shoot yourself in the foot

is an expression that people use to describe if a measure you take, turns out detrimental against yourself.

British establishment and conservationists always want to help promote the establishment, of which the Church of England is an important cornerstone.

stjames

St James the Less church

Church of England schools were long seen as the ultimate part of the pro-English upbringing of those wanting to serve Queen and country.

The church being the glue that holds the social fibre of English society together, educated mind and spirits. Yet an essential part of English society was the emergence of unions, which branched out of working-class environments and became an integral part of life.

Along comes our latest bout of Conservative government seeking to destroy the stronghold unions have on the confidence of the working classes. This of course includes the pocket so Muslim immigrants who follow special social rules culminating in Sharia law.

Easy peasy things thinks the government, we just shake it all up, we get rid of the unions and the radical Islamist scourge at the same time.

There then followed a strong rule change, making working compulsory, forcing people to accept any job on offer and reducing work security through a change in working contracts law.

Also, to throw into the mix came the idea to “increase the quality of schooling” by allowing free schools and by tearing schools away from councils and getting them directly funded by government e.g. through the academy system.

Whilst previously we saw a shortage of school places, we now see an oversaturation of educational provision. Schools open everywhere but people generally have less children because of working law and benefit changes.

All the uprooting of social connections, suitably assisted by changes in housing law and provision thoroughly shook society to the core.

In Tower Hamlets just about the only traditional education available was through Church of England schools. Yet academies and free schools have mushroomed out of nowhere, leaving Muslim children to attend non-church schools with often 85-95% Muslims, whilst the Catholic kids, cram into the few Catholic schools.

The Church of England, through its Liberal approach suffers from a loss of church attendance and general lack of draconian church discipline, is not very attractive to Muslims who experience much more pressure to follow strict religious rules and enjoy the feeling of being forced to adhere to a religious life-style.

That makes Church of England schools less attractive to those who want to experience dogma.

Tower Hamlets has long been the source of constant political controversy and is run by more or less left-wing factions of the Labour Party and similar constellations of political movements like AspireRespect or Tower Hamlets First.

The current Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, who was seen as a moderate leader by many, is however very keen to rid Tower Hamlets of one of the oldest Church of England schools at the earliest opportunity. It is just another weapon to stab local society into the heart of traditional values and help undermine the Monarchy.

Had this Conservative government not sought to change society to the core with a flurry of legal changes, we would not be in this situation that English traditional education is being disbanded in this part of London.

Any benefit that may have shown through ‘better’ academy schools is wiped out by disturbance constant change brings. Children need to feel safe not only physically but also mentally by being able to rely on those services, adults around them, knowing they can grow up into society and contribute to that society at a later stage.

raines school

Raine’s Foundation, C.o.E. Secondary in Bethnal Green

The children of Raine’s Foundation school in Tower Hamlets are being torn apart from their brand-new school, strewn into the wind of education and lost the ability to concentrate on their GCSE and A-levels because their school is threatened by closure.

The last thing, kids want to worry about is finding a school or changing school when they need to concentrate on years of course work to get the best results. The travesty is that the education and teachers at Raine’s are very good and pupils can achieve best results, they do run a Year 11 High Attainment Program in conjunction with Stem. Why do they want to close a school that produces top class achievers, just because it is a Church of England school?

Most parents choose schools wanting peace of mind, being able to leave their children there till 6. Form and then go onto university or into a working life.

Yet the chopping and changing politics by this current government has thrown everything around into a big mixing bowl of social change and nobody is any the wiser of what is happening.

Of course, being able to plan ahead has become a luxury and that is what this government wants, they do not want people to get too comfortable because happy people are dangerous people who can start to demand even better than they have.

So, this Conservative government in fact chips away on conservative values and education by creating a whirlwind social environment that destroys all conservative values and creates anxiety and fear among our young people.

That is one of the reasons why kids now feel they need to demonstrate about the climate emergency instead of going to school, why school kids feel they need knives to protect themselves as they no longer feel safe as nothing can be relied upon any longer. Parents aren’t even at home after school any longer to calm down any fears, parents are forced into working instead of being there to parent.

Everthing is being eroded for working people, starting by housing, to working contracts and schooling. The reduction of policing services has another detrimental impact onto society.

Getting rid of everything known and comforting is perhaps the biggest mistake this government makes.

There are no particular problems at Raine’s Foundation, yet over-crowded popular schools often attract the most problems. But the per-pupil funding will prefer big problem schools before smaller, high quality schools because of the funding formulae.

Just today, the World Economic Forum published figures to show how stress severely affects our University Students, which means the format of education needs to change, to become more user friendly rather than production belt style.

Raine’s provides that friendly but high quality education, that is of excellent quality.  Universities must follow a model that produces happy students.

 

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chartered surveyors want and end of rented housing

This is a typical manipulation of the parliament, trying to squeeze out the rented sector altogether and get parliament to give the go-ahead to rob the poor tenants of their homes. I am disgusted with this article that demands more homes for sale, so that they can become cheaper. Apparently the Chartered Surveyors Instituted blames cheap homes for rent for house prices to rocket and comes up with the brainless idea to demand less homes for rent and more to buy so that homes becomes cheaper.

Fact of the matter is, that because there is an unlimited amount of capital available worldwide, any rich person can join the monopoly game that currently helps tycoons to disperse with property among them to buy houses, build hotels and manipulate the English property market to their liking.

There is a very unhealthy tendency to strip the poor of their statutory rights, housing is one of them. It all started with a disintegration of the employment rights, e.g. more nil hours contracts, less long-term employment, went onto schools, e.g. free schools in temporary buildings.

It wants to keep workers on the move without permanent abodes, so that the rich can shift workers around the globe on demand without permanent housing or jobs.

GCSE grading upheld

Now the High Court has upheld the changes to GCSE grading as lawful. That is one result I do support, even though I am generally very unhappy with Mr Gove’s new Free school policy.

I think many school professionals in the UK are very complacent and gotten used to lazy exam procedures. I think it is amazing how easy it is to get a qualification in this country.

But honestly campaigners should rather concentrate and complain about insufficient school buildings rather than GCSE methods.

Severely segregated schooling

A recent OECD study found that the UK schooling system is one of the most socially segregated systems within the industrialised world.

I think this is unacceptable and does not benefit a country when it becomes more than apparent that daily decisions by our current leaders are off the mark, impracticable and plain stupid in some cases and cause unnecessary widespread resentment.

One can clearly see that many decisions are made by people who have been elevated into posts either as Civil Servants or government advisers with little or no understanding of economic mechanisms and how things work together.

This now leads to severe crisis in both the health and housing sector. These problems are solely due to social immobility and the cynicism of the ruling classes to reject anything that is not part of the upper circles.

The OECD statistics don’t even list the UK among the top 14 achievers for both academic brilliance and combined social mobility in education.

Michael Gove’s policies have done nothing to close the gaps; in fact schooling has become worst for some who are not even entitled to proper school buildings any longer as free schools can be back-street establishments from now on.

We are looking at a severe housing crises because nobody can afford to pay the rent on £500 a week benefits cap, which will take Housing Associations out of business because they rely on regular rent payments to repay their loans.

However if the decision making processes of politics would include people from all walks of life, people who know what is the practically of daily life for the average person, then politics would cause less drama and more useful solutions. It will take years to repair the damage this government has done to our society today.

Can a school make a profit?

I just read about this “John Lewis” model for schooling and I am a bit puzzled by the concept in that it rests on a profit and that teachers are seen as personal stake holders in the running of the school. Reminds me a bit of the current NHS model changes proposed that puts more personal responsibility into GP practises and indeed the whole NHS to GPs.

Just wondering where the profit in education should come from? Is it from selling educated pupils to employers or universities? Is it just by getting a bonus from the state if so many pupils get good results?

I think it is very difficult to put a profit on communal assets, as such I consider well-educated pupils as communal assets, though they also personally benefit from their good education and so does any company or communal organisation they work for later on in life.

No doubt, that educational standards have to be raised but perhaps we should start by stopping the false consideration that every child has the same talents and can achieve the same high grades if we only treat them the same and they all go to Comprehensive schools.

To think further on the profit for schools question, who is going to finance such schools? Is it the government giving grants, and are the schools then on the job to deliver education on the budget and if they spend less on pupils they make more money for the school?

I think the basic mistake that has been made here in the UK is the thought that Grammar schools discriminate against poor children and that poor children cannot perform because they are poor. Poverty in itself is not important for anybody to say, because I am poor I am unable to work my way out of it. The Grammar model helped the poorest talented children to get a good basis to work their way out of poverty but nowadays poor talented children are severely disadvantaged because they are stuck in Comprehensive schools that do not over-emphasize achievement and are more concerned on keeping all children happy during the day and that they all get along with each other without too many incidents.

I think parents should demand from schools that they concentrate on the particular learning needs of their child. So for example if a child is learning disabled it has quite a job to do to learn just the basic tricks to get along in life later on when they have their own flat, do banking and try to get jobs, how to pay rent and cook their own meals. Other children with high IQ’s might want to concentrate on academic study. The mistake we make today is that we call it discrimination if we give some people different treatment from others, it is not discriminating it is tailored to someone’s needs.

A new star on the education horizon

I think it is very refreshing to hear of an education specialist asking for evidence what actually works in schools and for comparison to results world-wide and somebody who condemns either right-wing or left-wing dogma.

Promises to improve education were very much behind my support for the Conservatives to learn that no real changes take place that affect the whole majority of people. There are only spot changes with some privately funded schools but the big majority of children are stuck in the same old trot with many schools being able to continually opt out of SATS monitoring.

Labour Education spokesman Stephen Twigg now has asked for the creating of an Education Standards watch body. Of course OfSted itself can’t do much within the given legislation if schools are not even compelled to supply their SATS results and can even opt out of SATS testing altogether.

It is horrible to see a talented child waste away in one of the typically slow learning Comprehensives. And it is equally horrible to see the statistics of the UK falling further and further down the achievement ladder in education. Tony Blair had no business seeking to make Education one of the most sellable assets of the UK economy when British school children themselves don’t do so well in education.

But don’t understand me wrong I do not mean to endorse the Labour Party as such, I just welcome the new and more level-headed approach, that at least opens up a discussion and seems to want to turn towards achievement.

The comprehensive school system is about as self-defeating as the current governments austerity measures. If you think that the majority of pupils in a Comprehensive are of lower or medium learning ability, you get the majority of parents supporting slow learning methods, which do not inspire progress and educational excellence.

A lot of comprehensive schools have only about 1/10 of excellent pupils and they are slowly dragged down by the slow learning majority. The ratio of clever children must be higher to drive up the standards for the whole school.

A bad attitude towards single parents

the latest research from Gingerbread shows that this government is simply totally incoherent and discriminative in its approach to single parents. I  already stated that in my view the government abuses the benefit and working system to punish single parents. The conservatives want to rid the world of single parents by sending mothers to work. But they already have had the children. That is what the conservatives forget that those children need to be looked after. Yet the reduction in the Child-care element of working tax credit makes the child-care system unaffordable for single parents.

this means in practical terms a generation of latch-key kids, the new under-class is created, which then is more likely to become a problem to the law and order desire that many of us wish to achieve.

Not only do the new rules deprive single parents of child care it also increases the unemployment register beyond repair. This government thinks that sending single parents to school will improve their morals or repair the fact that they had a child out of wedlock or stop them from having any more children out of wedlock. But this logic simply doesn’t add up. People who are prepared to have children out of wedlock are not likely to stop having sex because they are now unemployed or need to look for work or even have got a job.

The age-old dilemma of single parenthood has been around since earth began and the problem just keeps on getting worst. But it is a moral dilemma and not one of employment or the type of benefits a person gets. It is a matter of how people perceive their lifestyles and how they want to live or often being forced to live to escape over-crowded living conditions and then of course the fathers who happily go around bonking women without concern for the consequences.

Men can say no, they can have a conscience and do not have to do whatever they do to get a woman pregnant, but obviously they are not concerned and think that society these days will cope or they simply do not care whether those children, they create live or die. And so the government doesn’t care whether they live and how badly they live when they are only just being kept alive by very low maintenance payments whilst the single mother is send to work.

Gingerbread and Barnardos have a campaign page, which I support and if anything turns me away from the Tories, its their repeated bullying of the single mothers in Britain today.  The campaign is titled ‘stop the CSA charges, don’t make children pay the price’.

But in my view its always the upper class philosophy to keep the poor children down, regardless how clever they are, the dumber the better, at least they are not a threat to the kids of the upper classes. The only system that abandoned fair chances in education was the Grammar school system that purely judged on educational achievement and not on the ability to pay for education. In Grammar schools poor and rich kids have equal chances to gain fair test results, being tested on the same subjects with the same questions. Cameron even admitted it that he is concerned that 2 inner city London schools did better than 5 schools in his constituency and that is enough reason for him to withdraw funding from state schools and to put it into Free schools, which of course are built mainly by the affluent middle classes.

Why deepen the class-system? It would be better to level things out. I speak as somebody who grew up on a country that didn’t know the difference between private and state eduction but all children from all incomes levels were educated in the same schools; one cannot get fairer than that.

But here in the UK Osborne and Cameron not only make sure that poor kids from single parents households get deprived of vital funds, they also withdraw funds from the regular schooling budged with some excuse.

Why create problems that will then only have to be dealt with by law-enforcement agencies and that is more than predictable. Osborne must think we are all as stupid as he thinks we are.

PS: I want to add that the relatively good inner London school result by poor children was achieved within the Comprehensive school system but that the overall results of English pupils is far behind other nations, even Albania does better in Maths than we do.

school truancy penalties

I am completely amazed about the sums involved in the school truancy penalty system. Just this seems to mean that parents have plenty of spare cash laying about if they can afford to pay those penalties if their kids do not attend school regularly.

Between August of 2004 and 2009, 69.436 penalties were issued. Those penalties come at a minimum of £50. That makes £3.471.800 paid by parents. But that can be even more because the penalty rises to £100 if not paid within 42 days.

No wonder David Cameron now feels confident to impose a cut in benefits for those failing to send their kids to school regularly because he can think that if parents didn’t mind paying the fixed penalties, they might as well just get a deduction in benefits, its cheaper to administer.

The figures are over 5 years, this means that 13.887 pupils per year did not attend school regularly. Probably a drop on a hot stone, if one then disperses that number amongst all schools in the UK. The proposed benefit cuts for non-attendance will only affect very few parents then and it is not even quite clear whether all kids that formed part of that truancy statistic were in fact kids of benefit recipients. But most parents today get either child benefit or working tax credit or child tax credit.

I am not quite sure how this works out with home-school agreements though.

David Cameron says he wants to see Free schools spring up all over the UK. I cannot see anybody in my area being even remotely interested in setting one up. Free schools will only be a good influence if they actually scare state-run schools to better their performance. In my area though, even the school my child attends, refused to take part even in the SATS testing this year. I do not think that state-run schools are remotely touched by the Free schools system.

I think there got to be a better incentive for it to be effective or a more draconian approach to better teaching results. It can be potentially very harmful for bright children if they are forced to attend a slow school that does not do their learning ability credit. I have not heard much about helping gifted children. The whole discussion is not focussed enough on good results. If the government doesn’t even force schools to take part in results testing then what is this discussion even about, then it just becomes a lot of hot air.

I cannot see the point at all, other than ensure that all kids are somewhere looked after during the day and don’t roam the streets, that is hardly excelling excellence for teaching. Only a thoroughly structured education system that forcibly strains attainment can achieve betterment but not glorified attendance alone.

We love to teach slowly

I think children can learn much faster, quicker earlier than the current common curriculum allows them to do. In fact teachers must stretch out the curriculum as long as the regulations ask them to do it for. I can hinge that on a practical example from my own experience.

My child, currently 7 attended full-time and every-day nursery since age 2. At the nursery staff immediately noticed how clever she was.When she started the comprehensive schooling system, she always felt it as a negative that she had to go home, first at lunch-break and then at holidays. My child’s first nursery was open all day, in the holidays, and during normal time, the nursery was open all year, except bank holidays and Saturdays and Sundays. The nursery was open all day without a break.

Now my child sat her first SATS tests and did very well. She still does not like the holidays and would love to go to school every day. She would love to learn more and more intensively. She also loves to play with school mates as long and often as possible after school. She loves the swimming club, rainbows and youth clubs as well as dancing.

But the Comprehensive schooling system has put a spanner in the works. After school clubs have been closed and children are forced to take the long summer holidays and other holidays throughout the year. There is no financing of extra-curricular activities for talented poor children, who cannot afford to pay for extra activities. Poor children are doomed.

For sociable and talented children school is a treat and it is the adults that want to teach children that they have to enjoy taking a holiday because the adults want to have the holiday but the children do not all want to have a holiday. I am not trying to say that our home-life is horrible and that the child has particular reason not to like home or the holidays but she just wants to be kept occupied, loves holiday centers like Pontins where there is a lot of structured and supervised all-day entertainment and she also loves the stage and is always cheerful.

But despite having the surestart nursery system in Tower Hamlets the state school sector is unable to follow up an adequate schooling system for gifted and talented children who then slowly start to waste away because they are forced to learn slow and fit in with the slow learning requirements.

I do not agree with the latest Free School opening, which thinks it needs to enforce military discipline. It’s just that lazy adults need to get more cheerful and motivated because there are plenty of kids out there with good motivation but no schools to cater for them.

This poem that circulated on Facebook just about sums up the adult mentality on holidays that is not shared by kids that want to learn all the time.

“T’was the night before school started, when all through the town, the parents were cheering – a riotous sound!! By nine, kids were all washed & tucked into bed where memories of homework filled them with dread! New pencils, new folders, new notebooks too! New teachers, new friends – their anxiety grew! The PARENTS just giggled when they learned of this fright and shouted to all “GO TO BED!!!! IT’S A SCHOOL NIGHT”

It is a nice poem for the normal thinkers but for a progressive kid its a nightmare.

Military-style free school proposed

Why I find this article remarkable and very interesting because of this one sentence alone it says: “”teacher training is basically training young people not to teach”. And further on the article says: “Mr Burkard, a former school teacher and a military instructor, said: “You are told to be a learning facilitator and teach children to manage their own learning.”

This shows some important principle in free schools management that it no longer requires that teacher qualifications are no longer needed to operate a free school because the proposed Phoenix Free School would use qualified and unqualified teachers.

There would also be an emphasis on military discipline.

That is a very long way away from the former Grammar school model that worked solely on academic achievement and set this as its only criteria. Excellence in learning has nothing to do with military style discipline and I think that the concept of education is being misrepresented by replacing academic teaching according to ability with military discipline.

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