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Row over Secret Classroom Filming (Channel 5) Next Wednesday

(126 Posts)
JoolsToo Sat 23-Apr-05 08:25:17

any thoughts?

Might make interesting viewing.

hub2dee Sat 23-Apr-05 08:32:41

Sounds like an interesting program that could be boring to watch, IYSWIM... they can't show any of the kids' faces, so it might not be very smooth (from an editing point of view), but they've picked 6 out of 18 (probably very bad) schools, so it should be pretty unbelievable stuff.

JoolsToo Sat 23-Apr-05 08:34:19

but a reflection nevertheless of what some teachers have to cope with?

donnie Sat 23-Apr-05 08:45:06

sounds a bit sensationalist and luckily not all schools are like this ( mine isn't as bad by a long stretch!) but sadly some are. What will be interesting is how / if the documentary shows what the teachers do or dont do to deal with these disruptions.I did teaching practice in a school exactly like this...don't know if I'll be able to bear to watch it!

happymerryberries Sat 23-Apr-05 08:50:19

I think it will make very interesting viewing. I don't think that it will be completly representative of what it is like for the average teacher, but it will show what some teachers and children have to put up with. I also think that it will shock most parents to see the casual way in which bad language and behaviour are used in schools.

Most parenst have no idea how much standars have dropped since they were in schools. Foul language is the norm, and even where I teach (a good school) children use 'Fuck' as a common part of speech, even when teachers are next to them. We have had a case of asault in our school recently, I'll not go into details, but it was severe.

Most parents have no idea how bad things have got. I dare say this will be sensationalised but if it wakes people up the the rapid fall in standards it might be useful.

saadia Sat 23-Apr-05 08:51:42

It really is depressing to see these things. To some extent the bad behaviour of kids must be a reflection of their upbringing. I feel very sorry for the teachers who have to deal with this.

Moomin Sat 23-Apr-05 12:06:17

What I found interesting this week was the comparison between my own school (not the one I am queen of but the one I teach at!) and another school just 2 miles away which has roughly the same catchment (same soci-economic background) as ours.

Our school has greatly improved in the last 10 years, thanks largely to excellent management - we get higher than average results for the kids we have, the behaviour is generally very good and the staff enjoy teaching there. The other school down the road has been deteriorating over the last 4/5 years due to weak management and lack of confidence of staff and has recently had the most damning ofsted most of our senior staff have ever seen. Our Head and several others from the area have now been drafted in to patrol the corridors and make their presence felt to try to help suppport the teaching staff.

Our Head went there the other day and saw a young lad (Y8) running about, shouting and being disruptive in the corridor. The Head approached him and, as is his manner, put his hand on the kid's shoulder and said 'Come on son, what's all this about?' (in other words was very non-confrontational) The kid replied 'Get your fucking hand off me. I'm not your son so fuck off'. Our Head was astounded. That just would not happen in our school. Not sure what the moral of this tale is except that schools vary vastly even within the same postcodes; a school's approach to discipline and support of staff and pupils is of paramount importance and without that, what can staff do except try their best and not be blamed when chaos ensues. What an absolutely soul-destroying job to be a teacher in a school like this...

hub2dee Sat 23-Apr-05 14:26:46

Interesting post, Moomin.

I think it also clearly shows that if one school (perhaps with 'average' rather than 'great' staff) ends up housing a few SERIOUS troublemakers with VERY bad attitude (such as the kid below), things can quickly go downhill.

I'll leave the kid's fault / parents' fault / school's fault debate for another time.

happymerryberries Sat 23-Apr-05 14:40:32

The worst problems occu when you get all three reasons together!

The school I work is has a reasonable dicipline policy (could be tightened up a bit but it isn't bad). We Do get children who are totaly out of control. This becomes more of an issue when there is no support from the parents. I have lost count of the parents who refuse to believe that their child is misbehaving and will not support the school in any way. This continues until the child starts to act out at home and/or the police are involved. By that time things are justso much harder to try to sort out. Sad.

Caligula Sat 23-Apr-05 15:04:28

I think that sadly, sensationalist TV programmes are sometimes the only way to draw attention to issues. Who cared about school dinners before the Jamie Oliver programmes? Certainly not the politicians who are now talking about them at election time, and certainly not the meal providers who are now falling over themselves to remove turkey twizzlers from their repertoire!

I agree with HMB, I think most parents aren't aware of how bloody awful some schools are (I've only become aware of it because of my DB - and therefore some of his friends - being a teacher, as well as some of the dreadful stories on Mumsnet) and while there are plenty of lunatics out there who don’t care how their kids behave in school (or anywhere else), I hope that the “nut the teacher if she tells you off, son” school of parenting doesn't represent the majority of parents. Most (I hope) would be shocked and furious about what’s going on in many schools, if only they knew about it. Perhaps a programme like this will let them know.

And HMB - I hate the idea of it, but perhaps the only solution to parents who refuse to believe their children have behaviour issues in school, is to film the kids and present the evidence to the parents?! It would be difficult to be in denial then, wouldn't it?

happymerryberries Sat 23-Apr-05 15:09:10

Very tempting. But these people would see it as a breach in their 'Rights', forgetting that rights come with responsibilities .

And wile it is bad for the teachers it can be catastrophic for the kids if persistant bad behaviour isn't delt with. I think parenst would have a fit if they saw the behaviour that we do in school.

And make no mistake, part of the problem is due to some teachers and schools pussyfooting round bad behaviour in order to keep exclusion numbers down. As with parenting you need very firm, fair, consistant policies in place. Screw that up and you have lost them.

hub2dee Sat 23-Apr-05 15:27:13

Here here hmb.

Caligula Sat 23-Apr-05 15:37:13

I believe you. I think often exclusion figures, bad publicity etc. are being put before the need to establish normal reasonable discipline, without which no teaching or anything else can happen. But the outrageous thing about that, is that the majority of parents don’t want that, the majority of teachers don’t want it, so where is it coming from, and how comes it’s being allowed to happen? And I really do think that the only way to get pressure to change, is to ensure that parents are informed about how bad things are. And unfortunately, the quickest and most effective way of informing them, is watercooler TV events like this one!

happymerryberries Sat 23-Apr-05 15:49:03

I don't want to go into the details of these cases (because of annonymity) but we have had three recent cases where children of 13+ have carried out serious acts of violence. In one case, one of the perpetrators was excluded perminanty, the other had 2 weeks suspension. In the others boys were punished for a week and 4 days. If these acts had been carried out outside a school criminal prosecutions would have taken place.

Why do we let these kids get away with these things? Who are we helping....not the guilty children, they have learned, yet again, that they can act whatever way they choose and there are no meaningful consequences. Not the inocent children in the school who can be terrorised and abused by these thugs, who have their education ruined by these idiots. And not the poor flipping staff who have to deal with them.

Behaviour in schools needs a 'Jamie' to make people take this seriously.

Caligula Sat 23-Apr-05 15:57:36

I quite agree. What I don't understand, is why the parents of the assault victims don't insist on the police being involved. I'm always amazed by the fact that common assaults appear to be dealt with within the school disciplinary system, rather than by the criminal justice system. Almost as if the school is like the army, with its own, independent judicial system - only less, rather than more strict, than the normal one. Unless of course, it's the teacher who is being accused of the assault, in which case the police are involved. There doesn't seem to be any consistency about it.

If my child were the subject of a common criminal assault in school, I'd want to press charges unless there were absolutely exceptional reasons why I shouldn't. Is that a normal response, or am I a particularly difficult parent?

happymerryberries Sat 23-Apr-05 16:10:50

If my child were assaulted in school I would want to press charges. To put that into context, if it happened in secondary and there was no provocation on the part of my children. I'm not talking about two equal sized boys having a pushing and shoving 'fight', but a real assault. I've seen these happen and was willing the parents to press charges tbh.

A few years ago one boy broke anothers jaw, for instance.

hub2dee Sat 23-Apr-05 16:17:57

You're talking sense again hmb.

With you all the way.

dw is a teacher. I am the 'debriefer' at the end of the day.

She is working pt now so thankfully is less stressed, and the school is not that bad.

General Q: Has anyone found that teachers seem to have more trouble conceiving (wrt to time taken to fall pg - all other factors being equal) )than other professions ?

debs26 Sat 23-Apr-05 16:32:50

i have a friend whose mum is a supply teacher in a not too bad school. two teachers have been suspended after kids accused them of assault - school doent believe them but they have to follow procedure. cameras would eliminate this kind of problem. instead they now have a supply teacher teaching them a subject she is not actually qualified in, and she knows of loads of cases where classroom assistants are being used as main teacher because of teacher shortage. is madness. as long as the videos arent broadcast to the world, i dont see why every school should not have cctv

Caligula Sat 23-Apr-05 16:36:30

Exactly - I don't agree with normal boy behaviour being criminalised, but there are so many cases where it is just obviously a common assault.

A friend of mine is a policewoman, and there are two or three schools in the area she is always being called to. She says they're the ones to avoid sending your kids to, but tbh, I'm beginning to think that at least if they take the issue of discipline so seriously that they actually bother to call the police, then maybe they're the "good" schools in the area!

PuffTheMagicDragon Sat 23-Apr-05 16:46:06

I hope it causes the furor it intends.

There's a generation of "lost" children in many schools that have become unteachable.

happymerryberries Sat 23-Apr-05 17:11:09

Well put Puff, a 'lost' generation of kids. These kids are lost atm. They have no idea how to behave in a reasonable way, have no respect for people or property, foul mouthed, uneducated and unable to put any effort into work or relationships.

We are failing these kids. Their parents have often failed them and we are making it worse.

pixiefish Sat 23-Apr-05 17:30:03

Personally I think that this is ok. If this is the way that the kids behaved then their parents whould see. This is what some teachers have to put up with- this is reality at the chalk face in some schools.

I had a horrid class in my first year and they would not settle. I taped them using a cassette recorder for about 5 minutes. Then I just started playing it back- boy did they quieten down quickly

Moomin Sat 23-Apr-05 18:53:39

Intresting question hub2dee.
When I conceived dd, I was acting HoD, with an Ofsted looming, working FT and having just organised our wedding. Conceived within 4 months.

With no2 I have been working p/t, am no longer HoD but do have some extra responsibilities (none that cause extra stress though) and it has taken me 2 years. I'm 14 wks pg now. I do know of lots of teaching friends who have had problems conceiving but I think the stress can come from anywhere. My school-related stress was never higher than when ttc dd but it took no time; my stress with ttc no.2 was all related to not conceiving, iyswim; the 'school stress' was less but had more of an effect when I did get it.

I think the success of our school lies with an excellent pastoral and referral system. The heads of year and form teachers are excellent and everyone is expected to take 'ownership' of their form/year group. When i was f/t and I had a form, it made me very sad when an older member of staff remarked that I was probably the most constant and reliable person in some of my form group's lives. BUt in some ways that's something to be proud of too - at least we provide some sort of structure and a set of boundaries in lives that otherwise are fairly chaotic and structureless.

hub2dee Sun 24-Apr-05 08:26:38

Hi Moomin,

Agree it is a sad reality of life in certain schools that the teachers (particularly the 'better' ones) play a VERY significant rôle in assuring a modicum of stability (and sometimes even an experience of being loved / cared for) that is tragically missing in a great number of kids' lives. The best form / year heads literally work miracles in assuring the behavioural management of a given cohort - creating a 'group think' for the positive and engendering social responsibility in members. Training for this is generally noticeable by its absence in most teacher-training / INSET work too, which is quite remarkable.

Ref: Conceiving - (1) congrats !!! and (2) I imagine if the teaching population were surveyed there would be a statisically significant bias towards longer time-to-conceive. Hearing anecdotal stories in this space seems to highlight more individuals than one might expect taking a long time to fall pregnant, but then again perhaps simply looking at 'stress' fails to give a full view as your first pregnancy demonstrated !

Hulababy Sun 24-Apr-05 10:35:03

The school I worked at until Easter had video cameras in every science classroom. Children were aware of them though, and it actually didn't seem to alter poor behaviour either after a couple of weeks or so. But they do provide good evience to back up any incidents that went on. One children started a fight with a nother child, beat him up, stamped on him whilst on the floor. It was all on could be proved.

Also if a child accuses a teacher of something, it can be used to help out there.

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