Teachers and recent pupils: how representative is Educating Yorkshire?

(70 Posts)
WhatWillSantaBring Wed 30-Oct-13 16:14:53

Genuinely just that really.

I fully admit that I have led a privileged and sheltered life, and my education was at private school throughout. I have also been watching Harrow (on Sky 1) and although I went to a much crapper very minor private school, and it was nearly 20 years ago (shit!), I still recognise huge chunks of that programme from my own education.

So for those in education (or recent leavers) how representative EY is of comprehensive education as a whole, as it was fundamentally different to my own education. I realise that it is very hard to generalise, and schools will vary enormously, but how much of your current or recent school do you recognise?

I have one and half DC at pre-school age, and no relatives/close friends with secondary age children, so I am genuinely curious.

(apologies if this thread has been done already but I couldn't find it on a search)

Scoutfinch1 Sat 02-Nov-13 15:26:36

I went to a comp in Yorkshire (only left 5 years ago so pretty recent) I was not shocked or surprised by any of the pupils behaviour and if anything I thought it was pretty tame if that was the worst that they could find for tv. The head teacher is much more involved than any of ours every were though. I'm not sure if it is representative but there certainly are schools like it and much worse.

maddy68 Sat 02-Nov-13 14:06:14

I would say that educating you're shire is a fairly typical example of most of the schools I have taught in

soul2000 Sat 02-Nov-13 13:25:32

Hannah is a bright girl who was let down by having to go to Thornhill. The reason i say that is that Hannah is the type of girl who will do just about the same as the others when she is capable of so much more.
In a academic school Hannah would probably have achieved a bunch of A grades
being driven on by the other pupils. Hannah is capable of much more academic work, sadly she will drift until she is about 28 or so and then realize that she is very bright. I know many people like Hannah and its a sad indictment that in some schools certain pupils potential is not harnessed.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with hair and beauty. Don't assume prejudice where there is none.

Except for the girl who wanted to be cabin crew and Hannah in the last episode who got better grades than expected, it seemed it was the only thing they were going on to do.

It's just so stereotypical, and they could have done other things such as retail, hospitaity or leisure, let alone predominantly male (and better paid) trades such as plumbing and engineering.

FlabbyAdams Sat 02-Nov-13 11:43:20

Whats wrong with Hair and Beauty. Most beauty courses have a level 3 A&P aspect. People do tend to look at Hair and Beauty as "bimbo " trades and it really pisses me off because the level of training required is not basic.

Its also a trade for life. Also I read somewhere recently that there is more job satisfaction with work/home balance in trades such as hair and beauty above professional careers such as law and medicine because they are easier for women to fit into family life later on and career progression is big with the explosion in this type of business and the ability to become self employed.

TBH - people that go onto college to study at a similar level lots of other course will leave without a trade or skill into anything and end up with a career of doing what ever comes their way. That concerns me more.

I am not a Beautician or Hairdresser btw.

curlew Sat 02-Nov-13 10:38:24

"What saddened me was how many of the girls ended up going to college to do hair and beauty. There was aspiration in terms of getting GCSEs, but not much challenge and push to do more with their lives past formal education."

I suppose we don't really know that. The school gets good results and has a good OFSTED- so there must have been other kids doing more academic-y things. But see my ds's comment below!

SirChenjin Sat 02-Nov-13 10:28:06

And I'm speaking as someone whose school career spanned both England and Scotland.

SirChenjin Sat 02-Nov-13 10:26:39

"How can you claim this is not representative with so many differences?"

The differences you describe are to do with the structure of the education system. Some teenagers, however, behave the same north of the border (or rather, would do if they are allowed to get away with it), teachers face the same problems, and the same social problems exist. We're really not that different wink

What saddened me was how many of the girls ended up going to college to do hair and beauty. There was aspiration in terms of getting GCSEs, but not much challenge and push to do more with their lives past formal education. They seemed happy for all these reasonable bright, articulate girls to go into a traditionally female, low-paid career path.

Agree that the Scottish system is very different, and so not comparing like with like.

sashh Sat 02-Nov-13 07:39:36

I disagree. I'm not a teacher but I have friends who are teachers in Scottish comprehensives, teens who attend a very socially diverse school, and friends whose children attend other high schools.

Scotland has a different education system, different exams/qualifications, junior and secondary are different years to England. I believe (but tell me if I'm wrong) the funding is also different.

How can you claim this is not representative with so many differences?

curlew Sat 02-Nov-13 01:18:05

I asked my ds -and he said that there are kids like that in his school, but he and his mates wouldn't make good telly. He said "Who would want to watch "Robert and Callum are in their maths lesson. At lunchtime, they are going to philosophy club. Tomorrow, they have an away football match, so they will need to get their homework done at lunchtime"

FlabbyAdams Sat 02-Nov-13 01:08:48

I have loved watching EY and have just started to watch the 1st series Education Essex on E4 on a Thursday evening.

I have to say I went private for a a few years (minor unheard of now closed school) and then a comp. EY is very simialr to what my school days at my comp were like. I left school in 1988.

So I am guessing that its pretty similar tbh or not too far off the mark although like what has already been said - the daily mundane stuff wont make it onto TV.

LordPalmerston Sat 02-Nov-13 01:04:04

The deputy says in thd guardian article that they wanted more academic kids on it more too.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Fri 01-Nov-13 16:37:12

Nothing like the inner-city, very deprived school I teach at but then we are in the south and very multi-cultural. However I think the dedication of the staff is typical.

feelingood Fri 01-Nov-13 14:19:33

Yes very similar to a school i have taught in.

Every school has its own 'personality' if you like which is influenced by the cathement areas it serves and the staff of the school. This result in schools that are very different in ethos, standards and outcomes.

WhatWillSantaBring Fri 01-Nov-13 14:08:24

I wish I'd seen more of the series (I came to it late) - as Lord P said earlier, people shouldn't be surprised at the pastoral care, but the point is, I was! I think there is an AWFUL lot that middle little Englanders don't know and understand about education at the moment, basing their experiences on last century, their grammars and private schools. Fact: I have a former friend who has decided not to have children based solely on the fact that she and her DH cannot afford private education.

EY and the grammar school thread have genuinely changed my understanding about current secondary education in this country and although I think the discipline issues seen in EY are scary, it is really encouraging and fabulous for the teaching profession to see some of the extra emotional work that they put in.

Lord P - very very aware the mc parents give their children a whole world of shit as well, but I suspect the type of shit is subtly different (and therefore the reaction / behavioural traits from the DC can be quite different).

I can also understand why as a teacher you might not get a parent involved - I'm guessing that you (as teachers) start being able to read/predict parental behaviour pretty quickly, and learn how to spot the ones that would do more harm than good in such a situation.

MiaowTheCat Fri 01-Nov-13 12:46:16

Fairly normal from what I've seen at the upper end of primaries feeding into the secondaries in some of the more "interesting" parts of town. Obviously they've picked a fairly small and "television-interesting" group of kids to focus on (although they did focus on the school council lad in the first programme who seemed to be one who had his head fairly well screwed on) and same with the staff - from the number who obviously consented to be filmed the school appears to have a smaller staffing number than bloody Waterloo Road!

Talkinpeace Fri 01-Nov-13 12:07:17

Just a quick point regarding the pupil where they did not get the parent involved.

There will be one heck of a back story there.
State schools know that with certain families, if you push them too hard the kid just stops coming to school and roams the streets getting into trouble.
There are also parents who cannot come into the school for various reasons

Also, state schools indeed try desperately not to permanently exclude pupils because that way prison lies
BUT
they are getting much more imaginative with the use of fixed term exclusions to PRUs (which the school has to fund out of its budget share by the way)
and PRUs are being run better than the cages they used to be.

As per the grammar school thread - there were some really unpleasant people saying that they did not care what happened to disruptive kids. Which is incredibly short sighted and blinkered.
We may not want to deal with them, but we have to accept that somebody will, funded out of our taxes.

Alexandrite Fri 01-Nov-13 11:32:02

Agreed SirChenjin

HmmAnOxfordComma Fri 01-Nov-13 11:30:57

It was a shame we didn't see much of the more academic and engaged students.

I don't believe in naming individual students or staff on a public forum but there were plenty of both I would have liked to have seen more of.

SirChenjin Fri 01-Nov-13 11:18:54

Hmmm - I completely agree that no child should be scared to go to school, absolutely. However, I also care about the perception of state schools in the media (I don't see the 2 as being mutually exclusive), especially when there are teachers across the UK working extremely hard to provide the best education they can for their pupils on limited budgets (no private school fees to draw upon there).

To present state schools as being synonymous with low attainment, poor quality of teaching and appalling levels of behaviour is not helpful, and doesn't reflect the great work that does go on - but that wouldn't make good TV I suppose sad

LordPalmerston Fri 01-Nov-13 11:03:13

Did they get good results compared to their stats? Thats the q

Alexandrite Fri 01-Nov-13 11:02:44

Ofsted reports seem to always say whether children feel happy and safe now, which they base on pupil and parent feedback. Obviously that wouldn't have been the case when we were at school, but now it should be reflected in the ofsted if children don't feel safe

HmmAnOxfordComma Fri 01-Nov-13 11:02:19

I agree with that, and the timing of the Harrow programme was clearly unfortunate/deliberate?

It is wrong if the perception of all state schools is skewed by programmes like these, but really, I don't particularly care about individual or groups of schools' reputations; but I do care about students having to go to school and be scared (which as I said can be the case even in schools which are on paper 'better' schools than Thornhill).

Ilovemyrabbits Fri 01-Nov-13 10:59:22

DD is 12 and attends a secondary school in Yorkshire. It's a good comp with a great reputation, and it has mixed intake covering different socio-economic groups and ethnicities. She says her school has some incidents like those shown in the programme, but not many of the teachers are as nice and they don't even know their head teacher. In her 2 years at the school, she's rarely seen him and never been spoken to by him.

I love how some people put the Head of this school down and say he's an idiot. He has a staff who work with him as a team, staff who genuinely seem to respect him and back him up. That's not easy in any management team. He has time for the kids and they seem to respect him on the whole. He hasn't had any child being rude to him directly. All the children seemed to show him respect. He's raised the results in a struggling school from appalling to more than acceptable. His staff seem relaxed and happy, as far as they can, and they go the extra mile. I have a great deal of respect for the man.

I do think that some people have a very hallowed view of how education should work and have no idea of what kind of children teachers have to deal with these days and the limited constraints they have to work within. Some of these kids in Thornhill have horrid home lives. Some of them have so little chance of success in life, but seeing teachers treating them with respect and helping them to achieve, that has to be a good thing, doesn't it?

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