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To think that if we charged for schooling here

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

Whistlingwaves Thu 11-Oct-12 18:25:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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?

Whistlingwaves Thu 11-Oct-12 18:40:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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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