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POMS! Please explain - your children (Oz teachers listen in)

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11. Posted by ozman (Full Member 118 posts) 9y

First of all, I certainly didn't mean to attack anyone by using the word "pom." In fact, I frequently visit another website called PomsInOz and the word is certainly not used in a derogatory way by the British who use the site. I have many pommy mates and I address them all in such a manner; they never seem to mind. I myself can trace my anscestry back to 15th Century England and often think of myself as a pom by descent.

Like I said, I am not inferring that all of Britain is the way I described. Though I can certainly speak for the culture of a school of 1200 that is quite high on the LEA league tables, albeit in an area of socioeconomic disadvantage.

I only said England because I understand that different countries within the UK are responsible for education. As I only taught in England, I feel that I was only able to talk of England.

Solutions to the problem (my opinion only, of course):

1. Abolish the 11+ test and the Grammar School system. While it may help 15% of the British population, it does the opposite for the 85%.

2. Give the "teachers on the ground" the power to give meaningful sanctions to students who transgress the moors of social behaviour.

3. Back this power up with legislature if necessary to ensure that "soft touch" head teachers do not undermine the classroom teacher.

4. Protect teachers and their authority from aggressive parents. Do not allow these parents to interfere in classroom management. Ban these parents from entering the school grounds if they behave in an antisocial manner. Limit their contact to written correspondence if they cannot maintain an amicable phone manner.

5. Give head teachers the ability to suspend or expel as they deem necessary. Do not make the number of expulsions or suspensions public knowledge through the Ofsted website.

6. Stop publishing Ofsted and SAT results, this has only led to the "ghettoisation" of schools.

7. Teach kids that rights go hand-in-hand with responsibilities.

I realise that suggestion number 1 would be a hard order to fill in England; the rest are, in my opinion, quite reasonable. I believe that if items 2-7 were followed then the problem of England's antisocial youth would certainly be improved to a significant extent.

Peter

12. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 9y

Quoting ozman

1. Abolish the 11+ test and the Grammar School system. While it may help 15% of the British population, it does the opposite for the 85%.
...
I realise that suggestion number 1 would be a hard order to fill in England;

The 11+ test was abolished a long time ago in many areas - there are still areas in England that use it, but it's not a blanket cover. Independent schools use a test that is largely based on the old 11+. If a private school uses it, they're not bound by the same rules as state schools.

Unfortunately the original intention of the 11+ was not to separate children into "grammar" and "secondary modern" schools, as they were called then.

Quoting ozman

2. Give the "teachers on the ground" the power to give meaningful sanctions to students who transgress the moors of social behaviour.

3. Back this power up with legislature if necessary to ensure that "soft touch" head teachers do not undermine the classroom teacher.

Describe meaningful sanctions, and how these could be included in legislature in an appropriate way?

Quoting ozman

4. Protect teachers and their authority from aggressive parents. Do not allow these parents to interfere in classroom management. Ban these parents from entering the school grounds if they behave in an antisocial manner. Limit their contact to written correspondence if they cannot maintain an amicable phone manner.

This might be difficult to acheive, when education should probably be a partnership between student, school, and parents. It could also lead to the possibility of claims of abuse of authority as it would make things going on inside the school "invisible" to the affected parents.

Quoting ozman

5. Give head teachers the ability to suspend or expel as they deem necessary. Do not make the number of expulsions or suspensions public knowledge through the Ofsted website.

I think those stats have to be published by law, as part of the "league table" system that was introduced in the 90's.

Quoting ozman

6. Stop publishing Ofsted and SAT results, this has only led to the "ghettoisation" of schools.

I'll think that you will find many people in England pretty much agree with you on this one, as a far more important side effect to this is the pressure that it puts onto children taking SATs. The "ghettoisation" is not quite so important, but still valid - however there have been signs of improvements from some schools that were low down on the table.

Quoting ozman

7. Teach kids that rights go hand-in-hand with responsibilities.

I would agree, I'm not sure how or when you would implement this as the opposite is often taught in the home.

13. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

The 11+ is sat in schools in Northern Ireland - l wasnt aware that anywhere else in the UK still sat it? (Learn something new everyday!) Even still it is being phased out and abolished in the next few years over here.

14. Posted by garry moll (Budding Member 348 posts) 9y

DON’T TAKE THIS FOR GOSPAL ITS ONLY MY THOUGHTS.

Well sorry im still not convinced.
When I went to school and before anyone else says it, (no I used a pen and paper and the chalk and blackboard had gone).
Kids were still disruptive and downright animals sometimes. Not all the kids and I don’t hold with the poverty bit.
I was not well off and all the rest of my class were in the same situation as me.
How come there were only 2/3 kids out of 40 in my class that did not want to learn? That was not poverty.
That was not because they did not know right from wrong.
To me it goes back beyond there school days. Parents,,,parents,,,
Parents should give there kids the basic right from wrong stuff. When children are old enough for school the parents should entrust the teachers to carry on with this work and not interfere.
To me the resopncerbilerty is the parents. They should back teachers up one hundred percent.
Class.
Sorry James. There has always been the north south divide…….
People in the north are judged as not (how can I say this without being offensive to both parties).
Don’t know where it came from but everything from house prices to petrol is dearer in the south. Not sure why ? Is it because the area is more desirable to live in ? Or that people in the south think they are better ? I DON’T KNOW. But it started somewhere and at some time and once again I have to go back to your own beliefs. Class is in the mind !
You are what you feel !
If you feel inferior then you may have reason to believe that there is a class difference.
If you feel positive and contribute to things you don’t feel a class.
ITS ABOUT PRIDE. Anyone that contribute to the daily running of this country and does the most menial job you could imagine can hold his or her head up high and say he or she is as good and the next person.
Doe that make sense.
Garry

15. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 9y

Think Gary Moll is right about parents needing to support teachers, also about parents perpetuating negative attitudes about education to their children.

I think some are born with a silver spoon though, it's easier to maintain your class than to transcend it. Not that I'm sure that has a massive impact on discipline in schools. The principal problem is the negative attitude we have developed towards education.

16. Posted by ozman (Full Member 118 posts) 9y

I was certainly not trying to criticise the working class in England Garry. What I meant was that there seemed to be a class divide amongst the teachers. The "senior" teachers would walk into a room full of kids and it would be like the night before Christmas. Though if we normal teachers walked in, it would be like the night before New Year's Day!

It just goes to show that the kids are capable of behaving and the establishment is capable of properly supporting its staff if it chooses to do so. The only reason that I could think of that the hierarchy chose not to support us was to demonstrate that they were out of our league. This, I believe, must have something to do with the English psyche which is undeniably preoccupied with class.

As an Aussie, I really had no idea about the concept of class before I lived in the UK. Now that I have returned to Oz I can recognise it here, but it is certainly not so pronounced as it is in the UK. In the Aussie schools there is a "north-south divide" between the senior and junior teachers, but it is certainly not such a wide gulf between the two.

The UK school I worked in was mostly working class and the majority of the kids and parents were excellent. However, there would be more than 2-3 out of 40 who did not want to learn and did not want anyone else to learn either!

James was correct. By saying "the underclass" I did indeed mean the bogans. There seems to be a class in England that is just not interested in working and contributing to society (as there is here also). Their only goal (especially in the case of the girls) was to get pregnant as early as possible and score a council flat. These kids were known as the "chavs."

While there were bad middle and working class kids, most of them seemed to come from the chav families.

17. Posted by garry moll (Budding Member 348 posts) 9y

Hi Peter. You did not offend the working class mate.
Because me as the working class am in the same situation as what you call the middle and upper class. They have to work for a living in some sort of capacity. Thus the working class.
Yes sure some people are born into money, good luck to them, but for anyone that goes out to earn a crust in any way, to me are workers.
One thing to ponder on is the fact that money also breads trouble too. Top politicians, pop stars film stars with loads of money still manage to find them selves in trouble too. Drugs, alcohol, sex scandals and even murder.
Sorry mate can go with north south divide, can live with the silver spoon bit, but to me most people from the ages of 4/5 know what is right and what is wrong.
One of the worrying things to me is what drives these people in there quest to get rich and the way they go about it, knives, drug selling and guns all are part of someone trying to make an easy living.
And even if and when they do get caught it does not seem to matter to the judges how many lives have been ruined while on there quest.
Its same as at work or even football team the foreman or football manager is no better that the team that plays for them, your headmaster at school is only as good as the teachers that surround him, he is no better than you, and he could not do his job without your support. And to me that goes for all. He may get paid better he may get better perks and I guess he may well feel he is better than you.
But do you think he is better than you? The answer is no he is no. better than you peter.
And that’s how I feel about life in general.
Garry

does that sound right ????? not sure now.

18. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 9y

Quoting ozman

Dear Poms,

Having lived in your country for two years, I must say that I quite enjoyed it in all but one respect: your youngsters!

I have never been to any country where you will find ten or eleven year olds out on the street around midnight. I cannot think of a developed country where the old are afraid of venturing outside for fear of the young. Nor can I think of any country where there is such overwhelming mutual disrespect between adults and the young.

As a teacher who has taught for two years in the UK before returning to teach in Oz, I believe I am well qualified to make a comparitive comment on the youth of the UK. Some of the fault of which must lie with the English education system.

The UK's education system is quite simply appalling beyond belief. While I am aware that those of you who were lucky enough to be able to afford a public (i.e.: a private) school in the UK or those talented enough to pass the 11+ test and hence be admitted to a Grammar School would find nothing wrong with your education, the remaining majority of England's youth would probably have a differing opinion. If they knew any better, that is.

I am aware that I can only draw on the experience of teaching in one school to illustrate my point. However, I "taught" in a comprehensive school which was the highest achieving non grammar school in the local area. I shudder to think of how bad those schools below mine on the league tables must have been.

My first day there was daunting indeed. The school itself was just an eyesore, with a high wrought iron fence surrounding it and CCTV cameras covering every angle possible. Twelve hundred-odd kids were all taught in this one large ugly box like building. The "library" was not much bigger than a classroom and, in fact, was used as a classroom by the English department. At lunch time, the kids had few places to go other than the canteen or the playgrounds as many areas had been cut off due to the appalling behaviour of a sizeable minority.

The grounds, however, were just disgusting beyond belief. Several squadrons of seagulls constantly purveyed the litter strewn fields for their next meal; I was defecated on several times whilst on playground duty. Pommy children are far too precious to be asked to pick up litter, even if they are seen dropping it! Any teacher from any other part of the world witnessing this would be as incredulous and appalled as I was. Strangely, the Pommy teachers seemed to think it was quite normal!

"Teaching" there was nothing short of farcical. The behaviour in some of my classes could only have been likened to those found in a chimpanzee cage where LSD had been placed in the water. Now, I am considered a "tough but fair" teacher who places a high priority on maintaining discipline in the class, but this was nigh-on impossible in the chimp enclosures.

It took me some time to realise the ramifications of the all-invasive English class system: kids had to behave for the "first class" (ie: senior teachers) who actually had some authority and could discipline the unruly brats. Yet they had little regard for the "second class" teachers such as myself whose only recourse was to go with my hat in my hand to the first class teachers hoping that they would have the good grace to punish the latest in a long list of transgressions.

It should be noted that any punishment that I could secure against a kid could easily be overturned with the phonecall of an angry parent. These verminous parents were quite willing to take the word of a fourteen-year-old with every reason to lie over the word of an adult professional with no reason to lie.

We had a parent actually show up at the school once, marched down to the isolation room where her absolutely appalling daughter was being contained and walked out with her! The next day she was back in the classrooms dong what she did best: destroying everyone elses' future so that it would match her own.

Poms just don't have the courage to stand up to the scourge that is their underclass. I suppose that they rightfully feel responsible for it.

Of course, the type of classrooms I am referring to were "lower band" classrooms. These kids had been given a test at age 11 and told their fortunes. It must be devastating at such a young age to be told that highest paying career that will ever be avaiable to them will be found in Amsterdam's Red Light District. I actually don't blame these kids for their behaviour, it is clearly the fault of England's obsession with class; therefore the need to stream kids at a young age into the "herrenvolk" or the "untermenschen."

Now I knoooow that on this blog, there will be someone who will say something like: "You can't generalise all UK youth that way," or "you can't just use your experience to slate all of England's youth." Please spare me, I am not speaking for all of them but what many see as being a sizeable minority.

Aussie, Kiwi, Canadian, Irish and American teachers considering going to work in the UK: be prepared! Get in a union as early as possible (NASUWT will take foreign teachers); speak up to the first class teachers when they can't be bothered; create non-confrontational lessons. The reason that there are so many teacher placement agencies making a fortune by sending us over there is because so very few poms in their right minds would become a teacher there.

Well, thanks for listening. I clearly had a lot to get off my chest. Now you know that Aussies can whinge too. It probably is true that Poms invented whinging and Aussies perfected it, this must go also for cricket and Rugby!

Peter

Hi Ozman, and thank your for your posting.

I was just wanting to quote you so that I could produce what is possibly the longest post in the history of TP.

Seriously, the kids in this country are well and truly out of control. The Human Rights advocates have, in their true PC fashion, well and truly f**ked us all. Kids hanging around has been a problem for years. A trial curfew was put in place in Hamilton, just outside Glasgow. Crime rates dropped overnight and the project was to be extended across the UK. Then the human rights left-wing liberal f**kwits who have never set foot in a housing estate stepped in an went "OH! The children! What about their freedom!?! Oh woe betide us!!! This cannot be!" and the government backed down.

So now, thanks to those good-hearted, poetry-reading, liberal democrat-voting arts and crafts hippies, the little old ladies of this country are condemned to locking their doors nice and early.

Oh thank you human rights advocates! You've made this country a little bit safer - for the little sh**s putting firecrackers through our letterboxes and kicking wing mirrors off our cars.

19. Posted by bagpuss34 (Budding Member 52 posts) 9y

Ozman has some VERY valid points, i dont live in an inner city but kids in my area are thugs, and where are the parents? god only knows!

Recently a mother, father and daughter (friends of mine) were beaten by 15 kids, aged between 13 and 17. Why? Because they were trying to help a 14 year old girl who was in a sticky situation, it was 9pm at night and the majority of the kids were drunk.

I live on the outskirts of town near villages and the country - how these kids got alcohol i dont know, what they were doing out at 9pm..again.. i dont know, and why on earth they felt it was ok to beat three people until they passed out because they were being a good samaritan is beyound me.

Where ever i walk - in my local area - other towns -anywhere, kids are on the streets screaming, shouting, getting drunk e.t.c and making people feel scared.

They hang around in gangs, and if they decide to attack, you have no chance! And its by THEIR choice that you are left alone -NOT YOURS!

Its not on - NO parents should have access to a school unless it is agreed and they have an appointment.

Teachers should be protected at all times, they should be given the rights to punish properly and have the support of the head, the parents and the government - They are the ones teaching our young, and if they cant install the correct values and re-enforce the message of right and wrong what hope do we have?

This country has well and truely gone to the dogs! And of what ive seen so far - if the youth of today are to rule this country one day - we have NO chance.!

Im not stereotyping all kids, as some are well balanced and intelligent and know right from wrong - BUT what about all the rest? The ones on the street terrorising the public? There the problem, and most likely out number the well behaved kids.

Parents who cannot control their children, cannot teach them morals and cannot help their children understand the difference between right and wrong should be penalised for their childrens behaviour. (put in prision or sterolised)

Im sorry its a harsh view - BUT why do these kids feel they are allowed to behave like this? Where do they get there examples from? Who brought them up?

Im sorry its a bit blunt - But this is the truth, if you have not seen what these kids do, been effected, or witnessed their behaviour then you dont have grounds to challenge - They are and will be the ones that sit about on benefits bleeding us dry!

20. Posted by garry moll (Budding Member 348 posts) 9y

Well guys and girls,
plenty of comments passed now, sorry I don’t have to send my kids to a school like the ones you have taught in, thank god, we have problems in Yorkshire and I won’t tell you any different.
BUT WHO IS AT FAULT THEN.
Once again I can only blame the parents for lack of morals which should be taught young. None of my kids have hung about on street corners threatening people, making nuisances of them selves,
or are you saying im lucky, no come on must be millions like me.
Yes teachers should have the right to teach. And the criminal system needs to get tuff and stand firm and so should the government. The do gooders should take a pace back and pull there necks in and let the police do there jobs. Once caught they should get a fair but firm treatment.
Class is not to blame for these troubles.
Or am I telling you something that you all know.