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To think that if we charged for schooling here

(146 Posts)
kim147 Wed 10-Oct-12 23:04:11

Children's attitudes towards education would be a whole lot better.
It's not going to happen but I have had a really shit day with a bunch of children who really do not behave and totally screw up the education of those children who want to learn.

The shooting of the teenage activist by the Taliban has really upset me. She values education and almost gave her life for it. I have been to countries where children walk miles to get to school. Those whose parents sacrifice loads to get their child to school because they value education.

Yet over here, we have children who quite frankly don't care. I know they have issues at home which they bring to school. But all they do is affect those children who want to learn.

I know the advantages of free education. That is so important. But at what price does free education come?

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 09:54:33

choccy - that is the point. A traditional school environment works well for only 75% of pupils. It doesn't work for the other 25% that we need to make different provision for.

The fundamental problem with the Comprehensive idea is it wrongly assumes one size fits all. It really doesn't. It fits 75% and should focus on those children and do it well.

coppertop Thu 11-Oct-12 10:03:00

"I bet the 10% of must disruptive children were excluded and put in special schools and the 15% SEN children were given special support they need in separate classrooms, and the remaining 75% of children were streamed according to ability.."

So which classroom would you choose for children like my ds and other children like him? He's described by his teachers as being "extremely able", isn't disruptive, but with diagnosed SN/SEN.

Does he go into an SEN classroom or with the 75%?

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 10:07:03

coppertop - do you want your DS to be in a classroom with a specialist SEN teacher? Would it help him?

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 10:11:45

Incidentally, I should just say my sister was a SEN teacher in a school dedicated and designed for the most very severely SEN children who cannot be in traditional school.

coppertop Thu 11-Oct-12 10:14:05

What I would like is for him to be in a classroom with teachers who know their subject and who also have knowledge of SEN and what it means.

I'm fortunate that his state school have so far shown that this is what they can and do provide.

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 10:24:06

Is it really possible for one teacher to dedicate the time necessary to SEN children without taking disproportionate resource away from the other children in the class though?

What your DS would gain by being in a traditional classroom setting other children would lose. Would it be fair to teacher and other children for say 10% of class teacher time to be dedicated your DS?

kim147 Thu 11-Oct-12 10:24:32

These kids who are disruptive do not have "special needs". They have issues which have come from home and their environment. They bring them in to the class and others suffer.

bochead Thu 11-Oct-12 10:30:00

I dunno.

I'm the Mum of a disruptive child (usually sensory issues related to his ASD or frustration caused by his dyspraxia) who values finally being in a school that helps him learn more than I think his teachers could ever possibly realise. He's just so bloody grateful everytime he finally "gets" a concept, whether that be academic, or a new social skill that helps him integrate with his NT peers better.

On the other hand - some of the NT teen girls who were more interested in creaming their legs than lessons, when I did my teacher training, still make my blood boil years later.

People just can't see beyond their own personal circumstances - We often see it in the DM attitude to benefits and those who have fallen upon hard times I call it the "I'm all right Jack" mentality.

The vast majority of families in the UK see free education as a universal benefit, and take it for granted. In my circle only a few immigrants, (where education is not free in their country of origin) and parents of SN kids, (for whom obtaining a state education can be fraught with difficulties) seem to truly appreciate what a gift our system provides our children with. It's the horrid entitlement culture that pervades so many aspects of life in the UK.

With parental attitudes like that, can you be suprised when it rubs off on the kids?

squidworth Thu 11-Oct-12 10:30:15

These classes for SEN in school would have parents up in arms, why do the get small classes? Why do they get two TA's. as a parent with a quiet well behaved child who had 1:1 the other parents did nothing but complain, they couldn't grasp that the TA was supplied for him. Lots of parents of SEN children would love small classes with high staffing numbers, but this would come out of the schools and education authority budget.

Morebeta All children need teachers attention. There are none disruptive children in my dds class who require much more attention than my sen dd.

I worked as a TA in a class supporting a child with autism. That child did not disrupt the class nor did she need any more attention from a teacher than any other child!

My own dd goes out for 1-1 with learning mentor twice a week, the rest of the time she is in class requiring no more help than the other children!

You do understand in your top 50% there will be children with sen don't you? Yet you seem insistent these children are not schooled with your.

Sorry if im coming across as harsh but I face these comments everyday.

wonkylegs Thu 11-Oct-12 10:37:12

My cousins are (very expensively) privately educated - one is a well behaved intelligent young man, one is a disinterested and lazy young lady and one is a complete an utter shit who got away with the most awful behaviour at school (crashed a teachers car into swimming pool) and due to his parents ability to pay got away with it all.... Luckily for him he doesn't currently need to do anything with his life because daddy pays otherwise life would be a complete shock to him.
I knew a lot of terribly behaved privately educated kids when I was at university who did not value their education because it was paid for. Money does not equal Value - it's not that simple, money just divides the haves and the have nots unfortunately. Valuing education divides those who care and those don't - which is a different kettle of fish.

coppertop Thu 11-Oct-12 10:42:47

I'm not asking for 10% of anyone's time. Why do you assume that SEN means either disruptive or needs extra help?

If you can't grasp the idea that a child can have SN/SEN (autism and possible dyspraxia in my ds' case) but still be far more capable and require less help than most children in the class, then it's probably a good thing that you're not in charge of such a policy to separate children.

Ds' main needs are to be allowed to type his work rather than use pen and paper, and for his teachers to understand that sometimes he works better individually rather than in a group. I don't think that's causing anyone else to lose out.

coppertop Thu 11-Oct-12 10:46:04

In fact a common theme at ds' Yr7 parents' evening was how useful ds was/is in class discussions as he frequently thought of things that no-one else had even considered. This is partly due to his different perspective on life due to his autism, and that his unusually good memory means that he is something of a walking encyclopedia.

mummytime Belgium Thu 11-Oct-12 10:47:36

Kim147 how do you know these kids don't have special needs? Just because they haven't been identified as such? That could just mean that their home lives are so disrupted that it masks their needs, or that your definition of special needs is wrong.
Yes you had a bad day. That's fine.

However because one girl who must have had something different about her background former to dare to try to get educated,is shot. That doesn't mean that kids who are disruptive in this country with its free education, don't deserve a education. Do you live in their world? Do you face the same difficulties they do every day? I grew up in a deprived area, I got a good education and got out. I am not sure if that would have been possible if my family had had to pay for my education. However I also know I had far more support for my education,and a far better life than those of my contemporaries who were "highly disruptive".

Tobehonest if this is an ongoing problem for you then you need to either get out of teaching or go and work in a very different kind of school.

Maybe I should go in school and complain that a NT child takes up teachers attention too much so I want them in another classroom to my dd.

What coppertop said. Sen does not automatically mean disruptive or needing all teachers attention

bochead Thu 11-Oct-12 11:06:02

Early identification and intervention with regards to SN's remain a distant dream. It's still not uncommon for even serious SN's such as autistic spectrum disorder to remain undiagnosed at KS2/3 and beyond, despite the awful impact and outcome this has.

My own first query to medical professionals was at 18 months, yet my son wasn't diagnosed till he was 8, despite really agressive pushing on my part & our story is far from unusual. My son completely lost KS1 as a result of this delay.

The current coalition government is reducing access to SN support through the reforms it currently has in progress. (see link below for technicalities). www.ipsea.org.uk/AssetLibrary/News/IPSEA%20commentary%20on%20draft%20SEN%20provisions.pdf?dm_i=PWP,ZXPD,3ZPDDV,314BH,1 (for details).

Shove em all in special schools is a moot point. I'd love a SS place to help my child catch up - it's just not an option. Inclusion all to often means just trying to babysit a child on school premises - not actually educating them in any sense.

The tax payer is just not willing to pay for special schools or specialist teaching. My local primary ASD unit has 25 spaces yet there are over 500 children diagnosed with ASD in the LA. Yet across the UK Special schools are closing due to cost, and children totally unsuited to the mainsteam environment are being educated in them.

Compare the odds of gaining a place with the most selective of super selectives and you'll quickly realise how high the odds are stacked against SN parents.

Society as a whole has decided to go for the cheapest option, and sadly that means that mainstream schools will have to put up with the consequences.

Parental alienation from education is another issue that needs to be tackled - the demonisation of the traditional white working class constantly in the media isn't helping at all. Neither is the constant sneering at "chavs", parents who themselves have no future need to be helped to see that life could be better for their children if the whole family reengages with wider society. With the current "divide and conquer" approach of the coalition government this goal is becoming further out of reach than ever, and we'll see the impact in our schools over the coming years as more and more groups become alienated from mainstream society.

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 11:06:27

Whistling/coppertop - yes in my DSs school they do take children with mild/medium SEN and they sit in traditional classes as well as get specialist additional help outside traditional class time. They do have to be able to cope with and fit in with traditional classroom environment and teaching methods though.

The school cannot deal with severe SEN. It is a question of degree.

There is though another private school near us that caters for children with more severe SEN. The fees are quite low as parents are asked to donate a certain number of hours of their time in lieu of fees. A few children I know have gone there from traditional private schools and done well because the school has the sort of specialist resource that the children need which ordinary schools simply cannot provide.

And im still trying to figure out how the top 50% of children (excluding the ones you don't want as they are sen) who need less help than lower academic children with no sen should get priority over the schools with the best teachers and facilities.

My dad was bottom of the class at primary. He got a place at a secondary that was set up for his needs and got the highest score in his degree at uni.

Low ability at primary does not mean it won't click at secondary nor does it mean they don't want to learn.

Surely its these children who need the best facilities and teaching? Not to be left where ever there is room at the local sink school.

Brycie Thu 11-Oct-12 11:09:23

The first poster isn't talking about children with special education needs, she's talking about disruptive children. Other posters have equated disruptive children with "special educational needs". It's a very pernicious conflation that must annoy a lot of parents whose children have extra needs but aren't disruptive. It's the fault of people who insist that children can't be naughty, bad intentioned, badly brought up and horrible as a consequence - they can be equated with those who genuinely have intellectual differences. It's dangerous.

Vagaceratops Thu 11-Oct-12 11:13:59

Where are these children supposed to go? There are not enough special schools and not enough places in the ones there are.

Brycie Thu 11-Oct-12 11:15:59

Somebody earlier suggested toughening teachers' disciplinary powers, keeping children down a year, that sort of thing?

Brycie Thu 11-Oct-12 11:17:27

Still, dealing with the problem must be a priority. At the moment the can is kicked down the road and ends up again with the teacher - who at the same time hasn't the powers to deal with it. It's stupid.

On a seperate note from my experience in schools it is the top ability who get the most attention.

Bottom group get the Ta , top group get the teacher, middle group float along being told to wait a minute.

zzzzz Thu 11-Oct-12 11:18:40

If you choose to send you child to a mainstream school, you must accept that the entire spectrum of society will be represented.

If you want to send your children to a selective school, then you must accept that your child may be limited by only experienceing a thin strata of society during their education.

The vast majority of state funded schools in the uk are non-selective, presumabley because the vast majority of people feel this is the right thing for their children.

There is no sn or non sn really. The concept that disabled children are so different or other, is unhelpful.

Dahlen Thu 11-Oct-12 11:23:49

I don't think charging for education would do anything other than increase the gap between rich and poor.

However, that's not quite the same thing as saying that education itself could do with a hell of a lot more money.

The problem is not children who don't respect or appreciate what they're getting. That's an effect, not a cause. The problem is staff/pupil ratios that are too high, too many children with chaotic home lives and bad parenting, not enough resources for children with special needs, etc.

By charging for education all that would happen is that the well-behaved and badly behaved poor would be denied a good education while the unappreciative children from wealthier backgrounds would simply have their bad behaviour paid for, so perpetuating inequality.

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