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?

Sirzy Wed 10-Oct-12 23:07:19

If people had to pay then all it would mean is that a lot of people would miss out on any education. I'm not sure that would do much to improve things on a grander scale.

Schools need to work to plan lessons which will interest and engage all pupils and work to help them achieve their potential. Sometimes I think it's to easy to write children off as trouble makers without looking beyond that

AgentZigzag Wed 10-Oct-12 23:07:54

If we had to pay for schooling in this country mine wouldn't be going.

They owe me enough already.

kim147 Wed 10-Oct-12 23:10:17

"Schools need to work to plan lessons which will interest and engage all pupils and work to help them achieve their potential"

Of course - silly me. Must have been my fault that year 6 lad kept shouting out and started kicking and punching the y6 girl sad Whilst the other boy threw his drawer on the floor and stormed out.

CailinDana Wed 10-Oct-12 23:10:21

I had days like that as a teacher too. It's so fucking demoralising. But here in the UK we have children who battle against odds for their education and do value it, and there are children in every country in the world who couldn't give a shit. Charging children would just mean the ones whose parents don't care would lose out that bit more. I know you know that, and I know the feeling of standing there in front of a class wanting to somehow make them see what an opportunity they're wasting. Tomorrow is another day in the battlefield. Good luck.

kim147 Wed 10-Oct-12 23:12:42

Put it this way - there are a hell of a lot of children in my school with a hell of a lot of patience. Because of the sheer hell they have to put up with daily from some other children with real issues.

It feels like a real battlefield and when you hear about a child being shot because she wants to go to school, it does make you really angry at those children who do not give a shit.

CailinDana Wed 10-Oct-12 23:14:47

I know Kim, but they just don't realise. They're children. More often than not it's their parents who are to blame. Parents who tell them school is a waste of time and they don't need to bother doing their homework, or parents who just flat out abuse and neglect their children so that by the time to get to school their so strung out and angry there's no reaching them. Children like that exist in every corner of the world unfortunately.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 10-Oct-12 23:16:18

YANBU to think that the attitudes of the children you had to teach it would be better, you would be right, because so many children simply wouldn't attend school.

WorraLiberty Wed 10-Oct-12 23:25:54

I'm not sure really.

Some kids at expensive private schools are very badly behaved and have no concept of the privileged life they lead...or how hard their parents have to work to be able to afford to send them there.

AmberLeaf Wed 10-Oct-12 23:37:56

They have 'issues'

They don't care

Which is it?

I was surprised that you were talking about year 6 pupils tbh, I thought you were going to say year 8-9 or something like that.

I don't think you can blame a 10-11 year old child if they have reached year 6 and they are not being helped/supported.

Oh and re paying for school, that would be my three out, they are all bright and doing well, except maybe the one who is autistic and has 'issues' that disrupt the learning of others because he isn't supported at school adequately.

But yeah, whatever...blame the children.

I get that you are ranting and probably having a bad day week but I think you are barking up the wrong tree.

ouryve Wed 10-Oct-12 23:39:19

We pay taxes to pay for schooling.

If we charged for schooling at source, though, there's many, many people who would miss out.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:42:55

It's an odd route from "children disrupt lessons badly" to "let's make everyone pay".

There are many stops on the way: the first should be "improve the rights of teachers to discipline" or perhaps "remove disruptive children from classroom full of pupils working hard" accompanied by "intervene at these children's homes to start dealing with the problems.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 10-Oct-12 23:46:08

What about 'provide the help that DC's with SN's need to follow the curriculum'?

Because a child that is not grasping the work in class is far more likely to be disruptive.

AThingInYourLife Wed 10-Oct-12 23:47:05

Free education is really important.

I think the right of children to an education is often taken away from them by the insistence of privileging the rights of other children who make it impossible for them to learn.

If 30 children in a class have a right to an education, no one of those children should be allowed to significantly disrupt the learning of the others.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:49:03

Thing; of course you are right.

AmberLeaf Wed 10-Oct-12 23:49:20

the insistence of privileging the rights of other children who make it impossible for them to learn

Excuse me while I roll around laughing......

Privilege you say?

Yeah right.

AmberLeaf Wed 10-Oct-12 23:51:18

If 30 children in a class have a right to an education, no one of those children should be allowed to significantly disrupt the learning of the others

If 30 children in a class have a right to an education, no one of those children should be so bloody awfully let down and unsupported

5ThingsUnderTheBed Wed 10-Oct-12 23:53:40

I lived in soth Africa during the apartheid time. No black families were allowed education in white towns, most could not afford it due to not being allowed decent jobs.

I can remember our principal leaving th day black children were allowed into our school.

Strangely enough, the Afrikaans classes did not take them in, it was the British/English class they went into. But that is a completely different topic.

5ThingsUnderTheBed Wed 10-Oct-12 23:54:39


Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:55:00

They are though, Amber. No point wringing hands. You have to do something. Step A: stop child disrupting 29 others. Step B: do something.

WorraLiberty Wed 10-Oct-12 23:56:09

What I'd like to see is earlier intervention when a class turns out to be disruptive.

Occasionally you will get a situation where there are a high number of disruptive kids and others who are easily led by them.

This happened last year in my DS's yr 8 class. The teacher struggled and even admitted to me on parent's evening that only my son and 5 or 6 others actually wanted to learn...and were often prevented by the chaos the others were causing.

Her solution was to eventually put all the kids who wanted to learn on one table and concentrate more on them...punishing the rest of the class with detentions when they played up.

I think that was crap and if the management team had intervened and put a much stricter teacher in that class who could actually cope...things might have been very different...especially for the kids who were easily led.

AThingInYourLife Wed 10-Oct-12 23:57:22

Yes, Amber, dangerous and disruptive children and teenagers are left in schools that cannot deal with them because their classmates are considered too poor and unimportant for it to matter that their education is being utterly bollocksed.

It matters that the pupils in question gets the support that they need, if indeed any level of support will help (and sometimes it won't).

But it also matters that the other pupils get to go to school and work without being constantly disrupted.

burmac Wed 10-Oct-12 23:57:43

I have a 14 yr old and she and I are both feeling very affected by the girl in Pakistan too. She feels very important doesn't she and I just hadn't heard of her before. She started speaking out and blogging so young


WorraLiberty Wed 10-Oct-12 23:59:10

I agree burmac she's a very brave little girl indeed and I just hope she gets to fulfil her dream and become a Doctor.

Brycie Wed 10-Oct-12 23:59:28

Worraliberty: you mean Y8 pupils were on group tables and not sitting at desks?

Jeez. Children and teenagers are easily distracted. Some are easily led. I know! Let's put them on group tables where they can all distract and easily lead each other!

WilsonFrickett Thu 11-Oct-12 00:05:05

I can absolutely understand your frustration. Your logic, however is flawed. My parents would never have paid for my education. I was a model pupil, first in the family to go on to higher education, etc etc. But my parents could not give a shiny shit about how well I did, and if they'd had to pay, I would have had to stay home. So how would that have helped, exactly?

AmberLeaf Thu 11-Oct-12 00:10:22

Its not about 'handwringing' those 'disruptive' children are being failed.

If their needs were dealt with properly, it would be better for everyone.

TBH some teachers are fab, lots are fab, most are fab,but some are shit and their ineffectuality leads to ongoing problems for all pupils.

sparklingsky Thu 11-Oct-12 00:15:33

Reading this thread, I'm surprised that nobody has commented that teaching is more than imparting knowledge to those who are interested (isn't it?)

Isn't there also something about developing the child in primary teaching (if not secondary)? I get that it's physically and sometimes emotionally gruelling teaching 30+ kids day in/out. And you have a right to off load. And I agree that most don't appreciate what they get for free in this country's classrooms. I also know that we can only teach well when we consider the child's developmental needs too. This is achieved well in some countries. No-one has mentioned or asked why a boy stormed out of his class?

Well.... It's not the kids fault, is it?

Brycie Thu 11-Oct-12 00:19:12

Amber: they're leading to the failure of other children too. Deal with their problems - long term solution. Short term solution - limit the disruption. Or this year's model child could turn into next year's disillusioned disruptor.

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Oct-12 00:47:08

Brycie no not group tables.

The teacher just decided to sit the handful of pupils who really wanted to learn - together.

Then she punished/ignored the rest of the class and just wrote them off as destructive.

I don't know where the hell the management team were and why they didn't step in and put a stricter teacher in the class who could control and teach them all.

GhostofMammaTJ Thu 11-Oct-12 01:02:14

If I were paying for my DCs education, I would expect better value for money. I would expect DD2 not to be bullied. I would have expected DD1s teacher to have not told me 'I don't notice any hearing problems' two weeks after a hearing test which showed 30% hearing loss which I told her about at the time.

I would expect the teachers to not keep telling me about things my DD2 is doing (repeatedly getting up and going to the loo as an excuse to walk around, humming and annoying the other kids, delaying group learning by having to do things like put a pencil away as just some examples) and then tell me when I talk about going for assesment that they see no problems.

80sMum Thu 11-Oct-12 01:12:24

Maybe we should lower the school leaving age to 12 but give everyone the rjght to 6 years free education over that age. Those who want to learn more stay on, those not interested could leave, so wouldn't be disturbing the learners.
A few years down the line, when the 12 year old leavers had grown up a bit and realised the handicap of a lack of education, they could go back and take up their remaining entitlement of a further 6 years study.
The trouble now is that by the time the wasters realise their mistake it's too late to rectify it.

MiniMonty Thu 11-Oct-12 01:31:19

You are being unreasonable to ask for us to charge (money) for education (and you know it) - but your point is completely valid.

What is given for free is taken for granted and generally undervalued. Many, many parents don't see the value and therefore neither do their kids.

There are strong arguments for a (new version) of the grammar system for kids who are more academically able (or willing) and there are strong arguments for an education system which delivers to all but which doesn't test AT ALL at 16 unless you want to go on into further / higher education.

Of course this debate leads into vocational training being properly valued alongside pure academia - and then maybe into a (new) notion of national service.

CaliforniaLeaving Thu 11-Oct-12 02:23:06

I understand where the OP is coming from, hoping that if the parents had to put out hard earned money to send the kids to school they would insist the kids behave and pay attention but I doubt it would happen in reality.
We have what they call alternative high schools here. Anyone who is constantly disruptive, violent, doing drugs or continually fails to do any work has the chance to continue their education at these schools, basic classes needed to graduate are offered and smaller class size, many of the kids are behind in their education at these schools and need extra help. There is a stigma attached to going to "alternative high" and so it becomes a last resort most kids pull it together pretty quick when they are brought in for a meeting and told they will be sent there if xyz doesn't happen by a certain date. So even though there are some disruptions they are not daily and not as bad as I hear about in UK high schools.

AdoraBell Thu 11-Oct-12 02:39:30

We pay here and there are still disruptive unruly kids in my DDs classes.

I can see why you feel the way you do OP, I just don't think it would change the student's attitudes unless they were in danger of being murdered, or had to walk the miles the other students did to get to school.

sashh Thu 11-Oct-12 05:01:48

I think it's more to do with prospects. If you can see that gettig an education means you will earn more and have a better life than your parents ten there is motivation.

ripsishere Thu 11-Oct-12 05:09:03

My DD has only ever (apart from one year) been to fee paying schools. We've never paid since DH is a teacher and gets a free place.
IME, children at those schools are equally disruptive and reluctant to learn. The sweeping generalization has been those schools in Asia.
Education is seen as a gift rather than a right and the pupils on the whole strive and want to learn.
It's been good for my DD to come here and see that. She was getting a bit jaded for the year we were in England.

ripsishere Thu 11-Oct-12 05:09:55

Sorry, sweeping generalization of wanting to learn. I am a bit tired and in pain, I hope you get the gist.

KittyFane1 Thu 11-Oct-12 06:50:29

Schools need to work to plan lessons which will interest and engage all pupils and work to help them achieve their potential. Sometimes I think it's to easy to write children off as trouble makers without looking beyond that
You could plan a trip to the f'ing moon and some children would still mess about and spoil it for everyone else. Some children are just unpleasant brats and nothing a school offers will ever change that.
95% of their behaviour and attitude comes from their home.

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 06:58:10

But kitty a school shouldn't just accept that they should work to change things for that child

WofflingOn Thu 11-Oct-12 07:02:45

Sometimes what the child needs is a change of parents.
There are some dreadfully entitled and rude children out there who are disruptive because they like to entertain and be the centre of attention, and if that desire is fed and supported at home, it takes a lot to turn it around in school.

WofflingOn Thu 11-Oct-12 07:05:31

Although it is very entertaining to see the polite, mature and lovely children in my class metamorphose into shrieking, demanding, whining and tantrumming brats as soon as they meet their mothers in the playground.

NicholasTeakozy Thu 11-Oct-12 07:15:44

Mamala wasn't shot because she wanted an education. On Aljazeera yesterday a Taliban spokesman denied that, saying if that was the case the other girls on the bus would've been shot too. The reason she was shot was she encouraged others to think for themselves and embrace secularism.

Chandon Thu 11-Oct-12 07:17:56

It is in people's nature to not really respect what's for free, IMO.

However, I think free education (and free healthcare) are essential to a civilised nation.

Talking about paying for schools, or grammar schools, I think the big pull of those schools is not only of academic nature, class size, or status or sports, but mainly the fact that you know, as a parent, that most parents of the kids at those school really care about education, and that is the underlying root of the problem, I think, about bad behaviour: kids get away with it, cause parents don't care how they behave at school. teachers need the back up of parents when it comes to discipline.

AThingInYourLife Thu 11-Oct-12 07:20:07

"You could plan a trip to the f'ing moon and some children would still mess about and spoil it for everyone else."

grin absolutely

"a school shouldn't just accept that they should work to change things for that child"

Only if they have the resources to do that in a way that also changes things for the 29 other pupils who want to enjoy their lunar adventure.

Schools should not accept, or be expected to accept, that one child can damage the learning opportunities and future prospects of diligent classmates.

AThingInYourLife Thu 11-Oct-12 07:24:43

"teachers need the back up of parents when it comes to discipline."

That is so, so far from being the problem.

In many cases teachers are being expected to "discipline" pupils that the police can't deal with adequately.

Pupils are being expected to go to school with people who have attacked and seriously injured them.

noblegiraffe Thu 11-Oct-12 07:25:22

Some people on this thread seem to think that it is only children who are struggling to access the curriculum that play up and therefore it's the teacher's fault.

Firstly: It's not always the teacher's fault that a student can't access the curriculum. Sometimes the child is completely out of place in mainstream and can't access any curriculum without 1-1 support - lack of this is nothing to do with teachers who have a whole class of children to teach.

Secondly: Inability to access the curriculum is not a reason to be a pain in the arse. I've taught the most delightful, well-behaved kids who don't have a clue what's going on.

Thirdly: Some kids who piss about are perfectly able to access the curriculum but choose not to. I've taught kids in every set who choose to disrupt lessons.

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 07:27:48

kim - sorry to hear you had a bad day and I can totally see why that must be demoralising.

I do pay for my childrens education as they go to private school - which is by no means an elite institution. In a way you are right. I pay so I expect certain things to happen and if other children were disrupting my children's education I would be straight into the school demanding it be sorted out. In addition, when we sent our children to the school we signed a contract that states we agree to school rules - that includes full attendance, proper uniform amd good behaviour. It also states the school has a right to exclude pupils on a temporary or permanent basis.

Both sides have expectations and those are enshrined in a contract and the monetary transaction is the bedrock behind that.

In my view, I would like to see a voucher system in the UK with an 11+ exam where the children who came out at the top of the exam tables being given a choice where they go to school. I know many people hate the entire Grammar school system but I do think it jas got to the point that if we could get the top 50% of academically able children into streamed education with disruptive children excluded that really would allow more childen from poorer backgrounds to have the sort of decent education my children get. People would value that and the schools would see a real money flow benefit form being good schools and attracting good pupils.

We just nee dto work out how to give a good eductaion to teh other 505 who are less academically able or who cannot for social or behavioural reaosns fit into a traditional school setting.

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 07:28:22

TYPO: 'the other 50% who are less academically able'

Sirzy Thu 11-Oct-12 07:28:30

I don't think it's the teachers fault, I think it's the systems fault which doesn't allow for the time and resources needed to working with and help children (and their families) who are struggling with school for whatever reason.

I don't know, my dd has been in a private school where parents payer a LOT for their education (dd was on bursary as I worked there) and the behaviour was awful to be honest. I was kicked in the face there!

I do see where your coming from though. I worked in various schools and the quiet kids do miss out. I've had children tell me what's the point of trying as x will only spoil it anyway.

AuntieStella Thu 11-Oct-12 07:29:29

Mall Yousafzai is campaigning for a free education to be available to boys and girls.

We have had this for our young people (a state school system available to all, a legal obligation for all to be educated whether is state school or not). It is curious to cite her actions in an argument to curtail free education as that is so different to everything she stands for.

Reducing access to education is a highly retrograde step.

WofflingOn Thu 11-Oct-12 07:33:07

I think education should be free right the way through to degree level.
But I also think that the sanctions for being intentionally disruptive, for being rude and aggressive to staff and peers, for refusing to engage in your own learning should be very rigorous.
That is outside of any SN remit, just the bulk of low-level cocky and PITA children.

Vagaceratops Thu 11-Oct-12 07:34:12

It's not always the teacher's fault that a student can't access the curriculum. Sometimes the child is completely out of place in mainstream and can't access any curriculum without 1-1 support - lack of this is nothing to do with teachers who have a whole class of children to teach

This is where we are with my DS. Although we are lucky enough that he has 1:1 and has a teacher who realises that although he might not be able to access the same curriculum as all the other pupils, he can access on on his own level if things are adjusted accordingly.

Not all pupils who cannot do the work that the other children can do need to be in other settings. Its called inclusion.

Vagaceratops Thu 11-Oct-12 07:35:00

But Woffling - what about all those children who have not been given a diagnosis?

WofflingOn Thu 11-Oct-12 07:38:26

That's where unpicking the root of why they are being disruptive comes in, and that takes experience. There are a lot of un-dx SN in schools, and a lot will never get a dx but have traits that can also be supported with similar methods.
But there are a huge number of over-entitled, argumentative and disruptive children that just like making their own choices and not complying because they feel they don't have to. And they piss everyone off, their peers, their teacher and the MDS.

morebeta the problem with your comment is less academically able does not mean disruptive. If anything from my experience the disruptive children I have dealt with have been very clever.

According to your statement my quiet dd who tries really hard and has no behavioural problems at all but has a processing disorder should come second in her choice of school because she struggles she should be dumped with the disruptive kids?

If anything my dds school choice is even more important. A clever child will do well at MOST places. My dd will need the right setting in order to achieve her best.

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 08:13:38

Whistling - disruptive children would be excluded from your DDs school.

She would be educated in a school/class that went at her pace and with the help she needs. Absolutely nobody gets dumped. We need to see all children getting the chance to achieve their potential.

The bottom line in my DCs school is no one has the right to disrupt anyone elses education.

Acumens100 Thu 11-Oct-12 08:16:12

The life expectancy of people in Brazil in 68. PUT THAT CHAIR DOWN. You're such a spacker don't you feel ashamed. The square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. Lezzer! Lezzer! Now, what I want...Keep going Carl... is, Facts. Teach...BE QUIET! these boys and girls... nothing but Facts. (Oh the irony)

I would rather have had the money to be honest.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 08:20:28

kim I really sympathise with you. I do not know how teachers, particularly in deprived areas, handle their jobs. They seem to be expected to be a mixture of counsellor, child psychologist, social worker and policeman on top of their actual job which is hard enough.

I do think abuse, neglect and a culture of contempt for education (which is rife at all levels in the UK) affect children's behaviour in class directly.

How would it work though? Round here we are in catchment for three best schools in Borough. They are very over subscribed. If the top fifty percent got preference my dd would get the fourth school which has really poor teaching and facilities.

Dd is intellectually very clever but has a block between head and paper. Dd needs to go to either one of the schools as their s e n facilities are the best.

ghoulelocks Thu 11-Oct-12 08:40:00

I think some people here have a rose-tinted few of why children act up. From experience I'd say that the majority of children acting up do not have issues accessing the curriculum (though they probably will by high school). Those acting up because they can't access the curriculum are normally the easy quick-fix solution, get them the work/ support they need and the problem is at least greatly reduced.I don't think people often imagine how far some children go, there's this view that a 7/8 year can never be too hard to handle. If they've brought matches/ small weapons in from home they are. If they smash up offices deliberately they are. Even restraining a large 8 year old from hurting others whilst they do everything they can to attack you isn't easy at all. This is often the bit other children don't witness as they've been removed from the room or the rest of the class has been removed. I've even seen police (struggle) to restrain a 9 yr old throwing chairs at them (not called by school btw but by the social worker who had been trying to remove them for an hour). Yes this kids you see later with teacher pussy-fotting around them seem to do anything they want it class, but frankly often even the teacher is intimidated and has little back up.

In many cases the schools do everything humanly possible to deal with these children (huge resources say on creating a work-environment for them for example and providing adults). And in doing everything possible for a handful has a knock on effect for another 29, whether it's a slower pace of learning or missing out on certain activities or resources, or being hit and intimidated where they should feel safe. At my pretty average primary we, like others, try to move earth and water to meet the needs of difficult pupils with everything from buying in therapy, resources, individual planning of work, funding 1:1 adult time to altered timetables.

I don't think charging is the way forward, I'd hate to see a child loose out for want of money/ parents that didn't care to fund them BUT I would support a more zero-tolerance approach in primary with exclusion becoming acceptable again. There's a line where impacting so heavily on others that they either can't learn or have anxiety difficulties etc should result in removal, regardless of the issues. Funding (what funding...) could be diverted to pupil referral units.

Vagndidit Thu 11-Oct-12 08:44:25

Private schools have the potential of harbouring just as many hellcats as state ones, the only difference is that they can more easily exclude students and weed-out the baddies. State schools have no choice but to keep and educate them. Although there are also many private schools that will put up with anything for the benefit of a paying customer fee-paying parent.

Sadly, unless you can sort out the parents these negative attitudes toward education are unlikely to change, no matter how hard teachers try am an ex-teacher so I feel your pain

kim147 Thu 11-Oct-12 08:58:10

Of course I know I'm being unreasonable.

I just feel so sorry for those children who want to learn. I do also understand that some children have major issues which they bring to class.

ReallyTired Thu 11-Oct-12 09:00:50

In many third world countries there are huge classes of children and no behaviourial problems. This is party because

a) There is the cane
b) Children know that if they don't go to school they will be living on the streets. (Ie. no welfare)
c) Schools can exclude easily.

Sixty years ago the UK was in the same position.

A local academy has managed to dramatically improve results by keeping distruptive children down a year. At the end of year 7 and 8 children are marked on their behaviour. Children whose behavior and attitude is deemed inadequate are kept down a year. Low achieving children who behave well are allowed to progress. I don't know what the school does about the fact that these children do their GCSEs later. I imagine they end up doing BTEC or NVQ.

I don't want exclusion to be easy at any stage of education. Many children who are disruptive have unmet special needs. I would like more resources in primary to help these children. Prehaps they need some kind of councelling or time out of the classroom to address special needs. Ds primary school has employed a teacher specifically to do this.

I watched a couple of worlds strictest parents were tearaway teens go to a strict family abroad In schools in Holland/Sweden ECT.

The teens there were gobsmacked as to why these teens didn't want to try hard and get a good education.

I wonder why the difference as they are not deprived countries?

I do think that the children in those countries are better catered for in the education system imo.

Children who are not academically at the top are given vocational training and courses, I know in the school on the program the children were running a real hotel open to public with those not academic learning to be chefs, run the hotel and such.

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 09:22:52

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 - the impact would be a dramatic improvement in teacher and pupil output/experience/enjoyment.

I also bet that if we did that as an experiment for 1 year no one would want to go back to the situation we have now.

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 09:23:47

In practice, what I suggest above is what my DCs school do. It works.

The thing is privates can pick and choose. I've seen three asked to leave.
My sen child doesn't need to be taught in a different classroom. I would hate for her to be, she's not disruptive, she's bright she just needs things explained in a different way sometimes. Don't all children learn differently? Visual/hands on/ verbal learners. A TA could do that while sat at a table with them.

When my dd was in a private class her learning was disrupted rather than the other way round.

AThingInYourLife Thu 11-Oct-12 09:36:28

People have a strange attitude to violence by children/teenagers.

There is a general acceptance of the idea that none of us should accept violence, or the threat if violence in our homes, on the streets, in our workplaces.

And yet it is regularly argued on here that violence by children (which seems to include everyone under the age of 18) is not their fault, and therefore must be endured by their victims.

When you have had to explain to a teenager who has been hospitalised in an attack by a classmate that she will have to face her attacker every day at school because the exclusion was overturned on appeal, you know you are failing to provide the minimum protection a child should expect from their school.

Whatever the complex reasons for one adolescent being so dangerous to her peers, failing to keep 29 other pupils safe is not justifiable.

They have a right to go to school without fear of GBH.

choccyp1g Thu 11-Oct-12 09:39:37

MoreBeta, surely your DCs school is just doing the easy bit, teaching the 75%.

Some other school has to cope with the rest, unless yours has separate provision for them.

Goldidi Thu 11-Oct-12 09:47:11

I would love to be able to remove the disruptive children from my classroom more easily so I could focus on the pupils who really do want to learn. I wouldn't want to see all children with SN put into separate classrooms though, they are generally not the pupils I have difficulties with on a day to day basis, they have specific needs which have to be addressed but that is far easier than dealing with the fights and bitchiness that come from some of the pupils without SN.

I do feel very sorry for primary children/teachers especially where they have to put up with the disruptive behaviour of a few pupils all day every day. At least in secondary I can have a nightmare class (or a class with a significant minority of disruptive pupils) for an hour but then I change classes and deal with different children (possibly with a different set of disruptions). The kids get a break too as they are in different groups for different subjects in most schools.

Goldidi Thu 11-Oct-12 09:51:45

I completely agree with you there Thing. I was assaulted by a 15yo pupil in a previous school, his exclusion was overturned on appeal dispite having a class full of witnesses to the assault, and I was expected to still teach him for 4 hours per week. Luckily my head of department was more reasonable than senior management and moved that child out of my class into his own.

Pupils in that situation are still expected to see their attacker on a daily basis, and regularly spend 3 or 4 hours a day in the same classes. It's not an acceptable situation.

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 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).,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.

AmberLeaf Thu 11-Oct-12 11:27:20

My child with SN is disruptive because his needs are not met as they should be.

If they are he isn't disruptive. So I wouldn't define him as disruptive. But I know he can be and why.

ivykaty44 Thu 11-Oct-12 11:28:05

Kim - make education the forbidden fruit and then there will be changes in attitude. At the same time stop education being compulsory.

Having see in India the pristine well turned out children who are spotless and then you see the shack where they live and the pride that they wear their uniform it is amazing smile

Brycie there is a secondary near us does something similar.

To graduate they have to.

Have 95% attendance except in case of severe medical issues.
Raise £15 for charity
Contribute x amount of hours to community
Meet all their personal behavioural and work targets.

Children who do get a badge and a trip away.
Children who don't are given chance well before the trip to do so.

It is very heavily supported for children who struggle or sen so they don't fail because of extra needs.

The first year they did it the disruptive kids thought they would go anyway or "didn't care"

The class was taken to Alton towers paid for.

Funnily enough the next year they all passed.

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 11:36:54

Whistling - I want streaming by ability because it is easier to teach children in a classroom who all fit in a narrow ability band.

We really do have to get away from one size fits all or the mirror image of that which is stealth selection by 'house price' as happens around all high league table state schools.

I agree with streaming, why would higher ability children need first pick at schools to get that. All secondaries here stream at 11 from day one.

What i have issue with is coppertop asked what about her able ds and you didn't want him either as he would take up to much of teachers time in your opinion.

That's not streaming that's excluding.

To stream at primary out of the whole class thing you would need four classes each year. Its not do able in most state schools.

There will be sen children in your dc class you don't even realise are sen. No one apart from teacher and senco had realised dd was sen as she is quiet and gets on with it.

It wasn't until a ta who had a daughter in same class as dd went in to cover her one to one support that anyone of the parents knew.

Goldidi Thu 11-Oct-12 11:47:08

Whistling that sounds like a nice idea with the trip being based on behaviour targets, etc. Our school supposedly do that but then the disruptive pupils get a chance about 3 or 4 weeks before the trip to 'show a big imporvement', which means they behave well for those 3 or 4 weeks and get to go on the trip before going back to being disruptive as soon as the trip is over hmm. Then the whole thing repeats the following year and the decent, well-behaved kids get more and more dis-illusioned by it all as they've followed all the rules all year yet have to share the prize with people who only had to follow the rules for a few weeks.

I won't even mention the trips and schemes that only badly-behaved pupils are allowed to access. Why do the kids who cause disruption to everyone get to go bowling/rock-climbing/work experience when the others stay in school to do academic subjects (that are not always the most suitable thing for less academic pupils)? Surely the hard-working, well-behaved kids deserve those activities too. I suppose at least those schemes take the disruption out of the classroom and mean teachers can actually focus on the kids who want to learn.

sheepsgomeeping Thu 11-Oct-12 11:47:51

Can someone please answer me this?

Why is it always assumed the parents of a disruptive kid don't give a shit?

Because its not always the case is it?

I'd say many children are disruptive because of underlying issues, stuff going on at home not just because their parents are telling them that school is a waste of time and no point. Lets face it there are some truly crap teachers that fail to engage with their pupils or just can't teach or should have retired years ago.

My own ds, year 7 last year was disruptive and agressive and really did cause a problem in some of his lessons and a headache for those who taught him. He has ADHD and has now started assessment for ASD {hooray, finally!}

His dad and I worked closely with the school (who were crap) to try and help him, he was told by us that school was important and if he wanted to become a plumber then he needed to behave and try really hard. He had boundaries and consequences at home and we fully supported the schools decison to suspend him 3 times. Strangely the only lessons he didnt act up in were the ones he engaged with the teacher, the ones who understood and helped him.

Year 8 now and he is in a different school, the pastoral care there is much better and he seems to be doing well. Much happier boy!

zzzzz Thu 11-Oct-12 11:48:11

But streaming by ability won't remove disruptive or sn kids from your classroom. All it will do is neatly pigeon hole the dc from an early age, limit there ability to interact with all parts of the population, and quite possibly allow for quite hideous opportunities for inequality of provision.

bochead Thu 11-Oct-12 11:55:01

In a sense we already do charge for quality education in this country. Those who can afford it either buy and expensive house near the best state schools OR pay fees aka the Prime Minister's parents.

Everyone else gets to go to whatever educational provision is left over once the rich have taken their pick. If you live in a poor area, near a school whose students are from homes suffering from the poverty of aspiration and money then you does the best you can with what you have. ( The advent of online schooling may just tilt the balance for some kids with keen parents eventually.)

If you can't afford to live in the catchment of the best state school, or pay school fees on top of your taxes - TOUGH, you have the "option" to earn the fees for Eton and choose not to do so wink/sarc

In a society more concerned with genuine social mobility - a really high quality state education would be available to all. I think people just need to accept that schools merely reflect the priorities of the wider society in which they are based. The UK is still a very class-based society, whether we are willing to accept that or not. As the gap between the haves & have-nots increasingly widen, so will the gaps in educational opportunities for our children.

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 11:57:22

bochead - agree wholeheartedly with that.

Goldidi Thu 11-Oct-12 12:09:30

sheeps i don't assume at all that the parents of disruptive children don't give a shit. I know that out of the disruptive children i teach, some of them have parents who don't give a shit and some of them have parents who are trying very hard and working with school to try and improve the situation. I would also agree that some teachers aren't very good at engaging the disruptive pupils I'm possibly one of them sometimes.

The isssue of disruption in class, particularly the low-level invasive disruption, is a really hard one to know how to tackle. There are so many different reasons going on even in one class, even with one child, that there isn't any quick fix for it. Consistency within a school helps, good teaching helps, parental support helps, high expectations help, reward systems and sanctions(that are consistently applied) help, but there isn't really any one thing that sorts it out once and for all.

It can be demoralising for other pupils in classes full of disruption, and for the staff that teach them. We do need to try and figure out why pupils are being disruptive, help them sort out their issues, etc. I don't think that is necessarily the job of the teacher within the classroom though, it needs to be more of a whole school task with parental involvement as well. Within the lesson that a child is disrupting it seems to me that removing that disruption from the other children so they can recieve the teaching they need is a more immediate need than analysing the causes of the disruption. It would be great if all schools could have someone to sort out why particular pupils are disruptive in particular subjects, but lack of money and time stops us from being able to provide that.

kim147 Thu 11-Oct-12 12:17:51

We've just had an hour of ICT. Funny - no misbehaviour. Apart from one pupil walking to another pupil and calling her a f** b**.

But when we actually have to do "work" - as in maths, writing or thinking, then the issues start. Those listening skills, telling each other to shut up - and the sanctions don't have much effect. One child I can handle - yesterday I had 3 separate issues all kicking off at hometime between 6 pupils. All at the same time. I can tell you the causes - all issues brought in from outside school. Nothing I have any control over. sad

kim147 Thu 11-Oct-12 12:18:52

I just don't know how to get some children to value education. But I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

Goldidi Thu 11-Oct-12 12:29:01

You definitely aren't alone in that Kim. I had a horrible afternoon yesterday too so I sympathise. In my class of 22 year 8 pupils I had 6 who took up a lot of the hour I have with them due to issues unconnected to my Maths lesson. What happened to the 16 who were ready to learn? They tried their best to do what I was asking them to do but struggled because the explanation was disjointed due to the behaviour of the others, and couldn't get the help they needed because I was dealing with the behaviour of the others. I felt very sorry for them and was doing my best but there is only one of me and I can't do everything at once.

pongysticks Thu 11-Oct-12 12:59:54

Kin147 - the only way that children would value education is to take it away - or ship them to other countries where the children walk for miles and miles to attend school. - I'm afraid the generation of children we have on our hands are spoilt and don't appreciate much in life at all.

pongysticks Thu 11-Oct-12 13:01:19

Maybe lessons in EDUCATION as a topic would help? the history, the evolution, the reasons, why they are lucky and how it will benefit them. Maybe we are neglecting to tell our children why they need to listen and just expecting them to understand?

soverylucky Thu 11-Oct-12 13:32:29

It is important to separate disruptive because of SN or just down right naughty.

What would help (but will never happen because of money) is much smaller class sizes, more 1:1 support for those who need it, more vocational courses and better pay for teachers. There are some rubbish teachers out there that doesn't help things. I would like it to have a higher status in society than it does now. I would also like to see classrooms that are fit for purpose. Not overcrowded with leaking roofs - too many old buildings are being used still.

marjproops Thu 11-Oct-12 13:44:29

Im with Couthymow and Brycie on this.

And Im a teacher too.

wordfactory Thu 11-Oct-12 13:49:04

kim I think it is very difficult to get DC to value education if their parents and peers don't.

I had a very disadvanatged upbringing but despite my Mother being shockingly dyslexic and leaving school at 15, she valued my education ebyond anything. She instilled in me that it was The Thing that would help me leave the blessed estate where were living.

I can't remember a time when I didn't want to go to university. Or when my Mother didn't expect me to go. She even started an insurance policy when I was born (it had to be cashed in during one f our infamous and regular financial crises but it's the thought that mattered). She taught me to respect books (despite struggling to read herself), to relish everything about my education.

If you haven't got that at home, then it's very difficult to overcome reluctance in a child.

ilikemysleep Thu 11-Oct-12 14:23:12

morebeta you outrage me. I understand that you choose to privately educate, but if you did not, I assume your precious children would be in the 'higher 50%' who would be getting the pick of the schools if you were in charge of education policy.

Let's imagine, heaven forbid, that one of your children falls off their pony or has a car accident and sustains a brain injury. This includes a loss of cognitive skills. And pushes her IQ down to 97, or 87, or 77...any one of those IQs fall in the lower 50% of IQ scores (though of the three only 77 is outside of average range). Now she won't be one of the lucky ones getting to pick her school. She has to wait it out with the other thickos to see where she's put. And when the allocation comes through, it's a rubbish school, because the deserving cleverer children got the best school places. And she'll be in a class full of disruptive kids because , again, they are no longer spread thinly across schools they are all dumped in this one school that the clever kids didn't want.

Does your system seem so good now?

Of course she'll be in class with my amazingly intelligent son (assessed at 98th percentile for intelligence) who has also failed this eleven plus scheme because he has asperger syndrome and is a perfectionist, so he gets every question on the eleven plus correct but completes less than half of each paper, obtaining an overall score of 47%. So that will be alright then.

ilikemysleep Thu 11-Oct-12 14:27:56

On no, morebeta my mistake, my DS would have been disbarred from the 'eleven plus' in your system by virtue of having identified SEN....

His additional needs centre largely around the need for mindful teaching so that adults don't assume he is being rude when he is unable to answer their questions, and some discretion with regard to his very poor handwriting.

He is the best in class at science, top set maths, excellent literacy but doesn't get enough written.

Please don't assume you have a good understanding of SEN enough to judge appropriate schooling for children purely based on them having sen.

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 14:46:08

ilikemysleep - erm..... no. Your DS would go to a school without disruptive/violent children where he would find teachers specialising in SEN teaching.

Presumably that is better than what you now might get with DS if he had the bad luck of going to a state school where he may find disruptive/violent children and teacher struggling to not only cope with that as well as a widely varied mixed ability class.

Not sure I would want my SEN (having fallen off a horse or under a car) child going into that environment.

Honestly, we started discusisng this thread witha question about whether everyone should pay for education.


What I want is disruptive/violent children excluded and children in a class that suits their ability and needs. My DSs current private school actually delivers that with another SEN private school just up the road if their needs were more severe. Private can work but only if the state gives out vouchers and we allow specialisation, selection and streaming.

I think people are getting annoyed morebeta because you said that even if a child was academically able and not disruptive you still wouldn't want them in your dc class because they MAY take more of the teachers time.

So you want that 10% or what ever it was in a sen classroom.

What about a none sen none disruptive child who takes up lots of teachers time (and I've worked with many) would they have to move to.

And then you have your stated sen class you want to dump them all in which has children with high IQ and children barely writing in?

But its the average and above should get to pick any school they want and all the kids including none sen who are just not academic and NEED the best schools can just go fish that got me.

And why would ilikemysleep s ds need to go to a sen school. He is 98% intelligence, he needs longer to complete work and a teacher who understands his responses. All teachers should be able to do that. Why should he be segregated?

My dd is on autistic spectrum. She wants to be a surgeon.
There Is no reason she can't be. We know a surgeon with aspergers.

There's a reason statemented kids get priority for schools, because they need it more.

Lets not forget a man deemed not able by his school
who would achieve nothing has just won a Nobel prize.

kim147 Thu 11-Oct-12 15:42:52

I've worked with a lot of children with special needs. Most of these children are not disruptive. The ones I deal with are the ones who shout out, who snatch, are horrible to each other, who interrupt, who think they are entitled to disrupt others learning.

It's not special needs. It's the way these children are and how they interact. I've worked in some tough schools but it still shocks and worries me to see how full of anger some children are.

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 15:53:59

Whistling - the bottom line is whether a child can sit in a classroom and not demand a disproportionate amount of a teachers time compared with other children whether that be because of SEN or because they are violent/disruptive.

Really, I do not in any way equate SEN with violent/disruptive.

My DSs school is academically selective but not excessively so. They expect all children to do A levels but not necessarily go on to university. They cater for SEN children up to a level they feel they can handle within the school resources and subject teacher skill set. They have some specialist SEN support teachers.

Your son may do very well indeed at my DSs school. He may need more support at the specialist SEN school nearby. I don't know. They are both private schools. The private sector can do the job - but I really don't think we can start demanding all parents pay.

Want2bSupermum Thu 11-Oct-12 16:07:09

You can't incentivise education with money. It has to come from within. This is why I support streaming children based on their personality/ability. Those who want to learn shouldn't be disrupted. Those with issues at home should have the support so they view education as a way to escape those problems and build a better life for themselves. It isn't productive or fair to those in the classroom to mix those children with others who don't face the same challenges.

Also, parents need to be more supportive. I am not a teacher but if a teacher told me that my child was distruptive in class they would be in trouble and I would work with the teacher to resolve the issue. I have friends who complain about their child's teacher. They don't like when I tell them their child needs to speak up and adapt. Even if a teacher is 'wrong' they are always right. Just like in real life when your boss is 'wrong' but always right.

Abra1d Thu 11-Oct-12 16:18:17

Kim147--I hear you. It shocks me how complacent some parents are about their children's behaviour. And often they are parents from backgrounds where they ought to know better and for whom no excuses can be made for poverty, disability or special needs.

ilikemysleep Thu 11-Oct-12 16:31:09


The thing is, even SEN children have human rights. Your child has a right to be taught as free as possible from disruption, I can accept that.

My son has a human right to attend his local mainstream school unless he cannot cope with it or is so disrupting the education of other children that he is compromising their education. This is already the law; it is why specialist schools and permanent exclusions exist.

The fact that you think my incredibly smart and very quiet boy should be segregated simply by virtue of his social quirks in case he might disrupt someone else's education is amazing to me. In actual fact I don't think there can be a child who demands less teacher time; teachers have to remind themselves that he is there as he is so unassuming.

In my earlier example your child post brain injury with the IQ of now 97 or 87 would not count as SEN. An IQ of 97 would put her at about 46th percentile and 87 at about 17th percentile. That's just 'worse mainstream' school.

I understand you are grappling with an issue that is very real for many people in thinking about their children's education. However you cannot pick on a category and make arrangements for segregation based solely on that category because it is edging on eugenics theory and is arbitary. How about we segregate children based on their race instead of their SEN status or intelligence? Or has that already been tried?!

MoreBeta Thu 11-Oct-12 18:03:10

ilikemysleep - I don't think your DS should be excluded because of his social quirks.

He sounds A LOT like a boy at DSs school in Year 8. The boy I am thinking of has some kind of SEN but I dont know exactly what. According to DS he is well behaved in class and is well above national average in his academic ability. He happens to be extremely good at music and the school has a great music department so he does very well there.

However, he is very socially isolated and spends most of his day outside lessons totally alone. The school just can't provide the intensive support he needs. I does not disrupt classes or impose an undue burden on teachers - but on the other hand the school cannot provide all the support he needs.

Genuinley I wonder if it is the right school for this particular boy.

See I understand that bit only I don't think the child needs a better/different school but I do think ALL schools should have training to develop social skills.

My dd did time to talk program to develop social skills. This was done by a ta a couple of times a week outside of class in reception and year one.

The thing is that bright boy would not have the same job/uni prospects the second you put special school on his cv. For the sake of social skills that current school could develop easily.

My dd on the other hand prefers to work on her own although she isn't isolated and does have people she plays with.

niceguy2 Thu 11-Oct-12 18:25:59

The problem is we've created a world where the kids are practically untouchable.

They do what they like with practically no consequences. What can a school do now? Put them in a special room. Big deal. Where's the deterrent?

Permanent exclusions no longer really mean permanent. Governor's and LEA's overturn the head's decisions all the time. The system is designed now to discourage exclusions.

There's a girl at my daughter's school. A real bully who isn't afraid to get physical. She's been given so many chances it's disgusting. But because they know how to spin a sob story and work the system they just keep giving her more chances. Oh have a suspension. Great! She hates school anyway. It's like a holiday for her!

But at what point do we say "Sod her education. She's had her chances. She's too disruptive on everyone else and we need to send a firm signal out to everyone else."

I get that everyone has a right to an education but rights come with responsibilities. If you are not prepared to learn and continually disrupt others then personally I think you are not living up to your side of the bargain. In which case why the fuck should we continue to fund their education and all the other kids suffer?

Agree niceguy. We had a really disruptive NT child in class and educational psychologist told us we weren't even allowed to take him out of class when he was aggressive.

grovel Thu 11-Oct-12 18:42:12

niceguy, I broadly agree with you but I would do what the Americans do. They send the (willfully) disruptive to special schools and no parents want that stigma.
Eton teaches 1200 adolescent boys with the same propensity for rudeness, boorishness and ill-discipline as any other bunch of boys of the same age. I know they've got smaller classes etc but they've also got punishments that teenagers hate. Classroom behaviour is not a problem. If they want to misbehave (and they do) they don't do it with a teacher in the room.

niceguy2 Thu 11-Oct-12 19:02:08

The other thing nowadays which dismays me is the blind loyalty to your kids and defending the indefensible.

Back in my day if I came home with a crap report I'd get a REALLY tough time. Nowadays the parents would give the teachers a REALLY tough time.

Ditto with getting in trouble. If the teachers gave me a hiding, the last person I'd go tell is my dad. He'd probably give me a pasting too for getting a pasting at school!

The thing that has changed is once upon a time the parents were by & large unified. They stuck together. Nowadays they don't. Parents stick up blindly for their kids in the face of a mountain of evidence. Psychologists, advisers/whatever all mean well but often contradict common sense. See above about disruptive kids not being allowed to remove them. It's plain common sense!

So as the old saying goes, united we stand, divided we fall. And as adults we're far from united. And the kids are learning all the wrong lessons.

DoverBeach Thu 11-Oct-12 19:04:10

Are you really saying that the reason that Eton has few discipline problems is that their punishment regime is better? I have some disruptive students in one of my classes and the reasons for their poor behaviour are almost exclusively down to social problems and their special educational needs. eg. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, exposure to domestic violence, chaotic home life, alcohol/drug use, looked after children.

They give up easily, have low self esteem, see few prospects for themselves, have few role models in their families, cannot resolve conflicts and find it hard to deal with their emotions.

I think Eton is less likely to encounter these sorts of problems!

wordfactory Thu 11-Oct-12 19:22:15

niceguy I hear parnets excusing behaviours all the time. It really is pathetic.

I have been fortunate in that the schools my DC have attended will not pander to such rubbish. Last year a boy received a punishment for poor manners and the mother immediately picked up the phone to argue with the HT about it.

She told me he said. 'Sorry Mrs X but there is absolutely nothing to discuss and ended the conversation.'

She expected me to be horrified but I was actually impressed. What the boy did was indefensible. He needed to take his punishment and suck it up. Mum should have concurred.

grovel Thu 11-Oct-12 19:28:35

DoverBeach, I regretted my post as soon as I pushed the button. Sorry. I used the word "willfully" to try to differentiate between students with SEN and those who are casually offensive but I still got it wrong.

I was trying to make a point about those kids who just don't care (but could).

kim147 Thu 11-Oct-12 19:33:51

"I have some disruptive students in one of my classes and the reasons for their poor behaviour are almost exclusively down to social problems and their special educational needs. eg. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, exposure to domestic violence, chaotic home life, alcohol/drug use, looked after children.

They give up easily, have low self esteem, see few prospects for themselves, have few role models in their families, cannot resolve conflicts and find it hard to deal with their emotions."

That pretty much sums up my class this week. sad How do you handle all that when you are also trying to include all those children who are not disruptive?

Want2bSupermum Thu 11-Oct-12 19:34:16

I went to a top flight selective school and many of the girls had brothers at Eton. There were discipline problems but they were dealt with quickly and effectively because the teachers had the support of the parents.

Dover You would be shocked at the issues my friends faced. In my year of 90 one girls father committed suicide infront of her and her mother was an alcoholic, another girls parents were coke heads, a couple of girls were sexually abused, domestic violence was an issue for my sisters friend and she went 'home' to a foster family. This was a school where the fees were GBP30K a year and they were in the top 20 schools based on results.

These girls had special needs that were provided for and the school had a full time psycologist plus visiting specialists to assist girls with specific problems. If the girls didn't behave they were expelled. Low self esteem is a bigger problem at a school like Eton than you would think. My school spent a lot of time on confidence building activities. It isn't easy being 'the daughter of' and trying to make your own mark. The fear of failure can result in low self esteem.

DoverBeach Thu 11-Oct-12 19:43:52

Interesting post, Want2bSupermum. Sadly, being born into a rich family doesn't insulate children from all of these problems. I wonder if the structure provided by a boarding school (regular meals, bed times, parental figures, aspirations) allows the students to (at least temporarily )escape from the chaos they experience at home which is just not possible for state school students. I have noticed that disruptive behaviour increases as the summer holidays approach as these children anticipate losing the 'safety' of school for six weeks.

DoverBeach Thu 11-Oct-12 19:46:29


If I knew, I would tell you! It's bloody hard isn't it?

Want2bSupermum Thu 11-Oct-12 19:58:46

Dover The assisted places scheme was used by many local authorities to help children escape their homelife. I know the girl whose homelife included a lot of domestic abuse was able to attend the school through the scheme and I wouldn't be surprised if it came out that other girls were also at the school through the scheme because of their homelife.

It is a shame that so many people think boarding schools are for the wealthy only. I think a lot of children, especially boys who are disruptive, would benefit from attending a school at the was able to provide structure.

kim147 Thu 11-Oct-12 20:05:13

" I think a lot of children, especially boys who are disruptive, would benefit from attending a school at the was able to provide structure. "

You mean take them away from their parents, provide them with routine, structure and stability.

Isn't that what parents are supposed to do?

Want2bSupermum Thu 11-Oct-12 20:29:24

By the time a child reaches secondary school the parents have had a fair shot at providing structure. If this is assessed to be a problem affecting the development of the child then I think it is only right to try boarding school. Boarding isn't right for every child but I think some thrive in that enviroment. It also might be the case that the parents of disruptive children would welcome a change in approach and be happy to give boarding a chance.

redbusandbigben Thu 11-Oct-12 21:16:02

Education here is charged - there is so much debate about 11+, tutor fees, private education all of these do come at a cost.

Lots of parents do not send their child to the local secondary for the reasons you state - those one or two disruptive students in the class who take up teacher time and taking that teacher time away from the other 28 who want to learn..

I am one of those parents - I did not want DS1 to go to the local secondary and I wanted him to go to the grammar school. I am fortunate that I had a choice and DS1 wants to learn - I don't want him messing about in class I want him learning stuff and he wants to learn too. I don't want him sitting in class waiting for the teacher to deal with the class idiots before she can get on with the lesson.

This is why I chose to send him to grammar because most there are of a similar ilk and do want to learn, and not to arse around!

And so, sent DS2 to a different school as he arses around as he can't engage due to dyslexia - he gets special classes to help him as he finds learning difficult. It's not that he has SEN he just could not survive in the same classroom as DS1.

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