Off Topic Messages

Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:08 pm

There are also some youngters who are just born pure evil. :twisted:


Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:27 pm

Stephen -

Shouldn't you be applauding the fact that there are an extra 25,000 teachers since 1997 ?

Your claim that the true figure needed was an extra 115,000, means that the Tories left things in a bigger mess than we imagined !

Give credit where it's due.

Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:06 pm


That is true. No argument there.


I tried not to make this a political issue. I was careful not to lay the blame on the doorstep of any political party for the mess the education system found itself in. You might well be right - the Conservatives no doubt made their own unique contribution to it. I also tried to point out that instead of employing an extra 80,000 support staff to cope with large classes, the government should have employed that number of teachers in schools that were not closed to save money.

But my point is this: what is the correct way of dealing with the problem? Not, I'll wager, the short-sighted manner which has seen all but one secondary school and 50% of the primary schools in my area close since 1999.

Kids as young as 7 or 8 are forced to commute on trains into London - unsupervised - in order to get their education. Is this right? Bearing in mind the number of attacks on children and now terror threats? The government, apparently looking for ways to reduce crime and terror, cannot see that they are contributing to the problem by forcing kids to spend up to 2 hours a day unsupervised where, even if they are safe from attack, they are able to get into trouble on their own.

Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:47 pm

Good points Stephen. I think the situation in your area is atypical though. There isn't a single primary or secondary school that has closed in my area in the last decade. The facts are that overall class sizes have gone down, there are significantly more teachers and the number of 11 yr olds failing to reach the minimum level of literacy has fallen by 50%. Things have been steadily improving. It's easy to say that there should be 80,000 more teachers rather than support staff, but that's not comparing like with like in terms of financial resources needed.

I dread to think what state our schools would be in if there hadn't been the huge injection of money over the last few years.