Poor UK education standards

To come back onto the topic more generally, I find youngsters that come my way (in a professional capacity you sick fucks) struggle with the concept of someone being in charge and with the concept of doing it the way laid out in the Operations Manual. Old gits struggle with this too but they usually have the experience to back up their questioning of it, youngsters generally just don’t like being told no, often because it’s a novelty for them.
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There is a correlation with that across the commercial world.

Wifey in her HR role is currently dealing with a string of disciplinary cases. Briefly, youngsters coming through (a) have no understanding of what a "boss" is, (b) that there is an employer-employee relationship that requires the employee to do as they're told, and (c) even more seriously, that a "contract" or, specifically, "confidentiality agreement" has to be observed (e.g. don't go talking to a competitor after you've already had two formal warnings...).

These young adults essentially have no concept of rules, boundaries, hierarchies, obligations or personal and working disciplines; I guess they have never picked up any of this from parenting or schools. This is on top of dreadful standards of speech, literacy and numeracy, and zero sense of personal and third party information security.

Whats really worrying is that this just appears to be the baseline for normal young adults coming into the workplace, and doesn't even address those who turn up already expert in the art of shouting " -ism!" and demanding tribunal hearings and compo.
 
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Mathematics does suffer from an image problem - that it is seen as hard, boring, pointless and so on.
To some extent, yes. In its favour is that maths is a core subject so the vast majority of students will still work at it to avoid having to re-sit the exams a year later if they fail.

Also, you can apply the same criticism to any subject for a proportion of students. Generally speaking those that find maths difficult tend to enjoy more arty, creative stuff. Likewise, if you go into a top set maths class chances are a lot of students will give the same criticisms about english literature, drama and PE. Obviously there are always the outliers who find everything easy and interesting / hard and boring.

Numerical/Mathematical common sense is a great concept. One of my lecturers (at FE College - I was doing BTEC National Diploma in Electrical/Electronic Engineering) told tales of arguing with a Construction student who had got an answer from his calculator, and thought it had to be right..
That for me is the real issue - students can happily plug numbers into formulae and calculators but often have little intuitive grasp of why they are doing something. That consequently gives them no way to estimate the correct answer so whatever comes out on the screen must be correct.

In my opinion most of the issues come down to one problem - maths as a subject depends far more than most on secure prior knowledge. Teaching someone trigonometry when they have a shaky grasp of basic division is always going to produce variable results, much like putting a decent roof on a house with shallow foundations.

How that can be dealt with is more of an issue - like any subject there is a certain amount of content to get through and spending time going back over the basics means less time to do the advanced stuff (that will be the main focus in exams). Having found out just how shit some of a class I teach are I now have to spend time this coming week going back over some maths concepts. This will cut into the time I have to teach the new topics I should be covering but is more valuable overall.

The best solution I've got at the moment is some national baseline testing in maths at the end of each school year. Those underachieving in the basics get to redo them . If necessary, by the time they get to secondary and still require more work they can lose option subjects / PSHE / tutor time etc. Not that it will happen so we'll carry on shoving kids through the conveyor belt and watching some fall behind.
 
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These young adults essentially have no concept of rules, boundaries, hierarchies, obligations or personal and working disciplines; I guess they have never picked up any of this from parenting
Quite possibly
Almost certainly. I'm assuming your wife's company has the standard policy of if you really cock something up in work you get dragged in to see the boss / line manager within a day for a polite bollocking. Repeat again for a written warning, again for a final written warning and then you're out on your arse.

You can understand why this might be a shock to school leavers when the comparative process in the average state school is: you really cock something up and get set a detention.
You choose not to attend that and get a new, longer detention.
You don't bother to attend that and get another, even longer detention.
You don't fancy doing that so get 'internally excluded' (a day away from your mates). That internal exclusion will probably be 2 weeks after whatever the original cocking about was, hence you've forgotten why you're there and there is no sense of cocking about = punishment.
This process can be merrily repeated about every 3 weeks for 5 years and no one will bat an eyelid.

Of course, you could do something really bad that in a workplace would be summary dismissal for gross misconduct, say bullying a colleague over several months before following them to the exit and punching them repeatedly in the back of the head (just going from recent memory). In a school that gets you a week's holiday; sorry, 'external exclusion', after which you're welcome back and no one will say anything else.

Of course, if you keep doing stuff like that repeatedly and someone is keeping written records and the governors are willing to take the flak for dealing with you and the school is willing to hedge their bets on receiving another difficult pupil in your place you might be put on a 'managed move' - you go to a different school. If you start misbehaving badly there, guess where you go back to?

It's no wonder that a lot of school leavers don't think they have to do what they're told.

Sorry, I did have a point at the start but it turned into a rant.
 
Quite possibly

Almost certainly. I'm assuming your wife's company has the standard policy of if you really cock something up in work you get dragged in to see the boss / line manager within a day for a polite bollocking. Repeat again for a written warning, again for a final written warning and then you're out on your arse.

You can understand why this might be a shock to school leavers when the comparative process in the average state school is: you really cock something up and get set a detention.
You choose not to attend that and get a new, longer detention.
You don't bother to attend that and get another, even longer detention.
You don't fancy doing that so get 'internally excluded' (a day away from your mates). That internal exclusion will probably be 2 weeks after whatever the original cocking about was, hence you've forgotten why you're there and there is no sense of cocking about = punishment.
This process can be merrily repeated about every 3 weeks for 5 years and no one will bat an eyelid.

Of course, you could do something really bad that in a workplace would be summary dismissal for gross misconduct, say bullying a colleague over several months before following them to the exit and punching them repeatedly in the back of the head (just going from recent memory). In a school that gets you a week's holiday; sorry, 'external exclusion', after which you're welcome back and no one will say anything else.

Of course, if you keep doing stuff like that repeatedly and someone is keeping written records and the governors are willing to take the flak for dealing with you and the school is willing to hedge their bets on receiving another difficult pupil in your place you might be put on a 'managed move' - you go to a different school. If you start misbehaving badly there, guess where you go back to?

It's no wonder that a lot of school leavers don't think they have to do what they're told.

Sorry, I did have a point at the start but it turned into a rant.
You and I should go for a pint someday. We could annoy everyone by ranting about the same sh1t for hours.

However, due to the privatisation of compulsory education it can cost up to £10,000 to expel a sh1tty kid these days. Given that there is nowhere for them to go the academy trust foots the bill until they can find another school.

Most kids do ok though, they get the idea and follow the rules (mostly). They are what we need to think about, not the scumbag kids who will grow in to scumbag adults.
 
Quite possibly

Almost certainly. I'm assuming your wife's company has the standard policy of if you really cock something up in work you get dragged in to see the boss / line manager within a day for a polite bollocking. Repeat again for a written warning, again for a final written warning and then you're out on your arse.

You can understand why this might be a shock to school leavers when the comparative process in the average state school is: you really cock something up and get set a detention.
You choose not to attend that and get a new, longer detention.
You don't bother to attend that and get another, even longer detention.
You don't fancy doing that so get 'internally excluded' (a day away from your mates). That internal exclusion will probably be 2 weeks after whatever the original cocking about was, hence you've forgotten why you're there and there is no sense of cocking about = punishment.
This process can be merrily repeated about every 3 weeks for 5 years and no one will bat an eyelid.

Of course, you could do something really bad that in a workplace would be summary dismissal for gross misconduct, say bullying a colleague over several months before following them to the exit and punching them repeatedly in the back of the head (just going from recent memory). In a school that gets you a week's holiday; sorry, 'external exclusion', after which you're welcome back and no one will say anything else.

Of course, if you keep doing stuff like that repeatedly and someone is keeping written records and the governors are willing to take the flak for dealing with you and the school is willing to hedge their bets on receiving another difficult pupil in your place you might be put on a 'managed move' - you go to a different school. If you start misbehaving badly there, guess where you go back to?

It's no wonder that a lot of school leavers don't think they have to do what they're told.

Sorry, I did have a point at the start but it turned into a rant.


I can understand all of that, and sympathise with the frustration.

Actually the companies we've worked in tend to initially treat the juniors with kid gloves (the graduates are even worse than the straight-from-school ones), as its clear that many of them simply do not understand the adult working environment.

It is a bit strange to see a CEO patiently waiting for a girl to finish telling her mates on FB/twitter/etc how bored she is at work (and this is pinging up on "friends" devices in the office itself!), so that he can ask her to translate the text-speak email she sent to him.
 
You and I should go for a pint someday. We could annoy everyone by ranting about the same sh1t for hours.

However, due to the privatisation of compulsory education it can cost up to £10,000 to expel a sh1tty kid these days. Given that there is nowhere for them to go the academy trust foots the bill until they can find another school.

Most kids do ok though, they get the idea and follow the rules (mostly). They are what we need to think about, not the scumbag kids who will grow in to scumbag adults.
Some of us grow up to suffer from low self esteem, anxiety disorders, and self sabotaging due to the way we were treated by those who decided they had no need to obey the rules, and the school agreed. FFS I even remember the Principal addressing us all (well years 10 and 11) and saying that some kids could not obey the rules, and therefore we should try to understand they needed to spit at others, punch them, or other things.
 
You and I should go for a pint someday. We could annoy everyone by ranting about the same sh1t for hours.
I think the rest of the pub would start throwing things at the two boring bastards in the corner ;)

Most kids do ok though, they get the idea and follow the rules (mostly). They are what we need to think about, not the scumbag kids who will grow in to scumbag adults.
No argument - I got a bit distracted towards the end of my rant. Even so, there are a lot of otherwise 'good kids' that are little buggers who decide they don't have to complete work / attend detentions / do homework and are willing to play the game of 'how much can I get away with'.

Those are the ones that will (hopefully) get a rude awakening when they find out their manager doesn't keep giving them yet another last chance to improve.
 
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Perhaps the naughty kids need a nice holiday in the US? The camp counsellor seems - err - nice?

 
That for me is the real issue - students can happily plug numbers into formulae and calculators but often have little intuitive grasp of why they are doing something. That consequently gives them no way to estimate the correct answer so whatever comes out on the screen must be correct.

In my opinion most of the issues come down to one problem - maths as a subject depends far more than most on secure prior knowledge. Teaching someone trigonometry when they have a shaky grasp of basic division is always going to produce variable results, much like putting a decent roof on a house with shallow foundations.

How that can be dealt with is more of an issue - like any subject there is a certain amount of content to get through and spending time going back over the basics means less time to do the advanced stuff (that will be the main focus in exams). Having found out just how shit some of a class I teach are I now have to spend time this coming week going back over some maths concepts. This will cut into the time I have to teach the new topics I should be covering but is more valuable overall.

The best solution I've got at the moment is some national baseline testing in maths at the end of each school year. Those underachieving in the basics get to redo them . If necessary, by the time they get to secondary and still require more work they can lose option subjects / PSHE / tutor time etc. Not that it will happen so we'll carry on shoving kids through the conveyor belt and watching some fall behind.
There is an Exeter based business (not sure I should say the name) that offers a solution - currently being trailed at a number of Primary Schools. The teaching is done via Multimedia packages, and tested at regular intervals. Statisticians and others use the feedback to alter the content of the lessons.

I applied for a job there - as a marker, but did not get it. Lots of Maths students and graduates to compete with.
 
You and I should go for a pint someday. We could annoy everyone by ranting about the same sh1t for hours.

However, due to the privatisation of compulsory education it can cost up to £10,000 to expel a sh1tty kid these days. Given that there is nowhere for them to go the academy trust foots the bill until they can find another school.

Most kids do ok though, they get the idea and follow the rules (mostly). They are what we need to think about, not the scumbag kids who will grow in to scumbag adults.
I’m not an educator or learning facilitator or whatever you guys get called but can I come too. I’ll happily join in the rant because these ********* (disruptive kids, parents who can’t be bothered and management that tacitly condone both are impacting my daughters’ ability to learn.

I’ll also happily buy as you are stuck with trying to overcome it all and for that I salute you.
 
I’m not an educator or learning facilitator or whatever you guys get called but can I come too. I’ll happily join in the rant because these ********* (disruptive kids, parents who can’t be bothered and management that tacitly condone both are impacting my daughters’ ability to learn.

I’ll also happily buy as you are stuck with trying to overcome it all and for that I salute you.
I like you, you can come too.

My little boy's primary school has got OFSTED in. Some parents (allegedly) sent their kids in with instructions to trash the place, which they did so that OFSTED would give the school a bad rating.
It's their kid's school too. I wonder at the metal state of some people some times.
 
I like you, you can come too.

My little boy's primary school has got OFSTED in. Some parents (allegedly) sent their kids in with instructions to trash the place, which they did so that OFSTED would give the school a bad rating.
It's their kid's school too. I wonder at the metal state of some people some times.
The kids need to learn to stick it to the man. In period 2 they will learn how to act when questioned by The Filth and in period 3 we will look at blaming every else. After lunch there’s a Benefits Workshop and to round the day off, just do your own thing.

Make sure you hook up with the PTA. The head will just about make it having put half a pack of cocodamol down his grid with the help of a pint of Jack Daniels, the LEA rep will praise the progress made, ask how many year 13s are toilet trained as her and her lesbian husband have yet to find the donor with the right skin tone to start their family so kids are a bit of a mystery and the game but totally overwhelmed yummy mummy whose heart is in the right place but her brain is in her entrepreneurial husband’s (car thief) wallet will be in meltdown and resort to her native Latvian.

Nothing will be decided although the LEA will be cutting funding so a panic buy of £35k worth of crash mats for the judo club run by our Latvian car thief and soon to be crash mat salesman will be under AOB on the agenda.

Enjoy. Been there, scars to prove it.
 
My little boy's primary school has got OFSTED in. Some parents (allegedly) sent their kids in with instructions to trash the place, which they did so that OFSTED would give the school a bad rating.
It's their kid's school too. I wonder at the metal state of some people some times.
Why would you do that? What difference does it make to the parents or kids if the school gets a poor rating? How does it make life better or easier?

WTF? Simply WTF?
 
Nothing will be decided although the LEA will be cutting funding so a panic buy of £35k worth of crash mats for the judo club run by our Latvian car thief and soon to be crash mat salesman will be under AOB on the agenda.

Enjoy. Been there, scars to prove it.
It's changed a bit these days. The LEA isn't involved as most schools are now academies so there is even less oversight / one fewer bellend to chip in their irrelevant views (delete as appropriate)
 
Why would you do that? What difference does it make to the parents or kids if the school gets a poor rating? How does it make life better or easier?

WTF? Simply WTF?
At a guess, these are the kids that have been told off recently. As their poor little darling is being "bullied by the nasty teachers", by trashing the school the kids (and by extension parents) are getting their own back.

No, I don't understand it either. Mind you, I am currently dealing with a student whose parent feels they shouldn't have to do the detention that was set for the kid refusing to do as they were told. The reason? "Oh, that teacher is always giving my kids detentions." The lack of self-awareness is painful sometimes.
 
It's not about education, it's about money. Schools and colleges are businesses and the real people who matter are the end clients and investors.
 
It's changed a bit these days. The LEA isn't involved as most schools are now academies so there is even less oversight / one fewer bellend to chip in their irrelevant views (delete as appropriate)
Indeed. My daughters’ school has done just that. The Head is excellent, keeps pupils, parents and staff fully informed and crucially, fully informed of the same thing. He goes heavy on little things like permissible size of ear studs because he believes that enforcing simple rules is the bedrock of self discipline. He’s right.

A reasonable number of the “right on” parents brigade opposed him in seeking Academy status, their leader was unsurprisingly.....

....the LEA Chair.

His view was blunt; the LEA interferes, soaks up funding for the dubious privilege and the fact that the LEA Chair was opposed more in concern for his position rather than the future education of his daughter spoke volumes. He was lucky to keep his job after that one but I’m very glad he did. I assume the LEA Chair and his polenta munching chums felt the same way; not one of them removed their daughters from the school.

Sadly his wife, also a teacher at the school died suddenly recently. Virtually every single kid turned up for the funeral during half term in immaculate school uniform with a single flower of their choice. He spoke to every single one of them by name, all 800+ of them, to thank them for their kindness.

Leadership takes many forms.
 
Indeed. My daughters’ school has done just that. The Head is excellent, keeps pupils, parents and staff fully informed and crucially, fully informed of the same thing. He goes heavy on little things like permissible size of ear studs because he believes that enforcing simple rules is the bedrock of self discipline. He’s right.

A reasonable number of the “right on” parents brigade opposed him in seeking Academy status, their leader was unsurprisingly.....

....the LEA Chair.

His view was blunt; the LEA interferes, soaks up funding for the dubious privilege and the fact that the LEA Chair was opposed more in concern for his position rather than the future education of his daughter spoke volumes. He was lucky to keep his job after that one but I’m very glad he did. I assume the LEA Chair and his polenta munching chums felt the same way; not one of them removed their daughters from the school.

Sadly his wife, also a teacher at the school died suddenly recently. Virtually every single kid turned up for the funeral during half term in immaculate school uniform with a single flower of their choice. He spoke to every single one of them by name, all 800+ of them, to thank them for their kindness.

Leadership takes many forms.
Sorry for his loss and all that but you just keep your eyes on the governors' minutes: it won't be long in coming: a huge pay rise for the head. You read it here first.
 
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Before criticising the millennials its worth considering whether it was better before. If you were good at certain subjects and abysmal at others, so in my day, bottom set for everything until 3rd year comp and I walked all the exams, moving up a set and sitting GCEs rather than CSEs, to the bemusement of my teachers.

I was diagnosed with dyslexia in my late thirties and the doc was astonished how I had managed to cope. So I dispute the idea education was any better.

Its not the schools, its a problem with the wider society that treats kids, like kids into there mid twenties.
 

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