To wish people wouldn't call schools shit or....

(74 Posts)
seeker Sun 17-Jun-12 09:05:48

....shitholes or really horrible words like that? There are good and bad schools, but they all have children in them and at least some teachers who are doing their best.

ColouringIn Sun 17-Jun-12 09:08:26

YANBU - even failing schools will have really good teachers in them being hamstrung by the system within their school.

JumpingThroughHoops Sun 17-Jun-12 09:10:55

"shit" schools are generally those populated by children who have parent/s who do not support the school. Thus no discipline; the children rule the roost; that parents undermine the authority of the school.

The schools themselves are not "shit" it's the pupils and the parents.

I know what you mean seeker. A lot of schools that are deemed 'bad' have many pupils and teachers doing their very best in challenging situations.

ColouringIn Sun 17-Jun-12 09:11:57

"shit" pupils - that's ...erm....nice hmm

AnyoneForTennis Sun 17-Jun-12 09:12:48


JumpingThroughHoops Sun 17-Jun-12 09:13:06

Not everyone is nice colouring there are some shit people out there.

seeker Sun 17-Jun-12 09:13:07

Been reading the Daily Mail again, jumpingthroughhoops?

I think there are pupils that have no interest in learning whatsoever, and think that pupils who do want to learn are 'uncool'.

usualsuspect Sun 17-Jun-12 09:16:08

My DCs probably went to a 'shit' school by MNs standards, in other words the local Comprehensive

Sirzy Sun 17-Jun-12 09:16:12

I went to a "shit" school, hard work from the Staff, children and parents has turned it into a very good school. Like happens to often in these cases it was a few members of senior staff holding it back.

JumpingThroughHoops Sun 17-Jun-12 09:16:26

Oh I dunno, I perpetually think "Here's one for Crimewatch in 5 years"

MissAnnersley Sun 17-Jun-12 09:17:25

seeker I agree with you. My DS goes to a school with a pretty poor reputation. It has a number of 'challenging' pupils and is in an area of high deprivation.
It is, however, the catchment school and so I sent DS there. The staff are lovely. DS is receiving a decent education and has made lots of friends.
There are many 'issues' but I would have been foolish to listen to gossip about it.
Even the best of schools in the 'best' of areas have their difficulties.

UnChartered Sun 17-Jun-12 09:18:04

i love thread like this, helps me update my shit-list of MNers wink

EdithWeston Sun 17-Jun-12 09:19:11

If you think all schools must worthy because some people are trying very hard, and at the feelings of those people matter more than the actual outcomes of the children, then the impetus for improving the bad and reinforcing the good is diminished.

MN is a sweary place. If you do not like language such as "shit hole" being used in general posting, then I suggest you find another site where swearing is moderated and figurative language limited too.

usualsuspect Sun 17-Jun-12 09:19:37

Me too unchartered, in fact I've added a few names to mine this morning and I've only read two threads grin

ColouringIn Sun 17-Jun-12 09:19:54

Referring to them as "shit" though just writes them off! Some people are horrible I agree but I do NOT agree that you can necessarily tell that in childhood.

MigratingCoconuts Sun 17-Jun-12 09:20:00

I have rarely taught 'shit' kids but I have met quite a few who have been through 'shit' by the time they get taught by me. sad

usualsuspect Sun 17-Jun-12 09:21:32

The way I read MN is any school that is not private or a grammar is a 'shit hole' i

UnChartered Sun 17-Jun-12 09:21:37

jumping can, can't you jumping

takes one look at a child and knows they'll be on 'crimewatch' - that's lovely that is.

I would imagine some children have a 'shit' attitude?

GrahamTribe Sun 17-Jun-12 09:23:50

Now seeker, I thought you were making a comparison and were going to say "To wish people wouldn't call schools shit or.....



YANBU to wish whatever you like but YABU if you think that there aren't some incredibly shitty schools out there.

ColouringIn Sun 17-Jun-12 09:24:51

But that's the point EdithWeston, those people trying hard are the ones who turn schools round and who DO improve the outcomes for pupils. Therefore just dismissing a school as a "shit hole" is a bit odd. Of course people will value those trying to make a difference and care about their feelings and of course they will object to a term like "shit hole".

usualsuspect Sun 17-Jun-12 09:25:03

I wish people wouldn't call private schools 'indie schools'

Nuttyprofessor Sun 17-Jun-12 09:25:11

I got talking to a woman at work about our 11 year olds. She told me her DS goes to a shit school. My DS goes to an excellent school. He has achieved way above average. Later in the conversation I realised they in fact go to the same school.

Maybe it is not the school that is ahit.

accountantsrule Sun 17-Jun-12 09:32:57

I don't think MN says that schools are either shit or private/grammar. I get the exact opposite impression TBH! There is an awful lot of private bashing.

There may be some really shit private schools around too, apparently some are so its not exclusive to state schools!

I don't really think any schools are shit - there are some extremely bad ones around but shit does make them sound as if there's no hope at all!!

cory Sun 17-Jun-12 09:33:02

I have used the term to refer to dd's junior school but I hope that I have only ever done so in a context that made it clear that by "school" I was referring to the school management and their ethos, not to individual teachers and children

in the same way as when the school (= the management) talks about "our ethos" they are actually referring to the ethos of the management, not of every single child in Yr 5.

in the same way as I might describe a company as shit if they pollute the environment and circumvent employment law- and would still hope to have it understood that I am not referring to every single employee including the cleaners and the man who services the computers

if by "the school" you understand the same thing as "the school" understands in their official correspondence, i.e. the people in charge, then I shall, with all due respect continue to refer to dd's junior school as a shit school

but I shall also point out that the children and parents were lovely and that the teachers were well meaning though not always with the courage to stand up against the management

(though when it comes to openly flouting the Disability Discrimination Act, I would say that any teacher who lacks the courage to speak out is, actually, a bit shit- as is any citizen who stands by and sees a vulnerable person maltreated)

and when I speak of dd's current school as a lovely school, I am referring to the same thing- the ethos, the management, the people who decide the ethos of the school- not every single teenager in Yr 10

seeker Sun 17-Jun-12 09:33:57

I don't mind swearing at all. It's just the use of shit hole to describe a place where 5 year olds spend their day is, I think, a step too far.

MsKittyFane Sun 17-Jun-12 09:52:04

jumping: "shit" schools are generally those populated by children who have parent/s who do not support the school. Thus no discipline; the children rule the roost; that parents undermine the authority of the school.
Using the word 'shit' is a bit hmm but you are spot on with the rest of it. Those doing all the hoiking and huffing obviously haven't met this type of family and their offspring.
Teachers don't need to label the little 'lambs'. They label themselves through their actions, attitudes and behaviour.

EdithWeston Sun 17-Jun-12 10:09:48

Colouringin: If a post was unfairly characterising a school, based on prejudice not evidence, it doesn't matter whether it's done in normal MN-speak, iambic pentameter, txt, or pedant-proof formal drafting.

Complaining about swearing on MN is like channelling Knut.

Trying to demonise one phrase, in a separate thread to the usage you didn't like, seems a bit pointless too.

MadamFolly Sun 17-Jun-12 10:14:00

There are many reasons why a school can be bad.

High levels of deprivation means that the children can be very badly behaved so teacher spend a lot of every lesson fire-fighting behaviour and unable to teach.

Senior management can be very ineffectual and crap which means that no consequences are followed up for bad behaviour, the teachers are undermined and the pupils (rightly) think they rule the roost.

It can also be difficult for challenging schools to attract good teachers so they may have poorer quality teaching.

MadamFolly Sun 17-Jun-12 10:16:13

I do think that the senior leadership team is probably the most important factor in maintaining standards. Poor organisation and a behaviour policy that is not adhered to can send a good school spiralling downwards in a matter of months.

manchester00 Sun 17-Jun-12 10:17:11

Cory I think you had good reason to say that. Read enough of your posts to know that.
However, in general its not a nice thing to say.
I do on occassions have cause to complain about individual things done by the school and I am really not keen on head but no, it definately is not a shithole.

GetOrfMoiiLand Sun 17-Jun-12 10:18:50

My dd goes to what a lot of MNers would call a 'shit' school, it is a comp in an area where they have the 11 plusn so the city has 4 grammar schools and the rest are secondary moderns. People pull faces when I tell them where dd goes to school.

It has been a brilliant school - I moved her there from an exalted selective school which let her flounder with undoiagnosed dyslexia at the bottom of the heap, and where she was bullied horribly, which the school was completely ineffectual about.

Dd went to her 'shit' school a nervous wreck, I had my doubts but it has been great. Really supportive and passionate teachers, a zero tolerance culturr towards bullying and kids who love the school. Yes, it takes kids from areas with high social deprevation and the are issue surrounding that, and to look at the league tables you would avoid like the plague, but I cannot speak highly enough of the school.

valiumredhead Sun 17-Jun-12 10:18:55

Well ds went to a 'shit' school, it was horrendous and we moved house so he could go to a different school. I didn't want my 5 year old spending his day there and I don't mind how it is described, it was an appalling school and the children deserve much better. Some schools are really awful.

BonnieBumble Sun 17-Jun-12 10:20:26


However the secondary school I went to really was the pits. I don't think schools like that still exist these days.

JosephineCD Sun 17-Jun-12 10:22:33

We used to have good schools in this country, the best in the world in fact. Unfortunately the Labour government and the teaching unions decided it wasn't fair on the kids that didn't go to them so got rid of them. Now we have the highest percentage of NEETs in western europe, with most 16 year olds incapable of boiling an egg, let alone holding down a job. And then people criticise people who send their kids private...

BonnieBumble Sun 17-Jun-12 10:27:11

So it's labours fault then is it Joesphine?

Funny that, all the "shit" schools when I was growing up went downhill in the Thatcher era.

nymets Sun 17-Jun-12 10:30:28

didn't thatcher get rid of the grammars?

valiumredhead Sun 17-Jun-12 10:30:53

There are still grammar schools.

nymets Sun 17-Jun-12 10:32:22

the majority of grammars

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Jun-12 10:36:49


Becareful whilst banging that drum, you do it so hard you may go through it and hurt yourself.

BonnieBumble Sun 17-Jun-12 10:38:51

nymets, Thatcher left it to individual councils to decide whether they wanted to retain selective education and most council chose not to. Neither the Tories or Labour are in favour of grammar schools.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 17-Jun-12 10:39:21

As a teacher, and an adult, I would agree with the OP.

However, I have been guilty of using this description for the secondary school that I went to.

For me, as someone who was reasonably intelligent and wanted to do well, it was "shit". I got good results, but I think that was despite the school not because of it, and it was not an experience that I enjoyed. At all.

Mrsjay Sun 17-Jun-12 10:40:59

DDs High school is supposed to be a 'bad' school my girls thrived there, children IMO opinion will learn if they want to 'shit' school or not ,

WilsonFrickett Sun 17-Jun-12 10:41:40

My DS started out in what I had labelled a 'shit' school and it was utterly brilliant. Far, far more supportive and inclusive than his new school which is in a small village and has coasted by because of its small size / relatively high resources and doesn't really know what to do with anyone who doesn't fit their expected mould.

Mrsjay Sun 17-Jun-12 10:45:08

too not to,

DDs primary was a 'good' school and dd2 struggled there she has dyspraxia and i felt the learning support didnt help her , as soon as she hit secondary the learning support was amazing ,

Mrsjay Sun 17-Jun-12 10:45:17


valiumredhead Sun 17-Jun-12 10:48:53

mrsjay I completely disagree.

Mrsjay Sun 17-Jun-12 10:51:47

DO you valium thats just my experience with the school though so i maybe talking rubbish but i do think a child can learn even if the school hasnt the best reputation, everyones experience is different,

valiumredhead Sun 17-Jun-12 10:55:07

No, I think some kids can learn in any environment IF the teaching is good. My experience is that some teachers are dire and the kids couldn't learn a thing.

Mrsjay Sun 17-Jun-12 10:56:37

That mustve been really difficult to deal with valium Teachers shouldnt be dire should they

valiumredhead Sun 17-Jun-12 11:11:32

It was truly awful mrsjay and moving ds was the best thing we ever did.

Mrsjay Sun 17-Jun-12 11:24:14

thats great he has settled into a new school smile

ColouringIn Sun 17-Jun-12 12:09:27

Gosh! JoseohineCD is one bitter soul isn't she?

I went to a crappy school......right throughout the Thatcher era. My son in contrast (Labour era) has amazing support (SN).

The issue is not this or any other Govt but the attitude of a society which does not value anyone "not quite like us dahling".

Hence the school down the road is deemed "shit" and condemned - along with the CHILDREN (we are talking about children here). Then they wonder why whole sections of society are "written off" and NEET.

Quelle surprise!

The NEET group isn't just connected to schools, though.

It the realisation that there isn't work to go to in the region and the parents don't instil ambition, or the child doesn't have the skills to consider country/world wide employment.

That and the gang/drug lifestyle/money making grips them early.

I do think that strategies are needed for the problems that particular areas have. In my area the male interest in educationis lost early and i wonder if schools offered mechanics or music lessons if that would counter act that,but that takes a change in curriculum.

In my close area (my own children go to school further away), no children, terally are leaving with French etc qualifications, the curriculums are not flexable enough.

Just to add the Local Youth Group were making progress with the 'lads' who hung round the streets, in offering music lessons, that was the first budget to go in the cuts.

The club specified that the 'Lads' couldn't go smelling of weed etc and it did seem to make a diffence for a while on anti social behaviour.

Areas can fall into 'shit holes' and then the school can follow through (i don't agree with that label).

HelenKR Tue 22-Jan-13 07:06:54

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Pagwatch Tue 22-Jan-13 07:15:07

I went to a shit school by which I mean a school where a chunk of the children spent the whole time frightened, where discipline was so poor any classes contained little or no actual teaching and where a substantial number of pupils (including me) massively under performed.
We were not required to join in lessons unless we felt inspired to. Spelling was considered restrictive - what we wanted to say was more important than how we said it. <rolls eyes>>

Oh the joy of a 1970 comprehensive.

delboysfileofax Tue 22-Jan-13 07:31:01

Helen- so you're a firm like a4e then? How much taxpayers money are you taking to run this, and more importantly are youngsters going to be forced to attend your business at any point in the future?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 22-Jan-13 07:32:18

Yes, I went to what I think was a pretty shitty school 1989-1994. Not especially 'shit' children, hmm but a general laissez fare attititude, no reward for achievement, ever, lots of insidious bullying (that PE teacher in KEs? Like that).

So yeah it was shitty in a lot of ways and I had a shitty time, but I wouldn't refer to a school now, as an adult, where children now go, as a shit school.

Also the school I went to got put into special measure sharpish and wasn't allowed to get away with being so shitty any more. After 1997.

Pagwatch Tue 22-Jan-13 07:44:14

The trouble is that when I was at my shit school everyone wanted to talk about it as being fine. So I spent many years unable to understand why, if this school was fine and dandy, I hated the lessons I had previously loved and had to spend break times hiding in the toilets.

Sixth form gave me a taste of normal schooling again and I loved it.
Tbh I resent the fact that a chunk of us were patted onthe head and told 'oh but it's fine. It's just a school with challenges and many of the teachers are working really hard'. It just made me feel not good enough - I blamed myself.
So yes, a proprtion of teachers were great. But a sizeable chunk weren't. It was still a shit school.
I am not sure how it helps me to think it was actually a great school.
It is still there, being shit and getting terrible results.
Are the pupils like me, getting a crap education through no fault of there own helped if we say it's actually a fine school.
I am not sure tbh.

Flisspaps Tue 22-Jan-13 07:45:04

Helen - people will miss your post as they will reply to the OP.

Tailtwister Tue 22-Jan-13 07:51:48

I think there are schools which give the children an overall 'shit' education. It's not down to the teachers, but a lack of discipline from the pupils which is initiated and supported by their parents. It's impossible to teach a class of 30 children who are badly behaved, no matter how good you are. Consequently, teachers become exhausted and disillusioned, go off sick or change schools, there's a high staff turnover and stream of different supply teachers. It goes on and on.

Once a school gets a bad reputation then it's very hard to turn around. People understandably don't want to send their children there and if they can afford it move or go private. Social engineering prevails and the downwards spiral continues.

I don't think schools or pupils are 'shit' in themselves, but it's usually at home with the parents where the rot starts. We have a 'shit' school near us and you see parents shouting and swearing at their children on the school run every day. By the time these kids are in P1 their language and general behaviour hampers them at every turn.

discorabbit Tue 22-Jan-13 07:55:13

old thread alert, helen you have to pay to advertise on here

Tailtwister Tue 22-Jan-13 07:56:14

Oops, so it is discorabbit! Caught out again...

Pagwatch Tue 22-Jan-13 07:58:00


Fucking zombie threads.

Helen. Pay the bloody fees and don't bump ancient threads.

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Tue 22-Jan-13 08:04:56

Oh I just reported and was a bit nice about it. If I realised she was a zombie as well as a spammer I'd have been harsher.

KhallDrogo Tue 22-Jan-13 08:30:48

The kids with behavioural problems generally have emotional problems,edocal problems or SEN. They are nor shit

I agree, effective leadership is paramount

Pagwatch Tue 22-Jan-13 08:43:51


thegreylady Tue 22-Jan-13 08:57:45

The best homes can compensate in many ways for the worst of schools however the reverse is never true.
A school is 'bad' for many reasons but, ultimately it ie the senior management team which can change the ethos of a school

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Tue 22-Jan-13 11:22:04

Seriously some of you don't take one look at a child/teen and think they'll end up in prison before they're 30, did you not even do that when you were a student your self? Some schools are shit thanks to disinterested, ineffective staff and bored,disruptive pupils

There were 4 lads in my year, very rough start to life, always disruptive, started fights, made trying to learn anything impossible, were expelled frequently... They have all spent time in prison since leaving school and no one who knows them was surprised... One of them is now trying to make something of himself the other three will be back in prison soon judging be the look of things

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Tue 22-Jan-13 11:23:58

<suddenly realises that this thread was posted last year> blush

KhallDrogo Tue 22-Jan-13 18:18:14

I think some children have a shit start in life, a shit family and shit schooling.

But it isn't those kids that make a school a 'shit-hole'

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