Fed up

Oct. 13th, 2012 11:07 am
dorsetgirl: (Default)
[personal profile] dorsetgirl
Every year for the past thirty years, this has been the day I/we load up everything but the kitchen sink and set off to take part in a brilliant event. (I'm not going to name it here because I don't want the DG identity recognised by anyone who knows me in real life). This year, we're not going, because the boys' school kicked up a major fuss; threats of getting in the Education Welfare Officer, all sorts. We were told "every single day counts in education".

What really annoys me is that every time we go along to those "keep the parents informed" evenings, they say "Once the attendance drops below 95%, there is a very clear effect on the GCSE results. It is proven that poor attendance causes poor results."

So I have several major issues with that:

(1) Even after their one-week unauthorised absence "to accompany the parent with whom they reside on their main annual holiday", my children's attendance is always 97%. Which by the school's own words is not in the danger zone.

(2) There are many reasons why a person with poor attendance might have poor results. That does not automatically mean that the relationship is simple causative.

(3) Last week, and three weeks ago, all students were sent home at morning break, to allow the school to prepare for Open Evenings. Three lessons missed, both days.

(4) Only yesterday my middle son was given the afternoon off, along with about fifty others, to enable them to get home in time to get to a school-organised event last night. In other words, every day counts unless the school themselves decide it doesn't.

Anyway, today all over the country, roughly one hundred people I've known for between fifteen and thirty years are at this moment driving towards their holiday and I'm not. I am pissed off and unhappy.

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(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-13 10:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] suzie-shooter.livejournal.com
*hugs* that school sounds consistently shitty.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-13 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dorsetgirl.livejournal.com
*grabs hugs*

They're complete bastards half the time - I really feel they're not doing the right thing, especially for the oldest.

But it's like democracy - it's a totally shit school in some ways but in many ways it's by a long way the best available for my particular children.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-13 10:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thesmallhobbit.livejournal.com
Schools have an amazing set of double standards - I bet you haven't included all the times your boys have had supply teachers, who say "here's the work, get on with it".

I may have mentioned this before, if so I apologise, but a few years ago my daughter went to a Scout Jamboree in Serbia, missing the last three days of the summer term. Although authorised, we were told how she was missing vital schooling (what, three days before the summer holidays?). She learnt far more by being in Serbia and meeting young people from places like Palestine. There is much more to education than book learning.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-13 11:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dorsetgirl.livejournal.com
There is much more to education than book learning.

I will always remember reading a newspaper article where the author's daughter got told off by her teacher for having been away the previous week. "We learned all about the Acropolis."

"Actually Miss, I was at the Acropolis last week."

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-13 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dickgloucester.livejournal.com
*rolls eyes* Sounds fairly bloody typical.

You know, I had LOADS of time off school, between ill health and a bit of depression-related skiving. I got 10 O-levels (6 As, 4 Bs), and 4 A-levels (4 As and an S1).

Schools seem to be going totally overboard with all these rules and regs and wanting everyone to be a Stepford child.

*hugs you*

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-13 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dorsetgirl.livejournal.com
*hugs back*

I suppose, leaving aside for a moment the personal upset, what really gets me is that the school seems genuinely to believe that "People with poor attendance tend to get poor results" actually means "Poor attendance causes poor results".

Sadly I'm not in good enough odour with them to point out that a fair proportion of "failures with poor attendance" will have either illness bad enough to prevent studying, or families ditto. I suppose we all think we're special snowflakes and that "our family isn't like that", but I remain convinced that our week away every year gave our children education and experience that I couldn't give them in any other way and the school couldn't give them at all.

I also remain convinced that the reason the school stopped offering "Critical Thinking" at AS just when my son was about to start it, is that they had no-one left with the brains to teach it.

Schools seem to be going totally overboard with all these rules and regs and wanting everyone to be a Stepford child.

It's not just schools imo, it's the whole bloody country. I'm going to stop there before I spend too much time putting forward my opinion (re John Peel) that having sex with a consenting and definitely post-pubertal fifteen-year-old probably isn't sensible, and definitely isn't legal (in this country at least) but NO WAY is it actually "child abuse", and it certainly wasn't seen that way in the 1970s.
Edited Date: 2012-10-13 08:00 pm (UTC)


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