Alas! Schools and Journos

Mel Smith, as the man who thinks he knows everything, and Griff Rhys Jones, as the man who knows he knows nothing, discuss new TV technologies in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, some 30 years later, they are discussing education…

Smith: You know something?

Jones: No, I can’t say that I do really.

Well you know what a terrible mess all our schools are in and how apparently Mr Gove is sorting them out and making them better again.

Oh, is he then?

Yes. I mean ever since the 1960s kids have been just running round doing exactly as they please in the classroom, and no-one ever tells them off or gets them to learn anything. And apparently it’s all been the fault of this ass Neil chap who opened this school called Summerfield.

Oh, was it one of these schools sponsored by a supermarket then?

Yes, that’s it. Anyway apparently at this school all the children went around naked, smoking and drinking, taking drugs and having sex with their teachers. And of course the teachers all realised they were on to a jolly good thing, and so that’s what our schools have been like ever since.

That’s a bit odd. I mean I attended a comprehensive school in the 1970s and it wasn’t at all like that. The teachers were pretty strict and pushed us hard to pass our O levels and CSEs. And my children were at similar schools in the 1990s, and they all wore a school uniform and were expected to do what they were told.

Well I expect you were at a special school of some sort. Well, anyway that’s what it says in the Daily Mail, and they wouldn’t print it if it wasn’t true would they?


No, I suppose not.

Anyway this Gove chap is trying to make sure that in the future all children have an e-Back

What’s that then?

Well, it’s obvious isn’t it. It’s a clever electronic device that you wear and it straightens your back and stops you from slouching around.

Oh. Right.

Look if you don’t believe me, here’s an article in the Guardian, now they certainly wouldn’t print anything that’s not true would they? According to this Nick Glib, it’s not so much the teacher’s fault, it’s all to do with this secret organisation called The Blob. They believe they come from outer space and are devout followers of this ass Neil. And what they’ve done is secretly taken over all the teacher-training colleges where they just tell new teachers to let the kids do whatever they want.

Is that so? Again that all sounds a bit strange because my daughter has just finished her teacher training course and she says it was all about things like your subject knowledge, how to plan and prepare lessons, manage classes, and use IT.

Well, perhaps she was a bit confused, because that’s not what is says here, is it? Look, here’s some more in the Telegraph. Apparently teachers don’t bother teaching children from poor backgrounds because they are going to be failures anyway. And the proof is that while there are more poor children in places like China and South Korea they still do better than us in the Pizza tests.

Are these tests something they do in their Home Economics lessons, then?

Don’t be daft. No-one does Home Economics anymore.  No, they do them in their Food Technology lessons.

But I thought the reason the Chinese and South Koreans did better than us was because they only put their cleverest children in for the test?

Exactly. That just goes to show how much smarter they are than us, doesn’t it?

You don’t think that all this stuff the journalists write in the papers isn’t really news at all but just right-wing capitalist political propaganda, do you?

Good lord, no. I mean no-one would buy them if it was, would they?




3 comments on “Alas! Schools and Journos

  1. The only reason that teachers might appear to be lefty trouble makers is that the right-wing haven’t a clue about real life. In reality the teachers are actually the doers and practical thinkers working hard to try and sort out the problems caused by the troubles of society which in turn is caused by tit for tat politics and interfering idiots that want to keep changing things based on no evidence whatsoever.

    The current government seem hell-bent on de-constructing everything on the premise that it was all broken. They then put things back together in a way that primarily suits just them and at the same time blame whatever or whoever for causing the mess in the first place. A mess that is made worse by all their tinkering and in effect seems to be closing everything down rather than utilising what we already have and building on the evidence and knowledge that is already to hand.

    This country has always done well in its arts, creativity, design, invention, knowledge and working hard. We have also believed in fair play, publicly funded public transport, health, schools, emergency services, libraries, etc., etc., but this government seems to be intent on closing and reducing funding to all these things that actually was what kept this country great and going.

    At the same time they’re lining the pockets of businesses and shareholders that take over these essential services, and funnily enough we poorer workers on the front-line get it in the neck and are never in a position to benefit like they are along with their old school chums and dinner party guests.

    Instead of helping this country get back on its feet for the good of the many, the country is being brought to its knees. Due to all the sell-offs of what we all once owned, we now don’t even own our water, railways, postal services, telecommunications, energy companies and even health services. All these are now owned by money making organisations and shareholders that have lucrative bonus schemes and expense accounts that ultimately mean the cost of living goes up for us all but yet earnings don’t.

    No wonder this country was in trouble when the banks collapsed, a fault of no particular political party but perhaps more a result of what happened under a certain female prime minister a few decades ago. Yes, a lot of people got rich and could better themselves, but the way they were able to do so was at the expense of others and ultimately was/is corrupt.

    In my view, this current government is no better. They are all going about things in the wrong way and forgetting that actually we used to have systems that worked well and that business and profit is not the be all and end all of how to run things. At the same time the people living in the current system need to be appreciated and kept afloat with the systems we already have in place. I feel they (the government) are sinking everyone’s hopes in their counter-productive struggles and ultimately tackling the wrong end of where the money goes missing. Honestly, trying to accuse people of being benefit cheats and cutting essential services before looking at the other end of the scale such as tax loopholes, triple salary bonus schemes and expensive wars we shouldn’t even be commenting on is plainly wrong. Yes, people shouldn’t get away with benefit fraud, but it’s probably the least of our worries when it comes to who’s holding the money unjustly. In a land where you can get taxed on meagre earnings and at the same time get tax credits back to cover the cost of living, then something is plainly wrong. Leave education, the kids and the teachers alone (they do actually know what they are doing and how to do it well) and get on with something important and useful for once like fixing the injustices and corruption. Make things fair and good for everyone, not just the few.

  2. Now let’s talk about shoes…
    Shoes are made to assist feet to deal with the world around them.
    There are about 17 standard lengths, about 4 standard widths, different kinds of shoes for different purposes – from trainers to wellies from work boots to sandals, different styles of shoe to fit in with different social contexts – from smart shiny shoes to flip-flops, shoes men like, shoes women like, shoes both genders like…
    Education is made to assist people to deal with the world around them
    In education one size and style fits all…

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