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To think that letters home from school should not be hopping with typos, misused words and bad grammar?

(137 Posts)
ReanimatedSGB Wed 06-Mar-19 15:27:00

I was annoyed enough with the Momo letter anyway (yeah, thanks for including a picture of the fucking thing, DS had nightmares) but it's riddled with bad grammar and spelling errors. Now the school newsletter announces that 'Exam's' will be starting next month.

AIBU to email them a notice of my hourly rates for proofreading?

exLtEveDallas Sat 09-Mar-19 09:57:06

Fuckadoodle. I didn't proof read this weeks newsletter and I've just read it. 11 mistakes. angry. I can just imagine what our parents are thinking now...

ForalltheSaints Thu 07-Mar-19 18:32:49

OP you are not unreasonable, and a cursory check would only take a minute at most.

TheNoodlesIncident Thu 07-Mar-19 18:12:08

I didn't miss the point regarding the dodgy spelling of drawers, that is a typical and obvious misspelling! Hence my saying "either" to show there was more than one issue!

MY point was: if you are going to criticise someone else's mistakes, you better make sure that you haven't made any yourself. I thought that would be evident, clearly I was wrong confused

Footle Thu 07-Mar-19 17:57:30

@Bunnybigears , you'd have been hanged, not hung.

IrmaFayLear Thu 07-Mar-19 17:54:32

I should have said academically superior. I'm sure someone will be along to say that it doesnt matter weather its' witch or which as long as they are good with there children.

IrmaFayLear Thu 07-Mar-19 17:51:24

There was a bit of friction at the dcs' primary school because the support staff were all superior to the teachers! It was odd when the class teacher had a qualification from (ahem) JustFoundedLastWeek University and the TA a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge.

What happened to Miss Read type teachers? When I was at school (1970s) teachers all seemed to be older, tweedier and would never have made a spelling or grammatical error.

Jinglejanglefish Thu 07-Mar-19 17:33:26


The main issue there is the word ‘draws’.

Byebyebyebye Thu 07-Mar-19 17:05:39

I work in school admin. I have a history degree from a top university. I went to a grammar school. My SPAG is perfect 🤣. In fact it's the best in the school. I've downshifted for various reasons and actually I am the happiest I've ever been in any job. All the support staff at my school are vastly overqualified. Never make assumptions about anyone's educational levels based on the job they do!

MillicentMartha Wed 06-Mar-19 23:52:45

TheNoodlesIncident the issue is that they should be drawers not draws! grin

FrancisCrawford Wed 06-Mar-19 23:05:51

State Funded schools use, for want of a better word, templates detailing the skills required of Support Staff in Education (and other departments) for recruitment, assessment, appraisal and setting the appropriate levels on the pay scales

Oh, you mean Job Competencies. Most people are familiar with those.

Never heard them called “National Employment Competencies/Standards”. That sounds very bureaucratic - and even the Civil Service just calls them Competencies.

Their primary function isn’t to set salaries, as you first stated. It is to set out the role and the responsibilities. The greater the responsibilities, knowledge and experience required, then normally you would expect a greater salary. But the Job Competencies themselves do not set out salaries.

Nanny0gg Wed 06-Mar-19 22:39:25

I was at bog standard state primary schools in the 1960s and early 1970s. Understanding how to use apostrophes correctly and other basic aspects of punctuation, how to write grammatically and how to spell common words was expected of every child unless they had what wasn't then called a learning disability or specific learning difficulty. All our teachers could do it without even thinking about it. What went wrong?

Me too (except it was 50s, early 60s)

Lots of subjects added to the curriculum. When I was in primary my school report commented on and showed marks in Arithmetic, Comprehension and Composition.
We did do some geography, RE, algebra, geometry, biology (plants), music, PE, history and some French. And a bit of art. But the three reported subjects had the most time spent on them.

Now, science in more depth and breadth, maths very much so. ICT, DT and PHSE . Luckily SPaG is very much coming back but being taught in ridiculous depth in some circumstances. Fronted adverbial anyone?

TheNoodlesIncident Wed 06-Mar-19 22:30:44

the childrens’ “draws” would have to be emptied

Is that a direct quotation? Because I wouldn't have put an apostrophe after childrens either, I would have put children's.

I was employed as a receptionist doing admin support on £8,100 per annum. I pointed out to my boss that within our email footer, "its" possessive erroneously had an apostrophe. He replied crisply that it ought to have an apostrophe, and he was educated in a private school so knew better than me. I left it at that, never mentioned it again and noticed a few days later that the apostrophe had been removed...

I don't think you can say that only people on high salaries are competent with SPaG, salary is not commensurate with caring about getting it right.

Someone on here quoted some text of mine, and changed its (possessive) to it's and it's (contraction) to its. I was vexed that somebody saw fit to "correct" me and they were wrong and made sure that if I ever quote anyone, I won't change what they've put, even if there's typos in it.

Linguaphile Wed 06-Mar-19 22:24:45

Anybody responsible for teaching children how to read and write should absolutely have a decent grasp of spelling and grammar.

I could not agree more.

SIL is a primary school teacher, and her spelling, grammar and punctuation are shockingly bad... quite possibly the worst I have ever encountered outside of the internet. I often wonder (usually after receiving an email or text from her) what her pupils’ parents must think when they bring home letters from school. I confess I wouldn’t be happy if she was the person meant to be teaching my children. blush

MitziK Wed 06-Mar-19 21:47:08

@FrancesCrawford, State Funded schools use, for want of a better word, templates detailing the skills required of Support Staff in Education (and other departments) for recruitment, assessment, appraisal and setting the appropriate levels on the pay scales.

If somebody fulfils the required competency level at appraisal, they are doing what is required of the role (and there is no leeway for recognising people being more capable/having higher level skills - it's a Yes/No or Achieved/Not achieved situation, so there is no way to get paid more in that job if you are capable of more than the standards).

School Reception/Admin is generally classed as a Grade 2 position - those skills are of the kind I have already listed - being able to write a To Do List and write down a telephone message are genuine achievement levels a Grade 2 postholder is required to have. There is no requirement for perfect writing, no requirement for Numeracy, no requirement for using Excel, Word or anything more than possibly being able to operate a photocopier with training.

This doesn't mean that all Reception staff have only those basic skills, but it's all that's required to meet the specification - somebody just meeting it is more likely to accept the miserable pay because they aren't in the position to pick and choose in the way somebody with better qualifications/skills might, as they could get a job that paid better and required a higher level of skills.

A rough analogy would be;

I'm running a clothes shop. I want people to think it's a desirable brand when passing (and probably get some online presence), so I've decided I want somebody young and pretty to stand outside the entrance.

I don't need them to do anything but look young and pretty.

If I expected them to do the accounts as well, I'd have to look for a qualified accountant who was pretty and didn't see the main part of the job as demeaning - and they'd probably expect to be paid more. But I don't. I just want a human mannequin.

As such, if I recruit the prettiest applicant that accepts the rate I'm offering, I'm not bothered about their examination results.

It doesn't matter to me whether they turned up for their GCSE exams or gave up after failing to get their Bronze Swimming Certificate. And if, because I'm a pisstaking shitbag keen to keep staffing costs down, I get them to stick a few boxes of shoes on the shelves when it's raining to save paying somebody else, it's not a disaster if they mix up the reds and the greens. I'm not paying them to be smart/well educated/not colourblind, I'm paying them to be pretty It might annoy a few punters, it irritates me a bit, but I'm paying peanuts and don't want to be doing the shoes myself.

Piewife Wed 06-Mar-19 20:57:59

When we were looking at primary schools for DC, I noticed incorrect use of an apostrophe on a noticeboard at a school (I can't remember exactly what, but it was at the top in large letters and very obvious) and it put me right off sending them there.

Anybody responsible for teaching children how to read and write should absolutely have a decent grasp of spelling and grammar. As for office staff writing newsletters etc., if they are consistently producing documents full of errors then they should at least get someone to proofread things for them before sending them out. In any case, I don't see why it's unreasonable to expect their spelling and grammar to be good just because they're not highly paid.

greenelephantscarf Wed 06-Mar-19 20:37:13

...phonics have a lot to answer for...

GabrielleNelson Wed 06-Mar-19 20:23:55

It's interesting to see people claiming that being able to spell, punctuate and write grammatically is a higher level skill and nobody paid below average wage would be expected to do it. This is absolutely not how things used to be. Anybody who had a job that involved writing was expected to be able to write more or less faultless standard English.

Of course, what we're all skirting around is that until very recently there were huge numbers of unskilled jobs which could be done by people who were functionally, if not fully, illiterate. That disguised how common it was.

And now we're in a position where almost all jobs require English and Maths GCSE as a minimum, which gives the impression that literacy standards must be much higher. They aren't. For two generations most children have not been taught the basics. They've learned a good many other things instead, but when it comes to the basics many have been shortchanged.

Jinglejanglefish Wed 06-Mar-19 20:23:44

*I’m a school secretary. I have a degree in English. My newsletters are perfect.

In fact, I often have to correct the teachers’ work.*

Same, although my degree is in History. Some of the stuff the teachers send me is awful, it’s not my job to proofread but I would be embarrassed to send it out.

Our finance assistant has a degree in maths, and our school business manager is a former lawyer. It’s a shame how many people think we are all uneducated because we work in a school and aren’t teachers!

WatcherintheRye Wed 06-Mar-19 20:15:53

Haha! Love the way posts are being scanned for errors, and the content disregarded!

YourSarcasmIsDripping Wed 06-Mar-19 20:06:59

passion gringrin

I mean I like apostrophes and I'm proud if my SPaG skills but I wouldn't say I have a passion for them.

FrancisCrawford Wed 06-Mar-19 20:00:07


one of the most basic rules taught in class would be to write 'Which is irrelevant, because...',

No, it would not be.

The most basic rules would be
Start a sentence with a capital letter and finish it with a full stop.
Apostrophes indicate either passion or contraction.
Do not use dashes

'Because learning how to..., the earnings of a school secretary are irrelevant.' - not as you have typed

That way the errors you made in the example above of a full stop, followed by an apostrophes instead of a quotation mark, followed by a dash, followed by a lower case letter would not happen. Nice case of Murphy’s Law.

Or could it be that, like me, you type differently on a chat board than in any type of official correspondence?

National Employment Competencies/Standards which are used to set the salaries of staff'

What are these? Google is unable to help.

Musmerian Wed 06-Mar-19 19:58:52

The shortening apostrophe only works at the beginning of the word e.g. ‘bus short for autobus etc.

BBCK Wed 06-Mar-19 19:58:15

As a teacher, I have sat through numerous presentations on the importance of literacy in GCSE’s 😂😂😂😂. I have wanted to SCREAM.

SosigisAndCornflourSauce Wed 06-Mar-19 19:53:21

* I have corrected school letters in the past with an attached note 'please correct and re-send'.*

Oh and how we would laugh at you in the staff room!

Dicky SPaG gets right in my tits, there is no excuse in a school ... but, really? some of these comments are hilarious 😂

Iggi999 Wed 06-Mar-19 19:52:52

Stitchingmoss I’m not 100%, but should that not be incorrectly ?

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