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 Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Wed 3 Oct 18:30

A most disturbing letter for every parent of Scottish school children, all the more so because it's this teacher writes from the heart and he/she is by no means a lone voice. I retired from teaching in 2011. Morale in many schools has been deteriorating for several years and I know for a fact that many teachers have left the profession before retirement age, while others have given up their promoted post or are absent with stress related complaints.

The fact that it's virtually impossible to exclude badly behaved pupils is at the heart of the matter. I have contacts in many schools and I hear similar reports in all of them. Morale is rock bottom, management are powerless to resolve issues with difficult pupils, because inclusion means they can do virtually whatever they like. Supply teachers are extremely thin on the ground and will not entertain working in certain schools due to unhappy experiences on previous occasions.

https://planetradio.co.uk/forth/local/news/read-anonymous-open-letter-from-scottish-teacher-goes-viral/

I don't have all the answers to solve the impending crisis, but removing individual children, whose behaviour makes it impossible to create a good learning environment for the rest of the class, would be a good place to start.....



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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: londonparsfan  
Date:   Wed 3 Oct 18:58

https://planetradio.co.uk/forth/local/news/read-anonymous-open-letter-from-scottish-teacher-goes-viral/
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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Wed 3 Oct 20:22

My daughter who works at QAHS says that the last few weeks have been horrendous with numerous transfers to other schools.
Morale at rock bottom!!!
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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: dave67  
Date:   Wed 3 Oct 20:45

And the recent movement for West Fife primary schools to put high schools to capacity wont help either
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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Thu 4 Oct 09:10

"The fact that it's virtually impossible to exclude badly behaved pupils is at the heart of the matter."

We had a room set aside for disruptive pupils - the windows were painted over in white stuff so the "inmates" could not look out, or their mates peer in.

Kids could be sent for a single period, or multiples thereof if they persisted after being sent there.

They had separate interval breaks and lunchtimes, under supervision, so they could not mix with the normal school population.

Each department had a prepared supply of work exercises and study sheets that had to be completed - if not it was another stretch in the cooler for these non conformists.

It worked - but then the powers that be from above decreed it was not conducive to the individual pupil's education.

I and other colleagues were branded as Fascists for openly criticising the system being abandoned.

The problem is that local politicians didn't like the exclusion from class (or school) statistics - so the "answer" was to keep them in the classroom regardless of the adverse effect it had on the majority who wanted to learn.

The other "solution" was to transfer them to another school - passing the buck to somebody else. I heard of one school that dumped all its "refuseniks" on others - and then said how much behaviour had improved !!!

I bet GG can tell similar tales of woe.



Post Edited (Thu 04 Oct 09:11)
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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: calpar  
Date:   Thu 4 Oct 12:49

perhaps parents could help eh?
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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Thu 4 Oct 13:14

Sadly a number of parents only view schools as convenient child minding institutions.
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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: calpar  
Date:   Thu 4 Oct 13:51

And there is also the soln, if only more parents would care, perhaps teachers can then get back to their real job ?
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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Thu 4 Oct 13:53

Quote:

calpar, Thu 4 Oct 12:49

perhaps parents could help eh?


Sadly, calpar, parents are sometimes part of the problem. Their child will go home (or in some cases text from under the desk within seconds) and give their version of a classroom incident. The parent(s) immediately makes their way to school hoping to confront the teacher, taking their child's account as gospel without even bothering to check with anyone else.

I was a guidance teacher and parents of children in my house were always referred to me. In most cases it would emerge that the pupil had put his/her own spin on events and the parent would be obliged to back down. There were also occasions when the class teacher mishandled a situation of course, in which case I would apologise to the child and parent and assure them that the school would do it's very best to ensure that this was not repeated.

Teachers are human and make mistakes, like anyone else. Some learn from them others don't so they keep repeating them. The vast majority of incidents involving indiscipline are precipitated by reluctant students - children who would rather be anywhere else but at school

And yes, VEE, I can concur that my school was a popular destination for pupils who got into bother in their own school. The reason? Well, because it was an RC HS, it didn't matter where in West Fife the naughty pupil came from, there was also a bus from there which could take him to my school, St Columba's. We were regularly honoured to receive pupils from Beath, Dunfermline, Inverkeithing, Queen Anne and Woodmill HSs. Not only that, the compulsory transfer of these pupils was not revealed to staff, in case they were prejudiced against them from the start.....



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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: londonparsfan  
Date:   Thu 4 Oct 14:09

In my day most parents had us guilty as charged even if the teachers were embellishing the incident. Mine never believed me that it wasn't all my fault 😂
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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Thu 4 Oct 15:56

Quote:

londonparsfan, Thu 4 Oct 14:09

In my day most parents had us guilty as charged even if the teachers were embellishing the incident. Mine never believed me that it wasn't all my fault 😂


You're obviously older than I thought, LPF. ☺

It's difficult to say when parental attitudes started to change, but if I was pushed I wouĺd say during the 80s. Coincidentally, around the same time that corporal punishment was banned in schools.

So, take away what some, but not all, pupils would have regarded as a deterrent and replace it with a less supportive, more confrontational parental attitude and there's only one direction discipline in schools can go. (I should add that I believe the belt had to go because it was an outdated, barbaric practice and it did not deter the most indisciplined pupils.)



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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: londonparsfan  
Date:   Thu 4 Oct 16:47

Yeah I pretty much grew up in the 80s but I also went to a lot of forces schools where they were a bit more stringent too. Didn't stop you being a chancer though.

Going off topic a bit but you also had to do PE in your pants if you accidently on purpose left your kit at home when gymnastics swung around. I'd love to see a PE teacher do that now 😂
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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Thu 4 Oct 19:26

I know one school where the method to deter chronic truants was to exclude them for a week, then a fortnight etc.

Never found out what bright spark came up with that "punishment" policy.

Probably a guidance teacher - cue incoming from GG !!!
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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Thu 4 Oct 19:38

Quote:

veteraneastender, Thu 4 Oct 19:26

I know one school where the method to deter chronic truants was to exclude them for a week, then a fortnight etc.

Never found out what bright spark came up with that "punishment" policy.

Probably a guidance teacher - cue incoming from GG !!!


The logic of that had me baffled, too, VEE. That snide dig at guidance teachers was uncalled for, btw. We aren't all a bunch of softies, you know and we never had any woolly types in my school.

I didn't miss my kids with a sharp reprimand when I felt they deserved it. Most kids have a highly developed sense of fairness and will take a telling when they've overstepped the mark, but take exception at unfair criticism. We've gone a bit off topic, all the same. You and I may have to go on the supply list to help out. I believe my old school had an octogenarian in last session....



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 Re: Crisis looming in our schools
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Fri 5 Oct 18:28

"That snide dig at guidance teachers was uncalled for, btw."

It takes one to know one - allegedly !!!
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