

come across far too many who have gained admission to higher or further education who for practical purposes cannot read write add subtract think or use language grammatically.

I am sure that is perfectly true, Richard. But does it equate to the 'School leavers cannot read and write' quoted in the survey? It is the use of these soundbites that politicians and the media so love that causes half these arguments in the first place.

One thing that I think everyone on here is in agreement with is that class sizes are too large in a lot of cases. This is not, as you point out, the fault of poor teaching. Quite the opposite. That teachers can continue to perform so well in such difficult circumstances amazes me.

The major bone of centention seems to be what you call 'the creation of hiding places and excuses for the feckless by the wifty-wafty. ' Very eloquent. Is that the legal term? :-D

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:14 AM

I think you'll find some USAian used it to describe democracy, or something like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:15 AM

PS, is "centention" arguing something a hundred times? This could be a useful word on here.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: MikeL2
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:21 AM

hi David

My post was tongue in cheek....I know ,especially in this time before the run up to the election many things are being slung around and hyped up or damped down to suit the need.

However I would like to say that Tesco in this instance was not trying to teach people anything. They were stating that as employers the school system, as far as they are concerned is not producing enough employable people.

As for class sizes, both myself and my son and everybody round us came through the systems that applied at those times and the class sizes were certainly larger than they are today. We did well enough and we were by no means top performers.

So something has changed!!!!

cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: MikeL2
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:26 AM

Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer - PM
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:13 AM

Hi ruth

I agree with everything you say. I am certainly not a believer in home education but I think it can succeed in a very small number of special cases.

I agree with your excellent point about homing the needs of employers and commerce and industry into the education of our future working force.

regards

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:27 AM

Thanks Mike - I wondered when I saw the Tesco name if it was too serious. Funnily enough a couple of us were discussing Tesco a few days back and the conclusion we came to was that their staff, although generaly very good and helpful, contained what seems to be a high proportion of people who should not be let loose on the public! Maybe their HR people are the ones at fault after all!

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:32 AM

I think that the supermarket demands for what they call "tidy" dress are unnecessary and oppressive, but they are nothing to do with the irresponsibility of encouraging the stupid to bunk off school because they can't be arsed.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:38 AM

Well, the BBC's timing is something else, lol.

It would have helped if the 3 politicians had spoken one at a time and not altogether; I think I missed a few points!

There were two things that this programme highlighted for me:

Our teachers today were described as extraordinary and that was supported by the quality of the teachers who were there. I think we can safely say that most teachers do NOT abuse children.

I said in a previous post that I had reservations about teaching to exams. I have worked in a school where that was the case and to be quite honest I felt that too much time was spent preparing pupils for SATs - it can narrow the teaching; it does of course help in league tables. That is something that needs addressing by government.

I have to comment on this idea that if you do not get a grade 'C' or above at GCSE then you are a failure. I have a lot of experience teaching children with low ability. No matter how high the quality of teaching some children will never achieve a grade 'C' in some subjects but that does not mean that they are failures. I have witnessed the distress caused to some children when they get their grades and those grades are not what everybody else would like them to be.

I have taken the following:

Lucy Neville-Rolfe, a £1million-ayear director of the supermarket giant, told a skills conference that many have basic literacy and numeracy fail-ings as well as an "attitude problem" and "don't seem to understand the importance of a tidy appearance and time-keeping".

She went on to criticise a 'complicated' education system for distracting teachers from their main duties in the classroom, saying: "I would guess that the paperwork mountain with which teachers have to struggle is even worse than the red tape we face in business."
from here:

"attitude problem" and "don't seem to understand the importance of a tidy appearance and time-keeping" is often down to parenting and of course a lot of children these days keep being reminded by their parents about their rights. It's a shame that some of those same parents are very quick to disregard the right to an education when they are taking their child on a holiday during term time.

The paperwork mountain is something that should have been addressed years ago but appears to get worse not better!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:49 AM

I have witnessed the distress caused to some children when they get their grades and those grades are not what everybody else would like them to be.

I should also have pointed out there that even though those grades may not be what other people would like them to be, for that child they may be a major achievement and that should be acknowledged.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:52 AM

"A structured, monitored home schooling environment is one thing; depriving kids of an education in some wifty-wafty, misguided notion of free learning is quite another. And it ain't going to make them more employable."



What is this *obsession* with *monitoring* every single thing in life...testing, examining, workloads, achievements!

My daughter was school educated to the age of 15. She imploded during her GCSEs due to bullying, by pupils and teachers alike and because of the vast workload and constant testing that went on in her life.

She is now 23. She has two jobs at present, and has had others in the past. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HER EMPLOYERS HAVE WANTED TO KEEP HER ON, HAVE OFFERED HER A JOB WHENEVER SHE WANTS IT, IF THEY ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE ONE AT THAT TIME.

SHE HAS NO GCSE'S, NO A LEVELS (HER CHOICE)

She is studying for an Open University Degree.

She has paid for her own driving lessons, bought her own car.


WHICH PART OF THIS DO SO MANY OF YOU **refuse** TO UNDERSTAND????


Her employers didn't give a toss about the lack of school examinations! Why? Because in front of them stood a wonderful person, intelligent, erudite, well-spoken, confident, hard-working, trustworthy, interesting and very literate!

SHE DID NOT NEED ANY EXAMS TO GET INTO COLLEGE EITHER, HAD SHE CHOSEN TO GO, (SHE CHOSE NOT TO) BWCAUSE EXETER COLLEGE RECOGNISES THAT SO MANY HOME SCHOOLED CHILDREN ARE BLOODY MARVELLOUS AND **WANT** TO LEARN.


Thank you. And yes, I put that capitals on so that you could read it all more clearly, as perhaps some of you are struggling to read small print.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:56 AM

STOP trying to get ALL children to be monitored!

Let go of being Proles, for just a short time in your lives, and think outside the box, go outside the herd...and stop doing what your government tells you!

Children have a right to an education. Yes.
Children also have a right to a childhood, where they are not constantly ground down by having to achieve 24/7.

Let them LIVE!!!

Shove your homework up your arse, because ANY teacher who has to give out homework is NOT doing their job properly!

Leave our kids alone.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 07:00 AM

The trouble is that not all parents think like that Lizzie. A lot of parents complain if homework is not set! It's difficult trying to please everybody!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 07:23 AM

Maybe I can try the same tack, Lizzie.

NO ONE IS DOUBTING THAT YOUR CHILDREN HAVE THRIVED ON THIS METHOD OF TEACHING.

FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE SENDING THEIR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO

NO ONE IS SUGGESTING THAT SCHOOLS ARE PERFECT

TO SUGGEST THAT THOSE WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO SEND THEIR CHILDREN INTO STANDARD EDUCTAION ARE DEPRIVING THEIR CHILDREN OF A CHILDHOOD, THAT THEY ARE DOING SO OUT OF SOME HERD INSTINCT AND THAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE HAVE FARED BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSES IS HUGELY INSULTING TO EVERYONE THAT HAS CHOSEN THAT ROUTE.

Does using uppercase make it any clearer? One final point -

Leave our kids alone.

YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME. NO THAT DOES NOT MEAN I WANT GOVERNMENTAL CONTROL FOR MY KIDS. IT MEANS I DO NOT WANT LIZZIE CONTROL.

Understand?

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Wesley S
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 08:46 AM

"Shove your homework up your arse, because ANY teacher who has to give out homework is NOT doing their job properly!"

Bullpucky.

What you're saying is that kids shouldn't have to learn to work on their own. No book reports, no term papers? All learning should take place in the school room from 8 to 3? Kids taught like that will never be employable.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 12:45 PM

My daughter was school educated to the age of 15. She imploded during her GCSEs due to bullying, by pupils and teachers alike and because of the vast workload and constant testing that went on in her life.

Make up your mind! If she was home educated until 15 when did all this so called bullying take place??


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 01:20 PM

Mrs D, Lizzie's daughter left school for home education at 15.


Wesley: they also won't understand the difference between superficial, sound-bite trivia (of the type you get very commonly on the internet, for example) and in-depth knowledge and research (which you only gain from a variety of sources and from exploring a topic more deeply).

Often, what can be achieved in an hour's lesson in the classroom (less by the time you factor in arrival, registers, and putting-away time at the end of the lesson) alongside 30 other people works in tandem with more in-depth study that takes place over time, at home, through reading books and completing longer-term projects. The classroom teaching leads and supports the in-depth learning.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Wesley S
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 02:24 PM

Y'know I'm seeing a physical therapist for my back pain. Why can't she fix me in the two 30 minute sessions I see her in every week? No - For some reason she wants me to do other exersizes ON MY OWN TIME!!!!

Pretty cheeky of her if you ask me.....


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 02:33 PM

A lot of schools have a homework policy and the teacher would be regarded as not doing their job if they didn't follow that policy and set homework. I'm sure there are plenty of teachers who would be delighted not to have to mark homework!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 04:40 PM

Throw the policies away.   :0)


It's simply not necessary for children to do homework.


And Dave, when I said 'Leave our kids alone" I meant home educated ones. I've no problems with children who go to school and love it.
But do NOT force all children to go to school or to abide by the Bloody Curriculum.


So, no-one's answered me yet...

IF schools are doing this wonderful job, why is the country so dumbed down? Why are employers always complaining that kids can't do this, can't do that..? Why are so many kids at University who er...aren't really bright enough to be there? Why has a degree now become almost meaningless, as in 'everybody's got one of those'?

Home Educated children are actually seen as different, in a very positive way, because they're outside The System and more often than not, think for themselves, think differently, don't run with the pack mentality.

Just another way of looking at things.......

I've spent the last 30 minutes looking at the kids my daughter went to school with, on Facebook photos..They're all interchangeable. Everyone's partying till they drop, drinking till they drop...

I feel I've suddenly started living inside HELLO magazine! It was spooky and depressing, because I remember those children when they were little..and they were very different back then..but then, that was before they were sent inside The System for near on 13 years.....

..,..then, when they came out...............

"There's a pink one, and a blue one and a green one and a yellow one....and they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same..."


And still the Little Hitlers yelled....

"More Rules!"
"More Regulations!"
"More Checks!"
"More TESTS!"
"More EXAMS!"
"NO Home Education!"
"Stamp them all the same!"

..."there's a pink one and a blue one..and..........


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 04:45 PM

WATCH THIS....You Might Learn Something!!

The Purpose and Origins of Public Education - John Taylor Gatto - Youtube


I'll be asking questions later...because this man is hugely important...and I'm stunned that NONE of you have even mentioned John Taylor Gatto, because he is a teacher of THIRTY years...an award winning New York teacher who has changed the way so many of us are now thinking...and who has blown the whistle on State Education......


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 04:55 PM

This is your Homework for tonight, children.

I want a 3,000 word essay on it by next Thursday afternoon. This will give you all time to order it, read it and write about it, in the way that I demand.

If you do NOT do your Homework, then I will give you detention, because you all have to learn that what *I* say is law. There are no excuses for disobedience, because you have to understand, that you are here only to obey...*me*...

So come along, stop talking in the back there, Dave. Order this and order your homework in a neat and tidy manner, in the way you have been taught.

'Weapons of Mass Instruction - John Taylor Gatto


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:05 PM

And I need to tell you this, children...

I know that you little beggars love to go to the internet to copy and paste your homework...but I'm one step ahead of you here. So, if ANY of you DARE to bring me in this, next Thursday.....

This book focuses on mechanisms of familiar schooling that cripple imagination, discourage critical thinking, and create a false view of learning as a by-product of rote-memorisation drills. Gatto's earlier book, "Dumbing Us Down", put that now-famous expression of the title into common use worldwide. This book promises to add another chilling metaphor to the brief against schooling. Here is a demonstration that the harm school inflicts is quite rational and deliberate, following high-level political theories constructed by Plato, Calvin, Spinoza, Fichte, Darwin, Wundt, and others, which contend the term 'education' is meaningless because humanity is strictly limited by necessities of biology, psychology, and theology. The real function of pedagogy is to render the common population manageable. Realising that goal demands that the young be conditioned to rely upon experts, remain divided from natural alliances, and accept disconnections from the experiences that create self-reliance and independence. Escaping this trap requires a different way of growing up, one Gatto calls 'open source learning'. In chapters such as 'A Letter to Kristina, my Granddaughter'; 'Fat Stanley'; and, 'Walkabout: London', this different reality is illustrated.


....you'll get a Dastardly Double Detention for C&P-ing from here:

Weapons of Mass Instruction - Amazon uk

;0)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:39 PM

So, no-one's answered me yet...

Phew, Lizzie! Quite rightly so I expect. My children are now all grown up so I can be objective about kids in and just out of school. Looking at what you have just said though, if I had kids at school or just out, I would absolutely furious and incapable of answering with any modicum of retraint.

You say - IF schools are doing this wonderful job, why is the country so dumbed down? Why are employers always complaining that kids can't do this, can't do that..? Why are so many kids at University who er...aren't really bright enough to be there? Why has a degree now become almost meaningless, as in 'everybody's got one of those'?

What other way do we have of reading this apart from young people currently coming out of education, including higher education are not particularly bright. Please note that you have not qualified that with 'some' children or 'in my opinion'. You have just alienated evry single parent in the UK who sends their children to school. Can you not see that? Can you not see why people shout at you? Anyhow, pressing on...

Home Educated children are actually seen as different, in a very positive way, because they're outside The System and more often than not, think for themselves, think differently, don't run with the pack mentality.

Home educated children are better than school educated ones. Including yours I suppose. School educated ones cannot think for themselves and just 'run with the pack'. Not only have you put in the knife. You are now twisting it.

Just another way of looking at things.......

I've spent the last 30 minutes looking at the kids my daughter went to school with, on Facebook photos..They're all interchangeable. Everyone's partying till they drop, drinking till they drop...

I feel I've suddenly started living inside HELLO magazine! It was spooky and depressing, because I remember those children when they were little..and they were very different back then..but then, that was before they were sent inside The System for near on 13 years.....

..,..then, when they came out...............

"There's a pink one, and a blue one and a green one and a yellow one....and they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same..."


The kids your daughter went to school with are off the rails. Note - Not some kids - just 'the kids'. They are 'all interchangeable'. They are all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same. It reads like every single kid out of the standard schooling system is to be tarred by your brush. Not only have you twisted the knife. You are now chopping up the livers.

And don't tell me that I am reading the wrong message from your words. It is plain for all to see. Children educated in schools = bad. Children educated at home = good. Never mind that you have previously said schools are good for some kids. This is NOT how this latest tirade reads.

It has been mentioned before that your posts do lean towards the outrageous. This one absolutley takes the biscuit but I will say one thing. If what you wanted was to keep me away from your postings you are well on the way. I am now not just worried, but but positively afraid. And not in a good way.

If you cannot see how offensive your post is toward a HUGE number of decent parents with decent kids in state education then I am afraid there is absolutely no hope of reasoning with you.


Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:08 PM

How about doing the arithmetic of success and failure?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:43 PM

Home Educated children may actually be seen as different by some, but unfortunately it isn't always in a very positive way.

Lizzie, you must realise that what has worked for your children won't necessarily work for every child. You must realise that the descriptions you give of school educated children are sweeping generalisations which for most children are incorrect and unfair.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:46 PM

I think this thread should have a warning:

Do not open this thread if you are a teacher, a school educated child or the parent of a school educated child UNLESS you have absolutely no feelings at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 06:04 AM

"It's simply not necessary for children to do homework."

No, it's not but it reinforces classroom work and encourages children to read beyond the work done at school. Thinking back, there's a lot I know that I didn't learn at school but did learn as a result of school. My parents were intelligent and hard-working but they wouldn't have had the knowledge or backgound to be able to stretch my my mind in the way my teachers could.

Are you sure that this country is any more dumbed down that it ever was or do you just read about it more? We have a cult of celebrity at the moment and stupid people are all over the media but I don't think that means there are fewer knowledgable people, just that we don't hear so much about them. Another thing to bear in mind is that what you were taught in school is no longer so relevant - do we need to know about the classics and fine art to get on in the world? No, we don't. It's nice to know but not necessary.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 06:17 AM

Eanjay advises people who are school educated not to read much of this thread if they are school educated and have any feelings

Gatto describes those of us who have been through state education -

"The products of schooling are, as I've said, irrelevant.
Well-schooled people are irrelevant.
They can sell film and razor blades, push paper and talk on the telephones, or sit mindlessly before a flickering computer terminal but as human beings they are useless.
Useless to others and useless to themselves"

well thank you!

Dan Meyer, a teacher with the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District, was honoured with a 2008 Cable's Leaders in Learning Award

He expresses a similar reaction to eanjay

'Try not to contract an acute case of self-loathing reading John Taylor Gatto's Why Schools Don't Educate, a speech in which we are all agents of a system which subjugates students emotionally, physically, and intellectually.'


Gatto's theories and political ideology are firmly based in American 'libertarianism'

This is supported by fellow libertarian ideologues like Neal Boortz, whose radio show is popular with conservative republicans and who routinely criticizes the homeless, public schools (which he calls 'government schools'), liberals, opponents of the Iraq war, teachers and welfare recipients …..
and has stated

"sending a child to a government school is tantamount to child abuse"

After reading Joe's informative post it's obvious that, in America, like the UK, there is room for education reform

The difference appears to be that in America the mantle of school reform has been appropriated by those from the libertarian brigade who oppose the whole idea of public schooling.

"Their aim is to paint themselves as bold challengers to the current system and to claim that defenders of public education lack the vision or courage to endorse meaningful change."

- Alfie Kohn an American author and teacher/lecturer who is actually a proponent of a constructivist account of learning and opposed to standardized tests etc

Kohn is also unimpressed by Gatto

" In a recent Harper's magazine essay entitled "Against School," he (Gatto) asserts that the goal of "mandatory public education in this country" is "a population deliberately dumbed down," with children turned "into servants."

In support of this sweeping charge, Gatto names some important men who managed to become well-educated without setting foot in a classroom.
(However, he fails to name any defenders of public education who have ever claimed that it's impossible for people to learn outside of school or to prosper without a degree.)

He also cites a few "school as factory" comments from long-dead policymakers, and observes that many of our educational practices originated in Prussia.
Here he's right. Our school system is indeed rooted in efforts to control. But the same indictment could be leveled, with equal justification, at other institutions. The history of newspapers, for example, and the intent of many powerful people associated with them, has much to do with manufacturing consent, marginalizing dissent, and distracting readers. But is that an argument for no newspapers or better newspapers?

Ideally, public schools can enrich lives, nourish curiosity, introduce students to new ways of formulating questions and finding answers.

Their existence also has the power to strengthen a democratic society, in part by extending those benefits to vast numbers of people who didn't fare nearly as well before the great experiment of free public education began"


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 06:36 AM

Home tutoring is just another name for good parenting.
My schooling back in 50s'60's and early 70's, was by and large great. (apart from one sadistic maths teacher...Steel ruler edge on across the knuckles anyone?!).
Couple that with wonderful parents, who were strict, but fair, I got a proper education.
But without the school part, I would never have learnt how to play French Horn, Tympani (Played in the London Schools Symphony Orchestra for one season). I would never have found out what goes on behind the scenes in a theatrical production. And, as I was pretty much a failure academically, (6 O levels No A levels), I still managed to impress the BBC enough to get a decent job/career. I was later told that it was the activities I had been engaged in at school was the factor that swayed it in my favour.
And Home parenting alone can open up all these possibly life changing opportunities? I dont think so.
I wasn't particulary sporty, but for those that enjoyed that, the facilities were available.
Don't blame the teachers Lizzie. They are making the best of what they've got.
But, also, how can you even begin to think that H.E. will solve all the problems?
For instance, If one of your children wanted to learn to play the piano? Do you have a piano? Do you play the piano? Think not.
You would have to resort to private tuition. Most schools have a music dept (just). For free!
But enough. I realise that I'm just wasting time, and await the inevitable backlash with bemused resignation.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 07:30 AM

"Their aim is to paint themselves as bold challengers to the current system and to claim that defenders of public education lack the vision or courage to endorse meaningful change."

I cannot, for the life of me, think who that sounds like. I do not blame anyone for taking that attitude though. It is the easy one to take. People disagree with your ideas therefore they must be the product of a represive system, following the herd, boring or just plain stupid. It is much easier to believe that than to accept that your ideas may not be as good as you thought.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Derecq
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 07:49 AM

I've spent the last 30 minutes looking at the kids my daughter went to school with, on Facebook photos..They're all interchangeable. Everyone's partying till they drop, drinking till they drop...
=====================================================================
Actually a lot of Facebook pictures are like that. It's the sort of pictures people of that age take. They don't take pictures of themselves doing their homework sitting quietly at home or studying, or helping old ladies to put up bath handles.

People might ask WHY you were looking at photographs of people your daughter went to school with for 30 minutes..........Looking to see if they posted pictures of themselves drinking and partying by any chance? Personally I think a responsible adult would tell them to make sure their pictures can't be seen by every Tom, Dick and Harriet.

Anyway I note from earlier posts - far from being home educated as you have constantly told us - your daughter spent all but one of her compulsory school years in school. I have to tell you that is not the normal definition of home education.

Thanks for that.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 08:08 AM

The two sons of a friend of mine went to a Steiner school. (A very liberal take on how children should be treated)
I went along to a couple of Open days, Christmas fairs etc. All very nice. They had an organic veggie farm, a few animals hanging about. (Nowt wrong with that, obviously). Sadly, idyllic though it looked. The kids, bye and large, were taking the piss, and running amok.
I'm sorry, Lifelong socialist I may be, but children need boundaries, set, both by parents and teachers.
Wifty wafty Hello Flowers, hello trees attitudes do not work.
The very fact that children have to be at school at a certain time, wearing the correct uniform etc. is a good thing!.
Of course I'm not advocating regular beatings. (although I went through that regime too). but "loving" dicipline for children has to be the way forward in terms of parenting.
We, as a family, try to share a communal meal around the table at least 3 or 4 times a week.
Last Sunday, the youngest (12) was out playing with his mates. I was doing a roast dinner. He wanted to stay out. No, I told him. this is family time. you will be back at 5, or your dinner is going in the bin. Harsh? Maybe?....but, he turned up at 5 to 5!!!
Enough already.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 08:12 AM

Oh and another advantage of schooling? Your child gets to mix with other kids. In these days when it's not so easy for them to play in the street this is very important. I've known a couple of home educators who've realised this lack and have made sure their children have mixed with others by taking them to play groups etc but I don't think it will beat the experience of learning together and hearing other children's views on a subject. In addition to controlling your child's education you now have to control their social life (or is it have control of their social life?).


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 08:25 AM

Another advantage of a school system is that it reduces the risk of children being indoctrinated by insane parents.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Davetnova
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 08:35 AM

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/intelligence%11boosting-drugs-make-children-question-point-of-exams-201003102547/


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 08:56 AM

That is VERY funny Davetnova:-D

I am a bit worried that some may take it seriously though...


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 10:57 AM

"Anyway I note from earlier posts - far from being home educated as you have constantly told us - your daughter spent all but one of her compulsory school years in school. I have to tell you that is not the normal definition of home education.

Thanks for that."

I've always stated that fact, folkiedave. You're slipping.

My son was home-educated from the age of 7. Do you have a problem with that too?

I have experienced BOTH sides of the coin...and I know which suits/suited my children best. This is due to being their mother and knowing both of them far better than any teacher will ever come to know them.

My daughter came OUT of school, INTO home education because she could no longer cope with the appalling pressure of examinations, of stressed out teachers, putting their stress on to the pupils...and because of bullying, from both pupils and some teachers. She also gave up her art for two years, because her art 'teacher' told her that her work was "crap"...the exact word she used.

The damage that stupid, ignorant woman did, remains, even to this day.

NO teacher has the right to make my children, or anyone else's feel bad about themselves. No other human being does. But I damn well expect teachers, above all others, to ONLY show kindness, support, inspiration and guidance to children. THAT is their job, that is what they are therefore...and ANY teacher who feels it is their 'right' to belittle, humiliate, embarrass, denigrate, shout, scream or treat badly any child, should not be in the profession.

It is one thing to be firm. It is quite another to see yourself as being in a position of power, to look down and talk down to young people and children, merely because you have 'teacher' branded on your forehead.

Actually, I think that every single term, teachers should be tested, by their pupils. They should see what their children think of them, and why.

They may be quite surprised...for better or for worse.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 11:14 AM

A very bad experience indeed, Lizzie. Much like to ones I had when I decided it was time to change my daughters school. But it has not set me so much against teachers that I believe the bad ones to be in the majority, It did not make me believe for one moment that all the other children coming out the original school were drunken savages. And it certainly did noy give me the right to belittle every other parent who kept their children in that school.

Do you not think it is about time you stopped implying that everyone but you has made the wrong decision? We know that you made the right decision but the way you constantly try to justify it I wonder whether you have doubts? Why else keep harping on about how good an education your children got and how bad everyone elses is. Surely they are out of it now and it is time to let it go. Find a different hobby horse. Preferably one that does not involve rubbing people up the wrong way. You may be pleasantly surprised at how well people start to respond. Well, once they get over your excesses...

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 11:25 AM

It isn't just teachers who should not belittle, humiliate, embarrass, denigrate, shout, scream or treat badly.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 12:22 PM

I strongly suspect that the vast majority of problems that children have at school are caused by parents.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 12:26 PM

"NO teacher has the right to make my children, or anyone else's feel bad about themselves. No other human being does. But I damn well expect teachers, above all others, to ONLY show kindness, support, inspiration and guidance to children. THAT is their job, that is what they are therefore...and ANY teacher who feels it is their 'right' to belittle, humiliate, embarrass, denigrate, shout, scream or treat badly any child, should not be in the profession."
Bloody good job you didn't go to school in South Shields in the fifties and early sixites then - and they were the enlightened days!!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 12:34 PM

'NO teacher has the right to make my children, or anyone else's feel bad about themselves. No other human being does'

so how about.......

"The products of schooling are, as I've said, irrelevant.
Well-schooled people are irrelevant.
They can sell film and razor blades, push paper and talk on the telephones, or sit mindlessly before a flickering computer terminal but as human beings they are useless.
Useless to others and useless to themselves" ?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 01:22 PM

Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Mrs.Duck - PM
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 12:45 PM

My daughter was school educated to the age of 15. She imploded during her GCSEs due to bullying, by pupils and teachers alike and because of the vast workload and constant testing that went on in her life.

Make up your mind! If she was home educated until 15 when did all this so called bullying take place??

Obviously a mental blip for which I apologize.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 01:22 PM

"I strongly suspect that the vast majority of problems that children have at school are caused by parents."

In my experience that's substantially true, Richard. In the cases of the most damaged and neglected kids, the schools spend years trying to undo a lot of utterly piss-poor parenting. However, in the schools where the damaged and nearly feral kids are in the great majority, teachers are fighting a losing battle. And the heartbreaking thing is that they really do care, and are doing their best in the most demoralising situations.

Before we get a chorus of "Well well well well well well well well...." I am not suggesting that the tough schools nor the really damaged kids are in the majority. They do exist, and no one has ever denied this. The point is, the teachers who are trying to be part of the solution to these problems created by our society deserve our support, not our criticism and derision.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 02:13 PM

I got 200 - do you think I should claim 300 as well?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 02:18 PM

300


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 02:19 PM

And pinging 299 would have been cheating


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: paula t
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 03:14 PM

"NO teacher has the right to make my children, or anyone else's feel bad about themselves. No other human being does. But I damn well expect teachers, above all others, to ONLY show kindness, support, inspiration and guidance to children. THAT is their job, that is what they are therefore...and ANY teacher who feels it is their 'right' to belittle, humiliate, embarrass, denigrate, shout, scream or treat badly any child, should not be in the profession."

Absolutely right, Lizzie, and the vast majority of teachers would heartily agree! It's a pity that teachers do not seem to have the same rights as the children we teach.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:24 PM

Well, if the whole system was changed, each side would be kind to the other...maybe?

It needs everyone, parents, children, teachers, politicians, to come together, realise something is terribly wrong and move on from there.

You need to have respect on *both* sides.   

If we put Kindness, Compassion and Empathy on the National Curriculum and got rid of all the stuff that is pretty darn useless, then maybe things may start to change....


"Education of the mind without education of the heart is no education at all" - Aristotle.

We have, as an 'Edukated Edukated Edukated Nation' seemingly forgotten about our children's hearts..


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:44 PM

'something is terribly wrong and move on from there'

I think I have said that there is room for reform in the Educational system in the UK; I don't think I can speak for the US anymore than Gatto speaks for the UK.

However I have also supported the findings of the Badman report that there is also an overwhelming need for 'reform' in home education in the UK too - at the very least the necessity for registration and responsible monitoring.

'Well, if the whole system was changed, each side would be kind to the other'

That means the 'whole system' I presume ?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:50 PM

This is an article from 2004...Have things improved since?


Exam Stress in Teenagers

And from there:

"....But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Exams only serve to bring to a head feelings of depression, hopelessness and fear of failure that have become endemic amongst school age children, thanks in large part to the results-driven agenda that the Labour government insists upon.

Figures from the government's drug watchdog, MHRA, show that in 1995 46,000 anti-depressant prescriptions were given to teenagers between 16 and 18 in full-time education. By last year this had risen to 140,000. There has also been a rise of almost 50 percent in the prescription of so-called "happy drugs" such as Prozac and Seroxat to under 16s. This has risen from 76,000 in 1996 to 110,000. This figure could be higher because prescriptions from private doctors and those given to hospital patients are not included.

Whilst the figures point to a one in five prevalence of mental illness among under 18s, the Department of Health (DoH) has admitted that it has no idea how many children are actually taking psychiatric drugs. Nor does it collect statistics on exam-related suicides.

In the seven years that the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair has been in office, there has been an increased emphasis in education on attaining ever-more impossible targets. The expectations that schools will produce a year on year increase in test and exam results, which are then used to produce league tables, puts an enormous strain on social relations within schools and among the pupils themselves. The fear of failure and letting people down, whether it be yourself, your family, friends or the school, is widespread at a time when there has never been such a premium placed on achieving high grades in order to enter university.

The case of Tina Dzikl is not unusual, in that a growing number of bright youngsters are pressured to take exams earlier within the state school system. In the last few years there have been a number of teenage suicides where exam pressure has played a part.

Amy Burgess from West Mersea, Essex, jumped from the top of a multi-story car park the day she was due to take her GCSE's. An open verdict was recorded into her death.

Sixth former David Tebby from South Wales also killed himself by jumping from a multi-story car park because of anxiety about A-levels.

Tim Russell, 16, killed himself with his father's shotgun because he had failed his physics paper.

Shaun Begley, 16, hanged himself from a tree because he believed he would not pass his math GCSE.,,,,"



Watch the video on this page....listen to what the children themselves are saying!

The NHS advice on being your child's 'Study Buddy' (oh purleeze!)


And from *that* site...

British schoolchildren sit up to 70 exams and tests before they reach their GCSEs. There are ways to ease stress at exam time.


The children of this nation are over-tested, over examined, over worked, over stressed, and if the teachers themselves cannot see that, and are NOT prepared to stand up, en masse and REFUSE to keep doing this to them...then they do NOT deserve to be teachers.

Young people have a right to be young! Young and free!   They have a right to have holidays and summer evenings without bloody homework or examination revision, revision, revision!

When I took GCSEs I merely did a bit of swotting up, around 7/10 days before we took the test. I was not unusual in this and we had hardly any stress from our teachers, because there were no league tables, no OFSTED, no examiners examining examiners, or teachers teaching teachers...

The whole exam system is making many children ill, depressed and very angry. It is turning them OFF from learning, as had happened in the USA where the National Curriculum has been around for over 10 years longer than we've had it.

If I were a child today, I'd bunk off bloody school at every given opportunity and take to the woods with my friends, have picnics, barbecues, live my life the way I feit it should be lived, according to ME, NOT according to others.

And people wonder why our children are spilling out their souls on the pavements of our cites, falling over sideways, on their way to becoming alcholics, some already suffering major medical damage by their early 20s.

And yes, I know, that according to folks in here, NONE of this is happening and it is ALL a figment of my imagination!









Like hell it is...


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:53 PM

I knew there was no point - ever had an olive branch shoved down your throat folks?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 05:03 PM

Home Education is not a 'bloody' System in the first place, Emma.

That is the WHOLE point!

It has not (yet) been taken over by 'Those who MUST be Obeyed', but they're working on it...

Soon, NO child will be able to live the life their parents, or the child themselves may want.

We will ALL have been taken over by the State, who will dictate how we must all live our lives!

There will be no Freedom in Education, no Freedom of Thought, or Freedom of Speech!

Ha!!! Some who deem themselves Socialists, in this thread have already made sure that I lost mine on the BBC board...and they're pretty determined to make sure that others lose theirs, as they seek to control, control, control....

READ that Freedom of Education magazine link there...and then know that the children who produced it, two sisters and their brother, now all fully grown up, were home educated by their mother and father, in France. The parents were sickened at what was happening in their local schools, sickened by much of the way British society was going, so...they moved to France. Their father built their house for them, the children helped. They each had their own 'garden' which they designed and maintained themselves. The young lad planted his own orchard. They spent their days reading masses of books, creating many things, working within their local community, being a help to that community...They are all self-sufficient, kind, suportive of each other...an incredibly close family.

Wendy now lives in London with her boyfriend. She has a lively and lovely mind, one that thrives on knowledge....

And you people want to stop anyone else from having that kind of 'education'....? It is an Education of Life! Millions of times better than anything they'd have been offered at their local school.

Wendy and her family also realise that many children, many people love schools, can see nothing wrong with them. They would never dream of interfering in the choice of those people to send their children to school...and yet...some of those 'school driven' people are trying to INSIST that we educate OUR children THEIR way!

PAH! That stinks!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 05:09 PM

'Home Education is not a 'bloody' System in the first place, Emma.'

sigh - who said it was?

no just carry on regardless

"Their aim is to paint themselves as bold challengers to the current system and to claim that defenders of public education lack the vision or courage to endorse meaningful change."

exactly!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 05:10 PM

Ah, the rural idyll. Have you any idea of the reality behind "the Haywain"?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 08:01 PM

I've just noticed that I got a mention in one of Lizzie's rants. Lizzie, I wasn't the first one who said it was you on the BBC board. When I agreed with whoever it was I used a smiley to show that it was light-hearted. You don't seem to have much of a sense of humour, though. As it happens, I quite enjoy your visits to the BBC boards. I don't think nearly as badly as you as you do of me.

As a teacher in a 'bog-standard' comprehensive in an inner-city area, I've been reading this debate with interest. Obviously no-one is going to change their deeply entrenched opinions on this issue. Joan does seem to have an idea of what teaching is like these days.

I would like to add another issue. Over the past few years pupils in the school I teach at are beginning to threaten teachers and use violence towards them. I know of several dedicated, hard-working, gentle, kind teachers whose careers and mental health have been totally destroyed by this. Teachers are told not to touch pupils at all as pupils will go home and say that they've been assaulted by teachers. Their parents send them to school with instructions not to take any nonsense from the teachers.

I think everyone has a right to feel safe in the place that they work in. More and more teachers don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 08:07 PM

Lizzie, your Miss B is a horrible, nasty, hurtful parody of what you think teachers are like. Yes, we get it wrong sometimes but we teach because we care. I've never met a teacher like Miss B and I've taught for 30 years in 7 different schools, ranging from a grammar school to a college and now a comprehensive. Miss B may exist but I've never met her.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 03:44 AM

'Miss B' is what could actually happen if 'Hate Registers' ARE brought in, and if New Labour remain in power, they will be, I've no doubts about that at all. My daughter was taught by such a teacher, although he was a man. Many parents complained about him, *nothing* was done. He was the same man who protected his friend, the one some in here regard as a 'voyeur' but whom I regard, despite what the judge said, as a 'paedophile'. Any man who rigs up cameras to take photos of young girls in his care deserves no respect from anyone.

Moving on to your other comments, Chris.

I have no voice on the BBC anymore, because a small group of people, who are also in this thread, saw to it that by their constant complaints about me, the BBC would eventually cave in and remove me.
As such, I EXPECT the BBC to ENSURE that NO mention of my name is now on that board. The person who started the thread on Reg Meuross was NOT me.

Tell me, Chris, do you EVER look at things from the perspective of others? Have you ever put yourself in my place? Do you know how it feels to have vindictive people 'watching out' for you? You may think it's all a hoot. I don't. I find it deeply offensive that some people go out of their way to ensure that I am no longer on that board...and have gone out of their way on this board also to try and get my freedom of speech removed.

Yet, they feel they have the right to use *their* freedom of speech to verbally abuse and insult me, put down outright lies about me.

Always look at things from a different perspective.

And the reason I get cross with you, is you have been a teacher for too long, perhaps? You were constantly talking to me on the BBC as if I was a child. You expected me to do what you said, along with so many others. I am my own person, I write in my own way, a way that is entirely natural to my brain. I have never commented on your writing, what you write about etc...and I am so very tired of the drip, drip, drip from the Hate Register Tap that follows me round..

Mel had, and has, NO right to leave those posts on, because they instantly make others think that's me. It is not. She should have apologised to me, when I went on there the other day to ask her to stop the witch hunt. She did no such thing whatsoever. That was way out of order, but no less than I expect from Mel and from the entire Smooth Ops team who have behaved atrociously throughout this whole affair. I haven't been on that board for around a year...and when I did go on there I always used to make it obvious that it was me, because I have nothing to hide. Even Jim Moray has been roped into spying out for me...and as, in the past, I've given Jim many compliments about his music, along with his sister, Jackie Oates, I found his comments offensive.

I've learnt the hard way that there are many in the folk world who are only interested in themselves and making their careers stronger and stronger and that is all that matters to them at the end of the day. Integrity seems to be missing in some folks, but there you go.


Be very afraid of 'Miss B'..because soon, she may well be coming to work in a school near you...bringing her own Hate Register with her...
Oh, and of course, the story also drew a parellel with what was happening earlier in this thread, where some people were saying that they KNOW far better than I do what sort of person I am, why I write as I do, what I REALLY mean by my words...It was exactly what happened to little 'Jimmy James'.

The 'Miss B's' , both male and female, have followed me around for years with their own Agenda Registers. I am truly sick of them.


Of course, you did NOT see the post I sent to the BBC about Joan and folkiedave, and their use of certain terminology to let me know, secretly, that they had found out something else about my personal life. Mel, by that time, had already rumbled it was me, not hard, as I used my name..I regard these two people as obsessive stalkers of me. They both worry me deeply, because it seems, by their last behaviour pattern that they have joined forces, passed the word around to others and revel in feeling that they have made me feel uncomfortable. Many people in here support these people. It says far more about them, than it does about me. And I include Show of Hands in that 'support group' who apparently, according to Joan Crump, feel that *I* am the unpleasant one.

Well, Steve and Phil, I have news for you. I, unlike your new heroine, do NOT search out the internet for evidence I can use against someone to make them feel stalked. The people you now support, do. Also, I do not offer, on Facebook, to buy drinks for the first person to throw beer over someone I do not like, as Joan did about me. You have chosen to support these folks, be part of 'em.
I hope that gives you both much happiness.

Ho hum...Live, Learn and Move ON bloody fast, is, I guess the lesson I have learnt. But that's life, ain't it...one long, never-ending opportunity to learn, learn, learn. :0)

Oh...and what the heck made you think that *I* am the *only* person who loves the songs of Reg Meuross, Chris?????   WHY would you assume that had to be me? Reg has many, many people who love his music, and I'm just really pleased that others are starting to talk about him. I got cross not only because it was not me, but because that thread got instantly taken off course. It was about Reg and his music, NOT about me. And tell me, EVEN if it HAD been me, so What? WHY would that have bothered you, or anyone else???????

WHY do you all the Right to Write, yet I do not?

If you miss me being on the BBC, then perhaps you ought to let Mel know, rather than continue to try and hunt me down.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 03:52 AM

Oh, I thought this was a thread about education. Turns out it was all about Lizzie Cornish all along. Silly me.

Lizzie, you really ought to get some sort of help. Your level of utter self-obsession is bizarre to say the least.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: mandotim
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 03:59 AM

Lizzie; I'm worried about you. Your last post descended into what appeared to present as genuine paranoia, which bore little or no resemblance to the realities of the discussion on this board. If you are not doing so already, you should seek some help, urgently. This really isn't meant as an attack on you in any way whatsoever; I'm genuinely concerned about your wellbeing. Your seeming compulsion to fight virtually everyone you encounter online and the apparent anger, frustration and grief it causes you cannot be good for you. Irrespective of your outstanding arguments and grievances against those you perceive to be persecuting you, I urge you to take an objective look at the situation. Perhaps review your posts on this thread; is there anything you now regret saying? If not, you're in real trouble. An absence of self-doubt is psychologically very dangerous territory.
Posted in peace, and in a spirit of genuine concern
Tim


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 05:07 AM

And yes, I know, that according to folks in here, NONE of this is happening and it is ALL a figment of my imagination!

Every single person who is 'against you' on this thread has said that the education system is not perfect. There are indeed some things that are a figmnet of your imagination. That the education system has room fro improvement is not one of them. Let me put my points in the easiest of ways so maybe you will take notice.

The education system is not perfect

It does, in the main, work for the majority of people

Home education works for some people

The majority teachers are good

The majority young people are good

You slagging off people and children that go through mainstream education, the vast majority in the UK, is what gets up my nose.

There - Those are verifyable facts. You can deny them all you like. You can cite your personal experience and anecdotes as much as you like. But those are still the facts.

Seemples

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 05:08 AM

Whoops - a missing end of italics after the first line - anyone there to mend it?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 07:28 AM

Time to put this to bed.
It's become yet another Lizzie tirade.
To all the sensible posters here, I bid you farewell.
And, as for Lizzie......She'll be back.
That's not a threat..It's a reality.
Such a shame.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 07:41 AM

But as an addendum to mandotims post.
Please Lizzie. Get some help.
You might not like us, but, actually, we are all human beings, and we all care.
We only get angry when you get angry. (It's called human nature).
You have opinions...Fair enough.
So do I...
There is a lot in what you say that is to be applauded.
But, please. Stop hitting us all with the "Righteous Mallet."
We all get angry about all sorts of subjects. Picking fights with people, (who probably agree with you) is not going to help? Is it??
So, can you please stop this now?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 08:49 AM

I sent to the BBC about Joan and folkiedave,

I have absolutely no idea what on earth you are talking about. I have never contacted the BBC about you.

You mistook someone else's posts for mine and not for the first time.

I do not believe (as the Mel from the BBC has said on the current Reg Meuross thread), that the person who started that thread is you.

I am aware that you have been told to get help before. I suspect you took no notice of that advice then, anymore than you will now.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 12:10 PM

Thanks, Tim...I'm really quite fine though, just hugely pissed off with the Usual Suspects. Who, as usual, have both avoided apologising for their shitty behaviour. No surprises there then...and of course, one of the usual suspects has done her usual thing in coming out with her 'It's all about YOU!' script, instead of having the guts to say 'Actually, kiddo, you know you have a point, I HAVE been an absolute bitch to you, and about you, for years now..and my latest behavoiour was WAY out of line. I humbly apologise'

Ha, there goes another flying pig!

So, Tim, may I ever so kindly, and ever so politely suggest that you take your psychology psychobabblebubble up with them and ask them why they keep hounding me as they do.

Thank you.



Folkiefooks...

I wrote a message for the BBC board, ABOUT you and Joan Crump.   I stated what I put above. Luckily, for you, Mel had woken up by that time and had managed to work out that 'Lizzicornishe' was moi. That, and of course her 'OH MY GOD! SHE's BACK!! TEACHER! TEACHER! THE BAD GIRL IS BACK!' button had gone off in her Smooth Operations Bunkers..

I wrote it because IF you and Frau Geerhart don't get OUT of my life and OFF my back, then I will cover the BBC board with messages about how low you two have now stooped..in your shitty behaviour, thus annoying the BBC profusely, whilst letting people see that somewhere in your anscetry there is probably a Banker.

Thank you.


And now, back to Education.....and to the puzzling fact that no-one has spoken out about Hate Registers or John Gatto, despite him being a teacher himself...for 30 years...

Strange, huh?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 12:20 PM

"And now, back to Education.....and to the puzzling fact that no-one has spoken out about Hate Registers or John Gatto, despite him being a teacher himself...for 30 years...

Strange, huh? "

More evidence that you don't read what other people post Lizzie
In response to your demand I did read some of Gattos writings - this was what I posted on this thread as well as quotes from two award winning respected teachers who did not agree with hime


"Gatto's theories and political ideology are firmly based in American 'libertarianism'

This is supported by fellow libertarian ideologues like Neal Boortz, whose radio show is popular with conservative republicans and who routinely criticizes the homeless, public schools (which he calls 'government schools'), liberals, opponents of the Iraq war, teachers and welfare recipients …..
and has stated

"sending a child to a government school is tantamount to child abuse"

After reading Joe's informative post it's obvious that, in America, like the UK, there is room for education reform

The difference appears to be that in America the mantle of school reform has been appropriated by those from the libertarian brigade who oppose the whole idea of public schooling.

"Their aim is to paint themselves as bold challengers to the current system and to claim that defenders of public education lack the vision or courage to endorse meaningful change."

- Alfie Kohn an American author and teacher/lecturer who is actually a proponent of a constructivist account of learning and opposed to standardized tests etc

Kohn is also unimpressed by Gatto

" In a recent Harper's magazine essay entitled "Against School," he (Gatto) asserts that the goal of "mandatory public education in this country" is "a population deliberately dumbed down," with children turned "into servants."

In support of this sweeping charge, Gatto names some important men who managed to become well-educated without setting foot in a classroom.
(However, he fails to name any defenders of public education who have ever claimed that it's impossible for people to learn outside of school or to prosper without a degree.)

He also cites a few "school as factory" comments from long-dead policymakers, and observes that many of our educational practices originated in Prussia.
Here he's right. Our school system is indeed rooted in efforts to control. But the same indictment could be leveled, with equal justification, at other institutions. The history of newspapers, for example, and the intent of many powerful people associated with them, has much to do with manufacturing consent, marginalizing dissent, and distracting readers. But is that an argument for no newspapers or better newspapers?

Ideally, public schools can enrich lives, nourish curiosity, introduce students to new ways of formulating questions and finding answers.

Their existence also has the power to strengthen a democratic society, in part by extending those benefits to vast numbers of people who didn't fare nearly as well before the great experiment of free public education began"

No need to apologize.......


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 12:39 PM

Good lord.

I have absolutely no idea what you are on about Lizzie, nor why on earth you are talking to the BBC about me. I haven't been to that board in ages, and then it was just to post the odd news snippet which is relevant to my work. I am friendly with Mel and her husband (in, you know, real life - that thing that happens away from your computer screen), so if she had anything to say to me she could contact me directly. I'm sure she's aware I hardly ever visit the board, so this most recent rant to her must have seemed even more unhinged than your usual outpourings.

The only time and reason anyone ever shopped you to the mods on the BBC board was because, after you were banned, the mods asked them to. The policy, in order to minimise your disruption of the board, was that others were not to respond to Lizzie Cornish or anyone they suspected to be Lizzie Cornish using a false identity, but instead to let the mods know, and they would take the appropriate action. That was the BBC's own way of managing your behaviour.

I never did anything to get you banned from there, Lizzie, and as far as I'm aware, neither did folkiedave. You did that all by yourself. Through your own behaviour. You're the one who is always going on about people taking personal responsibility. So own it. All of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 12:44 PM

I would add that, until the latest crazed rant, I was trying to discuss and contribute to the actual topic of this thread. I would point out to the Mudcat moderators (and I use that term very loosely indeed) that despite these efforts, my name has been dragged into yet another Lizzie-based scrap. Look at the evidence in front of you. Victim? My arse. She loves this stuff. If there isn't a row that's focusing on her, she'll start one. If people are ignoring her, she drags their names into some tirade and goads them into responding.

Seriously - care in the community doesn't even begin to describe it.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 01:01 PM

I'm coming very late to this ridiculous thread and can scarcely justify the time I've spent reading it. I want to point out, however, that I recall madlizziecornish signing herself in Somewhere Else as "Elsie" (alongside an unfeasibly lengthy string of other pseudonyms). I outed MLC in the very next post for which she congratulated me (no need, it wasn't hard).

She appears to be attempting to smear me with her nasty little pretendy made-up anecdote but it's just another lie. Nothing new there then. Except that her increasingly crazed posts surely do betray symptoms of psychological projection - that and Enid Blytonist plagiarism. Scary indeed.

She does not know me (thank god) yet tries to make out that we are 'old friends' and have some sort of "connection". We do not. Apparently I have the distinction of challenging her very first post on the BBC forum (just some sycophantic fangirl bilge about that poor, unsuspecting dishevelled duo). And so from then to am embarrassed Phil Beer being compelled to come here (when he should have been in the studio) pleading with her to cease and desist. That was a year ago. Wouldn't someone with a smidgeon of self-awareness have shut the fuck up and slunk away then? Yet no, here she is still ranting on every subject about which she knows not a thing. What sort of moron does that? Care in the community candidates need compulsory muzzling.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 01:09 PM

"I would point out to the Mudcat moderators (and I use that term very loosely indeed) that despite these efforts, my name has been dragged into yet another Lizzie-based scrap.

Look at the evidence in front of you"

Folkiedave posted to this thread on 25 Feb 10 - 07:27 PM

Some 125 or so posts after Folkiedave's post we get this!

"Folkiefuckingdave, come out here and fight like a man, you creep! Stop creeping round the internet, then telling your buddies about it, so that they too put down their coded messages...eh, 'ruth'..…"

posted without comment!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 01:15 PM

the puzzling fact that no-one has spoken out about Hate Registers or John Gatto

Well, they have actualy but as that has already been pointed out I will comment now.

Hate registers do not exist. They are a figment of your imagination.

John Gatto is a complete flake that needs to be locked up before he does some serious harm. In my opinion of course but my opinion does seem to concur with the majority of people in education. Surprising seeing as I usualy disagree with the masses...

Happy now? I suspect not because when you say 'why has no-one spoken about' you mean 'why has no-one agreed'.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 01:37 PM

Oh, sorry, I should have added a comple American flake who's comments have no relevence to a discussion on education in the UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 03:02 PM

OK, I think it's time to close this thread - but I won't. I'm going on another tack.

Yes, I will admit that Lizzie got out of control in this thread, but you of the anti-Lizzie mob knew from the onset that this was going to be another looneytunes thread. This combat is going to stop. From now on, all messages that make any mention of Lizzie Cornish are prohibited, as are all messages from Lizzie that make mention of any Mudcatters. I will delete all such messages.
Period.
-Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-

Please call to mind that the title of this thread is £800 fine for low school attendance. Talk about that. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 07:43 PM

Are we allowed to mention tinfoil hats?


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 09:03 PM

Thanks for that Richard.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: mandotim
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 03:42 AM

The situation and history of homeschooling appear to differ widely between the US and UK. There has always been a significant minority of home educated children in the USA, as would be expected in any large nation with a widely distributed populace. In a small country like the UK, with a relatively high population density, home schooling has always been quite rare, and the infrastructure to support this approach is patchy as a result. Australia approached this very succesfully by introducing high-quality radio-based distance learning. Other nations have other solutions.

The numbers of home educated children in the USA have grown rapidly in the last twenty years or so. Some theorists attribute this to failings in the public school system, but the common thread seems to be a disconnection between the perceived 'liberal' values promoted in public schools and those of the far-right Christian fundamentalist movement in the USA. Right wing parents (according to some researchers) are removing their children from what they see as the evil influence of modern liberal values and teaching them according to more traditional, bible-based values at home. There is considerable evidence of a right-wing education pathway, where bright children are homeschooled and inculcated with far-right values. They then go to specialist colleges, such as Patrick Henry College in Virginia, where they study (essentially) right wing politics. Their first job tends to be working as an intern for a right wing politician in some capacity. They tend to be white, middle class kids with above average intelligence.

This career pathway, it must be said, does not apply to all homeschooled children in the USA by any means. What is worrying is the infiltration of the approach by the fundamentalist right; their approach has some very nasty overtones of indoctrination, and smacks of 'building an army for God' (this phrase was actually used by one homeschooler in a recent documentary; I'm trying to remember the title and reference). Gatto's dodgy research has been picked up by the right wing and used as justification for their cynical and self-serving support of homeschooling.

About the UK. I live in a very sparsely populated rural area, and I know one family very well who have homeschooled their four children. The kids are the same generation as my kids, and are very different in terms of their outlook and social skills. The homeschooled kids achieved remarkable academic grades up to A level standard. The parents did a good, conscientious job of home schooling, following all the recommended guidelines. All four went to University. Three out of the four dropped out before finishing their course, and two of those had major breakdowns. (They're ok now, but still fragile). The third scraped a third-class degree, way below what would be expected of someone with her A levels. The fourth child (now 20) lives at home, and doesn't want to leave.

The major issue for this group of siblings appears to be the lack of cultural reference points with their peer group. Their culture and values are almost exclusively those of their parents, and it has been difficult to integrate into their own generation; according to my kids, they are seen as 'the weirdos who live up the hill'. This is harsh and unfair, but is an honest view, shared by most of their peers. It's difficult enough in areas like ours for kids to make friends and socialise without removing the regular meeting place (school) where this can happen regularly. I know that there are groups where homeschooled kids can go to socialise (with other homeschooled kids), and the internet has made a huge difference, but there is still a danger of social and cultural isolation. In the USA, there is evidence that this isolation is being actively promoted in order to prevent some kids being influenced by what the parents (and idealogues) see as unhealthy influences.

Just my thoughts on a Sunday morning.
Tim


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 05:49 AM

And very interesting thoughts they are, Tim!

Your perspective on the American right-wing Christian home-schooling trend reflects what I've read about it. The thing it shares with the situation you describe within the British family is that one of the outcomes is a social disconnect between the home-schooled kids and their peers. In the American case this was part of the reason for home-schooling in the first place; in the British case it seems to have been an unfortunate outcome.

The social dimension of home-schooling is the one which has probably concerned me most. I went to a private Catholic school as a kid, unlike all the other kids in my neighbourhood. They all went to the same local school, and as a result hung out after school together. They had their own social groups and relationships which had nothing to do with me. As an only child, I found this quite isolating. I can only imagine that this would be even more magnified by home-schooling, as at least during the school day I had a peer group, and friends, and rows, and silly games and in-jokes, and all of the other stuff that makes up childhood. I have always felt that those early experiences of navigating social situations at school, good and bad, are at least as important as what you learn in the classroom.

The other issue you've raised, Tim, is children who identify too closely with their parents, rather than their peers. I can only imagine that "re-entry" into the wider world can be fairly traumatic in some cases.

I remember being on a train once, on my way to a conference, and I was sat at a table across from a mother with her home-schooled son. I chatted with them for a while. They were really chatty, and obviously very close, and he was very bright and articulate. They were on their way to a museum visit where they were meeting other home-schooled kids and their parents. She was, as many home-schoolers seem to be, pretty evangelical about it all. On reflection, there were a few things that struck me.

Firstly, his mum was at pains to tell me how, with a few sacrifices and lifestyle changes, I could home-school, too. She was quick to outline all the things I needed to do, who I should talk to for help, pressed phone numbers upon me, etc. When I left the train, it occurred to me that I never said I wanted to home school. In fact, I said that my daughter was doing well at school and seemed to be getting on fine. I was left with a feeling of someone who was maybe a bit controlling, who thought that her choices were right for everyone.

Secondly, the mum was dressed in a funky, slightly folkie way, with a multicoloured, bright stripey jumper and sandals...and the little boy was wearing a really similar jumper and sandals. Now, I'm all for self-expression and kids not running with the pack, but I couldn't help wondering if he was dressed like this genuinely from his own choice, or because he perhaps identified more closely with his mum than with other kids his age. He would have been about 10 or 11, I guess.

I thought it was great that she was taking him on a visit to a museum to meet up with other home-schooled kids, and she said they did these outings regularly, which was the solution to the supposed isolation of home-schooling. But one thing struck me about this as well: kids need time away from parents. They need to form their bonds and have their dramas and fall out and make up again, without being under the constant watchful gaze and supervision of mum and dad. Because, quite frankly, mum and dad won't always be there, and they need to learn these skills for when they eventually find themselves out in the world, on their own.

So despite the fact that this boy was obviously very smart and confident about chatting to a grown-up he'd never met before, the overwhelming impression I got was one of an environment that might be a bit too excessively controlled, where your mum defines and manages your whole world. To be honest, I can understand the appeal for parents in removing a lot of the risk and the danger and the potential for hurt and betrayal and bullying and nastiness from your kids' lives. But the danger is that you're also removing them from a lot of the really good, important life-lessons that will help them to get by as adults. At some point we have to let them go - it's part of our job.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:02 AM

My children are/were home-schooled. Their thoughts are their own. The lives are their own. They have complete freedom to learn. They never abuse that freedom. They are happy to talk to anyone of any age or background. They do not want to be part of the herd. They are far happier with being home educated, as opposed to System educated.

As I have said many times over, my daughter would have been accepted immediately into college, had she chosen to go, because Exeter College is very happy to accept home educated children, finding them intelligent, polite and very willing to learn.

She welcomed with open arms. However, the art teacher who spoke to her said she felt it only fair to let her know that there are many young people in college who do not want to learn, who are merely there to pick up the money they now get paid for staying in further education. So, if she (my daughter) thought it would be different to school, it wasn't, due to many disruptive pupils.   It angered the tutor, left her feeling helpless in the face of students such as my daughter, who want to learn because they have a deep love of learning.

The pressures inside The School System nearly killed one of my children and started my younger child on the road to giving up wanting to learn anything, because of the humiliation he was dished out by his form teacher.

Home Education set them free.


There are controlling home educating parents, there are also very controlling school educating parents. One is not worse than the other, they are equally as bad. Parents of school pupils abuse their children, so do some home educating parents. To make out that one is more inclined to do so than the other, is rubbish.

My children were born FREE. They were put into The System, by me, for way too many years...and the damage those within that System did to both my children was appalling.

They are now back to their natural state...

FREE


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Smedley
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:03 AM

This will be a good case study when someone researches The History of Mudcat for their PhD thesis: compare and contrast these two most recent posts on the thread with the majority of those BEFORE Joe's intervention....................


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Smedley
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:04 AM

Ah, sorry, I meant Ruth's post & the one before it.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:09 AM

Hate registers do not exist. They are a figment of your imagination.


Take your pick...
Google's list for Hate Registers in the UK


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:22 AM

Taken from here:



The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher

by John Taylor Gatto, New York State Teacher of the Year, 1991

   

Call me Mr. Gatto, please. Twenty-six years ago, having nothing better to do, I tried my hand at schoolteaching. My license certifies me as an instructor of English language and literature, but that isn't what I do at all. What I teach is school, and I win awards doing it.

Teaching means many different things, but six lessons are common to schoolteaching from Harlem to Hollywood. You pay for these lessons in more ways than you can imagine, so you might as well know what they are:

The first lesson I teach is: "Stay in the class where you belong." I don't know who decides that my kids belong there but that's not my business. The children are numbered so that if any get away they can be returned to the right class. Over the years the variety of ways children are numbered has increased dramatically, until it is hard to see the human being under the burden of the numbers each carries. Numbering children is a big and very profitable business, though what the business is designed to accomplish is elusive.

In any case, again, that's not my business. My job is to make the kids like it -- being locked in together, I mean -- or at the minimum, endure it. If things go well, the kids can't imagine themselves anywhere else; they envy and fear the better classes and have contempt for the dumber classes. So the class mostly keeps itself in good marching order. That's the real lesson of any rigged competition like school. You come to know your place.

Nevertheless, in spite of the overall blueprint, I make an effort to urge children to higher levels of test success, promising eventual transfer from the lower-level class as a reward. I insinuate that the day will come when an employer will hire them on the basis of test scores, even though my own experience is that employers are (rightly) indifferent to such things. I never lie outright, but I've come to see that truth and [school]teaching are incompatible.

The lesson of numbered classes is that there is no way out of your class except by magic. Until that happens you must stay where you are put.

The second lesson I teach kids is to turn on and off like a light switch. I demand that they become totally involved in my lessons, jumping up and down in their seats with anticipation, competing vigorously with each other for my favor. But when the bell rings I insist that they drop the work at once and proceed quickly to the next work station. Nothing important is ever finished in my class, nor in any other class I know of.

    Lengthy copy-paste deleted. See link for text.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 10:06 AM

My children are/were home-schooled.

Contrast with:

My daughter was school educated to the age of 15

For American readers - compulsory schooling in Britain exists to 16 years of age.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 12:40 PM

My eldest child was home-schooled from 15. My son was home-schooled from 7. My daughter remained in 'home education' until she was 19. My son probably will do the same. I do not have a problem with that. I have put it down so many times. If people fail to read my posts, there is nothing I can do about that, but this really is no surprise to most folks.

HAD I know I was free to home educate my child I would have done so from when she was 6 years old, because she was already going downhill at that time. By the time the SATS kicked in, and she was the first generation of children to endure these, things became worse, excerbating when she reached secondary school where the *major* problems started with bullying, teacher pressure, endless tests and examination stress.

I think Joe has asked for people to lay off me, and for me to stop responding. So I would suggest that is what is done, from now on.

Personally, I feel this thread has far outrun its course.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 12:55 PM

I'm not too sure whether the original premise was ever resolved. I presume that the opening argument was that people should not be fined for taking their children out of school.

My opinion is that if they are home educating, they should indeed not be punished for it.

If, however, they are failing to provide an education for their children at all then they they are falling foul of the law of the land - To educate young people between the ages of 5 and 16.

I could be wrong, and would be happy to be shown I am, but I believe the parents who were subjected to this fine were of the latter type and so deserved the fine they got. Now that personalities, tantrums, tinfoil and turnips are out of the way maybe a sensible discusion on the point of the thread can begin. If anyone thinks it worthwhile of course.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 02:18 PM

I've got no problem with home education. I've worked in that area myself. To be honest, the way schools are at the moment, I'm not surprised that so many parents are taking their children out of school and educating them at home.

Maybe I have been teaching for too long. We all know that I only do it so that I have lots of holidays to go to festivals. I'm hoping to retire soon for the benefit of my health as my doctor says that I will be seriously ill if I continue. I won't be able to corrupt young people any more if I get my wish - and they won't get the chance to follow me around in gangs singing offensive songs about me. Yes I do know what it's like to be picked on.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 02:28 PM

"I've got no problem with home education. I've worked in that area myself. To be honest, the way schools are at the moment, I'm not surprised that so many parents are taking their children out of school and educating them at home."

At last. Someone dares to stand up and tell the truth about *some* schools. Thank you.




Yes, there are many teachers and children who are suffering for different reasons and it's making both sides deeply unhappy at times.
Neither side has any right to make the other feel miserable or picked on. There has to be a New Way out there...and part of that way has to be teaching Responsibilites hand in hand with Rights. Perhaps some parents need evening classes in that too, in which case, open up the schools and let 'em in too.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 03:58 PM

Chris, you are a card :-)

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 05:42 PM

To be honest, the way schools are at the moment....

I wonder if the massive budget cuts to education, the current trend towards anti-intellectualism and the lack of respect and harrassment teachers get 24/7 might have anything to do with "The way schools are at the moment..."


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Kampervan
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:43 PM

I really don't understand the problem.

This woman was fined because her children had a poor attendance record; she was neglecting their education.

Had she actively taken them out of the system and properly educated them at home then she would not have been fined.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 07:22 PM

If she'd paid the two £50 fixed penalty notices within the 28 days then she could have saved herself a total of £765.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Mary Brennan
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 05:51 AM

Pupils have 13 weeks holiday a year. Surely that's enough.

It is more expensive to book a holiday during the school holidays. Most schools allow pupils to take an extra 2 weeks a year. Pupils and parents treat this as a right, not a concession. I think people who abuse this are encouraging their children to think that school isn't important - or encouraging them to truant.

People who work in schools have to take their family holidays during those 13 weeks. I don't just mean teachers, some of whom can afford it. I mean cleaners, dinner ladies and other people who work in schools, many of whom are on a basic minimum wage.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 08:08 AM

It's a well known saying that If America sneezes the UK catches a cold ...so, although Gatto is writing about the public school system in America one part of his argument against schools caught my attention

"But keep in mind that in the United States almost nobody who reads, writes, or does arithmetic gets much respect.
We are a land of talkers; we pay talkers the most and admire talkers the most"

In fact as he points out American children spend more time watching TV each week than in formal education almost 6.75 hours a day according to one study

"It's a simple matter of arithmetic: between schooling and television, all the time children have is eaten up.
That's what has destroyed the American family"


My first impression to this unsubstantiated statement was simply
why not attack the content of TV programmes then instead of teaching?
My second was why not just switch it off?


I've heard horror stories by teachers who, when asking pupils what they wanted to be when they grew up, instead of the usual replies from my childhood reply 'celebrity'

The cult of celebrity is producing a generation that believes education and hard work are not important in achieving success, claims the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
Teachers in primary and secondary schools have commented that the cult of being famous for being famous was perverting both children's aspirations and expectations.

On one hand many youngsters do not realise just how hard some of their idols have worked to earn their fame.
But, on the other there was also a belief that academic success was not necessary, because they could become rich and famous through   'reality' (what a misnomer!) TV shows, like Big Brother, that have made celebrities out of individuals who represent the epitome of the 'barely educated ignorant and puerile'

……………..And so we wonder why children and parents think school and education is less important than a cheap package fortnight in the sun


Susan Jacoby writing in the Washington post in 2008 commented on the current rise of anti intellectualism in the US

"In 1982, 82 percent of college graduates read novels or poems for pleasure; two decades later, only 67 percent did. And more than 40 percent of Americans under 44 did not read a single book -- fiction or nonfiction -- over the course of a year.

The proportion of 17-year-olds who read nothing (unless required to do so for school) more than doubled between 1984 and 2004.
This time period, of course, encompasses the rise of personal computers, Web surfing and video games."

She argues that "The shrinking public attention span fostered by video is closely tied to the second important anti-intellectual force in American culture: the erosion of general knowledge."

According to a 2006 survey by National Geographic-Roper, nearly half of Americans between ages 18 and 24 do not think it necessary to know the location of other countries in which important news is being made.
More than a third consider it "not at all important" to know a foreign language, and only 14 percent consider it "very important." ...

She claims that the third and final factor behind the new American dumbness is not lack of knowledge per se but arrogance about that lack of knowledge.

"Not knowing a foreign language or the location of an important country is a manifestation of ignorance; denying that such knowledge matters is pure anti-rationalism. The toxic brew of anti-rationalism and ignorance hurts discussions of U.S. public policy on topics from health care to taxation."

The Dumbing of America

Atchoo!! …………pass me the tisues!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 10:39 AM

Right on point, Emma!

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 04:13 PM

An excellent review of John Taylor Gatto's brilliant book 'Dumbing Us Down'

Taken from here:



>>>This book has liberated my soul!, 10 Jan 2004
By Andrew Olivo Parodi (Oregon, United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

"It sounds overly dramatic, I know, but I truly feel that John Taylor Gatto has liberated my soul by writing DUMBING US DOWN. But that is exactly what he has done. John Taylor Gatto confirms everything I had always believed about schools: that they are simply cruel prisons where spirits are destroyed and minds are conquered. Easy for me to say, though, seeing as how I myself never did too well in school. John Taylor Gatto, on the other hand, has been named Teacher of the Year several years running by both New York City and State. Here is someone accepted by the teaching establishment, honored by the teaching establishment. He speaks for me and thousands of others who've been tortured in these horrible institutions.
John Taylor Gatto reveals many fascinating, and frightening, things. For example, literacy went down in the US after the advent of compulsory schooling. Yes, more people could read and write before schooling was mandatory. Gatto says this is because reading, writing, and arithmetic only take about 100 hours to transmit, but schools purposefully distort the learning process and intentionally slow down the students' learning so as to justify robbing them of 12 years of their lives while they teach what Gatto refers to as the seven lessons schools really teach:

1. Confusion
2. Class position
3. Indifference
4. Emotional dependency
5. Intellectual dependency
6. Provisional self-esteem
7. One can't hide

It was Adam Robinson's WHAT SMART STUDENTS KNOW that first introduced me to the fact that school distorts the learning process and that if you want to be a good student you basically have to unlearn everything school teaches you about learning. It is Gatto's DUMBING US DOWN that explains *why* school distorts the learning process. The bitter truth, according to Gatto, is that mandatory schooling was invented by industry barons so as to ensure that the poor would not have a revolution, as well as to prepare their children for a transition into the industrial age. Another purpose was to shield the population from the "contamination" of the new Latin immigrants from Europe, as well as from the movement of African Americans through the country in the wake of the civil war. But Gatto doesn't stop there. He also holds compulsory schooling accountable for the breakdown of the family (he says we no longer have communities, but live in "networks"), the materialism of our society (because the only way to get any attention in a network is to buy it), and the drug use and suicide rate among our children and teens (because, Gatto says, it is absurd and anti-life to take children away from their families, trap children in a room eight hours a day, and allow them to interact only with those of the same age and social class).

The most startling point Gatto makes in this book, for me at least, is that industry barons purposefully encouraged schools to implant in students the idea that success in school is mandatory for financial success. Gatto argues that it is absurd to instill in children the idea that learning is only important if you are being graded, grades which one would want to be high so as to convert into high incomes. According to the author, rich children commit suicide at a higher rate than the poor or middle class (he suggests this is because the rich are often schooled more than the rest of us). Why try to drive home to children the idea that wealth is the key to happiness when it is common knowledge that it is not?

I myself struggled with suicidal thoughts as a child and a teen. It is directly related to the nightmare and torture of schooling. I thank John Taylor Gatto for exposing this compulsory prison for what it is, and I encourage any reader of DUMBING US DOWN to also search out Gatto's most recent book THE UNDERGROUND HISTORY OF AMERICAN EDUCATION." - Andrew Parodi <<<



And then, of course, there is John Holt


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 06:53 PM

Thank you, DeG. I walked right into that one>


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Emma B
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 07:35 PM

'John Taylor Gatto reveals many fascinating, and frightening, things'
and some frankly incredible IMO!

Maybe some American catter can provide the evidence that literacy amongst ALL groups in America went down in the US after the advent of compulsory schooling - until then I remain a sceptic

The view that public education contributes to rising literacy levels is shared by the majority of historians.

The ability to read did not necessarily imply the ability to write

'For example 'The 1686 church law (kyrkolagen) of the Kingdom of Sweden (which at the time included all of modern Sweden, Finland, and Estonia) enforced literacy on the population and by the end of the 18th century, the ability to read was close to 100 percent.
But as late as the 19th century, many Swedes, especially women, could not write'

According to wiki -
By the mid-18th century, the ability to read and comprehend translated scripture led to Wales having one of the highest literacy rates. This was the result of a Griffith Jones's system of circulating schools, which aimed to enable everyone to read the Bible in Welsh
Similarly, at least half the population of 18th century New England was literate, perhaps as a consequence of the Puritan belief in the importance of Bible reading.
By the time of the American Revolution, literacy (as defined above) in New England is SUGGESTED to have been around 90 percent.

The situation in England was very different; as late as 1841, 33% of all Englishmen and 44% of Englishwomen signed marriage certificates with their mark as they were unable to write; public education only became available in England in 1870, and even then on a limited basis

I think the testimonials of young illiterate children employed in the mines and 'satanic' mills alongside their parents I posted earlier in the thread speak for themselves

'Schools purposefully distort the learning process and intentionally slow down the students' learning so as to justify robbing them of 12 years of their lives'

Well again I can't speak for the US but maybe we have some educators from America in here that could verify this?

'But Gatto doesn't stop there. He also holds compulsory schooling accountable for the breakdown of the family

I noticed that! - BUT, he states, together with 55 hours of TV viewing a week
However he doesn't seem to be advocating switching off the set just closing down schools!

'Allow them to interact only with those of the same age and social class'

Well this was the opposite of my own experience of schooling where I mixed with children from very different classes from my own impoverished working class in a school of children from 11- 18 years of age.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 08:16 PM

If one wishes to evaluate the importance of education in American capitalism one might look at the proportion of US presidents, members of the senate, and members of the congress, who had degrees. And at how many were home (or not at all, which is much the same thing on some theses of "of look at the pretty trees and foxes" views about home education) educated and bereft of high school or college diplomas. My null hypothesis is that Gatto talks shit on this measure. And if you don't know what a null hypothesis is, then you should have gone to school.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: mandotim
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 08:44 PM

From a purely academic standpoint, Gatto's 'research' is risible. He uses the classic approach of the demagogue with a point to prove; using statistics from different samples and time frames, generalising from specific studies (even when the authors have specifically stated that this should not happen)and inferring simple, linear causal relationships where many uncontrolled factors are in play. I'd expect (and get) better from one of my undergrad students.
I'm lucky, I have access to libraries and databases where I can chase down the sources of Gatto's ideas. I did so after reading his two latest books. He's about as credible as Goleman on Emotional Intelligence, i.e. not credible at all, really.
Tim


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 11:39 PM

Yes, more people could read and write before schooling was mandatory.

Absolute, utter, and complete bullshit. The facts simply DO NOT bear this out.


If you believe Gatto's bullshit- all offered without ANY sort of proof- you'll believe anything.

One more nutter with an agenda.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Mary Brennan
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 06:45 AM

Back to the title of the thread...

I don't see anything wrong with kids being kept off schools for educational trips or anything which will enhance their school work.

But many parents keep their kids off school for no valid educational reason. Sometimes they just can't be bothered to get them out of bed and send them to school.

I think there is a need to differentiate.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:30 AM

I never wanted to get out of bed to go to school. I WANTED to get up as early as possible on Saturdays and Sundays, though, because...there was NO school.

Depends on the children, I guess.




'But Gatto doesn't stop there. He also holds compulsory schooling accountable for the breakdown of the family

I noticed that! - BUT, he states, together with 55 hours of TV viewing a week
However he doesn't seem to be advocating switching off the set just closing down schools!<<<<


Schooling, and the terrible pressures of exams ARE, imo, responsible for many breakdowns in family life. My own friend, who has 2 children, one taking A Levels, one taking GCSEs, is at her wit's end at the moment. Her children are both so terribly stressed out, her daughter (the older one) in particular, has been almost suicidal at times, not wanting to go on with life, with learning, 'if this is all there is'....

Her mother is very intelligent, loves learning, loves life, has always loved schools and indeed, frowned upon me for taking my own children out of the Schooling Stres Cesspit...She now understands, COMPLETELY why I did it. It has taken her marriage to the brink, where at present, it's still teetering on the edge, because the house is one huge cave of anxiety and resentment, instead of a warm, fun, loving, stress free home.

They don't watch 55 hours of TV, by the way.   And I've never read EVERY single word of John Taylor Gatto, but I'm sure he has something to say about switching off TV.

Good to see that a few of you are starting to read his words....

Ponder on this though...

John Taylor Gatto is 'one of your own'....an award winning teacher from New York State who is turning the wholel concept of education, and what it actually does, on its head..

Of course, there are many teachers 'out there' who may be shitscared of reading his thoughts, because their jobs are in the very institution he is blaming for so much harm being done to so many children, and to society in general...

Hardly surprising that some teachers loathe every word he says, for he is seen as a big threat to their careers, I'd imagine.




'Allow them to interact only with those of the same age and social class'

Well this was the opposite of my own experience of schooling where I mixed with children from very different classes from my own impoverished working class in a school of children from 11- 18 years of age.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:38 AM

"..However he doesn't seem to be advocating switching off the set just closing down schools!.."<<<<



OOH! :0)

"In 1997, he was given the Alexis de Tocqueville Award for his contributions to the cause of liberty, and was named to the Board of Advisors of the National TV-Turnoff Week."

Taken from here:


>>'Allow them to interact only with those of the same age and social class'

Well this was the opposite of my own experience of schooling where I mixed with children from very different classes from my own impoverished working class in a school of children from 11- 18 years of age. <<


You obvsiously went to a very progressive school then, because both my schools kept us in our age groups all the time. We simply did NOT mix with older or younger children, or any adults save those few who were in the classroom, and they were teachers.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:43 AM

And of course, if you'd like to help John make his film about the Education System, then you can contribute here..

The Fourth Purpose - John Taylor Gatto's new film (still in the making)


:0)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:56 AM

Sorry, that links to a dead website.

I'll start a new thread with a link to John's film 'The Fourth Way'


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Subject: BS: John Taylor Gatto's - 'The Fourth Way'
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 08:02 AM

Brilliant new documentary in the making...

The Promo film for -The Fourth Purpose


John Taylor Gatto


One video of many:
John - Youtube - State Controlled Consciousness


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 08:34 AM

Ooooooh, Ralphie! You have been and gone and done it now;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 08:38 AM

The Fourth PURPOSE
The Fourth PURPOSE
The Fourth PURPOSE

Arrrrghhhhhhhh!


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: mandotim
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 08:49 AM

Serious researchers don't generally make 'promo films'. Unless they're just trying to make a fast buck, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Greg F.
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 10:47 AM

[Gatto]is turning the wholel concept of education, and what it actually does, on its head...

Of course he is - by turning facts and common sense on their heads as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 11:42 AM

For an interesting view of responsible parenting in the UK. Can I reccomend the Jeremy Kyle show on ITV 1, every weekday morning.
Haven't aeen any teachers on there though.


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 01:52 PM

No Ralphie we're all at work sorting out the products of the Kylees :)


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,oggie
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 04:13 AM

May I reccomend this for an alternative view on education and creativity Sir Ken Robinson

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: £800 fine for low school attendance
From: GUEST,Mary Brennan
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 07:30 AM

I'm not a teacher but I'm fairly sure that, while some nice, sensitive children would benefit from being taught at home, the majority would just be thrown out of their homes by their parents for the day and wander around the streets in packs. They do that now on the estate where I live in school holidays.

Statistics have proved that about 90% of children would rather go to school. They're not so bothered about getting an education but what they do want to do is socialise with their friends.

MInd you, either Mark Twain or Disraeli or someone else once said that there are 3 sorts of lies - "Lies, damn lies and statistics".


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