Saturday, October 01, 2005

Literary greats 'key to English'

BBC NEWS | Education | Literary greats 'key to English'
Well - who knew, eh?

The price of unfairness

Guardian Unlimited | Columnists | The price of unfairness
More on the Marlborough boy. Mark Lawson points out that the case is symptomatic of a society in which people think money entitles them to anything. I'm reminded of a student who didn't attend, nor do any work, and didn't respond to messages asking him to contact me. When I finally tracked him down, I told him I couldn't see in what way he could be classified as a student. He was most put out - angry even - and insisted that he was a student. When I asked him on what basis he could claim that, against all the evidence, he said "I've paid my fees." I hadn't the heart to tell him his fees were no more than a contribution to the cost of his education, and that they would probably account for no more than a couple of months of his course. What concerned me more was his notion that simply by registering, and paying his tuition fee, he became a student - no study was involved, apparently.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Girl arrested over Bollocks to Blair shirt

Girl arrested over Bollocks to Blair shirt - Horse&Hound Online Here's a first - a link to a story in Horse and Hound, not the urban vegetarian's journal of choice. But this is ludicrous. No police were present at my workplace today when I was confronted by a trainee primary teacher wearing a tee-shirt with the marvellously witty slogan "Born to FCUK".

Lessons in arrogance

BBC NEWS | England | Wiltshire | Schoolboy told Pc he was 'scum'
More on this hilarious case, which I have mentioned before. I wonder if the father has ever stopped to think what he can possibly achieve? In the highly unlikely event of a successful prosecution, is he really going to send his son back to this apparently appalling school which has had the gall to expel his son? Apparently, he feels that raising the matter of his son's public drunken and abusive behaviour aged 13 is fighting dirty - see here
As the secretary of the Independent Schools Council says: ""What you have is a boy who has 200 disciplinary offences in the last year. That's one a day. So on a daily basis, to be blunt about it, he's putting two fingers up to the school. And his father, instead of saying to his son, 'Look, you've got to abide by school rules,' is saying to the school, 'You've got to put up with my son's behaviour." I'm sure many state schools are very jealous of the ability public schools such as Marlborough have to expel any pupil who doesn't conform. The policy in state schools is to punish financially schools who expel disruptive pupils. Of course, if Mr Tony really was serious about education, education, education, he'd implement the long standing Labour pledge to abolish private schools, thus ensuring that the state system had an injection of well-motivated middle and upper class pupils. But don't get me started on the school system. Instead, just check out this report on a school in Finland, and reflect that they have no national curriculum...
Update: the judge threw the case out today, Thursday, in a widely anticipated outcome. So sonny boy will have to be inflicted on another school. I'm sure the lawyers are watching with interest.

The Arrow

Chez Topsyturvydom, the evening meal normally takes place around 8. We tend to be accompanied by our newish digital radio (about three years' worth of Nectar points since you ask) which is great unless it's a Tuesday and Radio 2 has "The Organist Entertains". If Radio 3 has what we musical boffins call "plinky plonky" music, then we turn to The Arrow. This is a digital station, and, at the times we listen anyway, sends you into a timewarp. There's hardly any advertising, and hardly any dee-jay chattter, so I feel like I have walked into a teenage party circa 1972. Lots of Rod Stewart, David Bowie, Van Morrison, various hairy blues bands, some 60s stuff - Kinks, Beatles - a few obscurities - it's the soundtrack to every party I attended between 1970 and 1974. Apart from a worrying predilection for Jeff Lynne era ELO, virtually every track will be very evocative for those of us just beginning to receive Saga brochures. The station announcements are always made in that portentous (and needlessly American) film trailer voice, which is somewhat incongruous for such a definitively British product, but I can put up with that, as I muse "Ou sont les neiges d'antan?" whilst trying to anticipate the lyrics to "Cindy Incidentally"...