Indoctrination in Illegal schools, Free Schools and Academies.

Indoctrination in Illegal schools, Free Schools and Academies.

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Is this where the next Jihadists are being bred?

Is this a recipe for extremism and division in society?

I think so.

Young children are being illegally indoctrinated by Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus and a variety of other cults.

As an ex-headmaster I am appalled.

Illegal Schools

There are many illegal schools set up in all manner of premises in which the only curriculum is a religious text. Instead of learning all the subjects of the national curriculum they are being brainwashed into religion. Instead of being integrated into our culture and values they are being segregated and taught hatred.

This is a scandal. The schools should be closed and the people running them and parents involved prosecuted.

Free Schools

Anyone can set up a free school. You do not require any qualifications or experience. They are being run by total amateurs. Many of them have been set up by religious groups with the sole intent of brainwashing children. What an insane idea this was!

Free schools should be subjected to the same rules, regulation and national curriculum as State schools. It is scandalous that religious bodies, incompetent staff and extreme ideologies should be allowed to ruin children’s lives.

Academies

Big business running schools for profit, religious groups tailoring the curriculum to tout their own doctrine, and dubious groups becoming involved in the education of our children? It should not be allowed to happen.

Education is not a business.

Religion has no place in schools.

We need to keep interested parties – such as the scientologists and creationists away from our children.

All schools in Britain should follow the same National Curriculum and Ofsted regime. Why are some exempt?

KEEP RELIGION AND BIG BUSINESS OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS!!!

Anecdote – Thrown out of my O Levels

Anecdote – Thrown out of my O Levels

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Thrown out of my O Levels

The O Level exams were the big exams at the end of the Fifth Form (Year 11). They were the important ones, as important as A Levels. Universities used the grades you achieved at sixteen as an indicator of your future potential.

I’m not sure they were any indication of my potential. I was in an extremely difficult class where learning was not anywhere near as important as fighting or as much fun as winding the teacher up. I had made it a religion not to do homework and had not produced a shred for three years. I’d found that as long as I kept my head down I went unnoticed. The teachers had enough on their plate trying to keep order in the classroom. My twin interests were girls and Rock Music. I hadn’t yet discovered Beat poetry or serious literature. My world revolved around discussing Rock and Blues, chatting up the girls and deciding which party to go to at the weekend. Peripheral to that were my hair, beard and clothes. I liked to look right. Unfortunately these preoccupations tended to bring me into conflict with a numbers of teachers and the school hierarchy. They were busy trying to hold back the tide with a flood barrier and I was making waves. The school thought that my carefully nurtured appearance was a scruffy mess. I thought it was a triumph of individuality and expression of my underlying ethos.

My parents were in despair they thought my long hair, anti-establishment attitude and casual attitude towards my studies were going to prove detrimental to my future career. They were right. I seemed to enjoy making it difficult for myself. I despised fitting in. I always have and always will.

Even so I managed to achieve. I always did enough to get by and that infuriated some of the teachers no end. They liked the ones who played the game and worked hard. They thought I did not deserve any success. Once again they were probably right.

On the first day of my O Level exams I thought I’d try it on. Instead of donning the requisite school uniform I put on my black hipsters, and Cuban heeled Chelsea boots. I fluffed up my shoulder length hair and wore my denim shirt with button-down collars. There were a few young ladies I was out to impress. I can’t say my mind was fully focussed on the forthcoming maths exam.

The basis of my mind-set was that the O Levels were too important for them to kick up much of a fuss. I might get bawled at but they’d let it go.

I was not taking Mr Morrell into account. He hated my guts. His ethos and my ethos snarled at each other whenever we met. He hated seeing me hanging around with the prettiest girls. He hated my long hair. He hated the fact that I always came top in his Biology exams despite the fact that he knew that I did no work at all. It was personal. We did not exactly see eye to eye.

It was just my luck that he happened to be on duty that day when I walked in. He was a bit of a coward. Rather than confront me himself he called the Headteacher over and complained, pointing out the rules and regulations. The Head was left with no choice but to send me home to get changed. I missed half an hour of my Maths exam.

I scraped through. I managed seven passes, all grade C with just one B in Biology.

I bet that rankled. I would have loved to have gone back as a Headteacher to meet up with Mr Morrell. I’m sure he would have loved to see that I had turned out successful after all. I’m certain he would.

If you enjoy my anecdotes why not purchase a paperback of them for £7.25 or a kindle version for free.

Or a book of poetry and comment:

Rhyme and Reason – just £3.98 for the paperback or free on Kindle

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My beliefs – Faith Schools – How about if we had Fascist and Communist Schools?

My beliefs – Faith Schools – How about if we had Fascist and Communist Schools?

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I do not believe any faith schools, Sunday schools or madrassas should be allowed by law.

I believe indoctrinating children with religion or politics is an abuse. It should be a crime.

There are many religions and institutes that are dying to get their hands on our children and fill their heads with dogma. As the Jesuits used to say ‘give me a child until the age of seven and I’ll give you the man’. Unfortunately that is true. Once the impressionable minds have been poisoned with pernicious ideology they can never break free. They are stuck with it for life.

I believe children should be free to develop. They should not be indoctrinated.

I believe parents should bring up their children in a moral background with love, tolerance and equality as the basis. They should be taught to respect all people, races, faiths and creeds.

I believe schools should concern themselves with educating children, not indoctrinating them. Religion should be taught as a subject which covers all religions factually, never giving credibility or weight to one over another. I believe atheism and humanism should be part of that curriculum and given equal weight.

I believe assemblies should never be religious. They should be moral.

I believe that when a child reaches adulthood – I would suggest at sixteen- their brains are sufficiently developed for them to handle concepts as weighty as belief. Only then should they be subjected to religious belief.

I think that is people substituted politics for religion and we had communist or fascist schools set up to instil their dogma into our children we, as a society, might have a view. For me religion is even more pervasive and pernicious.

People are very fragile.

People are very fragile.

 

Human beings have very powerful minds and emotions. I used to believe that we are incredibly resilient. I no longer believe that.

I believe we are all incredibly fragile and easily damaged.

My experiences of working with children and observing adults have made me extremely aware that many of us are broken and our response to being broken is often aggression, hatred and violence.

I used to say to the teaching staff at my school that there was no such thing as a bad kid. Their bad behaviour was the result of having been damaged by their experiences; our job was to mend them.

I have seen close up the effects of bereavement, bullying, racism, divorce and abuse. The victims often either withdraw or become aggressive.

When I was a child at school a number of my teachers were ex-soldiers. They were not only violent aggressive bullies but they seemed to hate us. They damaged a lot of kids.

I cannot begin to imagine the effect war has on the fragile human psyche. My father would not talk about it. My grandfather would not mention it. But I have met numerous highly confused and violent veterans; one of whom was a murderer.

Around the world at the moment we have millions of people traumatised by war. Some are victims and some are perpetrators. I cannot begin to imagine how some of them ever manage to sleep again. It is no wonder that some are either heartless fiends and others are traumatised wrecks. If you are going to saw someone’s head off at some point in the future that will haunt your waking moments and turn your sleep to nightmares. It catches up with you.

War, poverty, violence, fear, bullying, divorce, death – it all traumatises and messes people up.

Human beings are fragile. The little things send us off the rails; the big things drive us into psychosis.

Book Recommendations – Education – Christopher Goodwin

I worked as a teacher for thirty six years and was the Headteacher of a highly successful Comprehensive Secondary School in the UK.

I had a very clear philosophy which was the driving force behind that success. This book is part memoir, part anecdote and tells the real behind the scenes story. You don’t need to be a teacher to appreciate it.

If you are interested in education or just want a behind the scenes look then why not give it a read?

In the UK:

In the USA:

Thank you for supporting me and my writing.

Home Schooling can be a travesty of Education.

It is about time that the government got to grips with the home schooling fiasco. While some parents have their children’s interests at heart few can provide the range of expertise to deliver good all-round education.

But the real danger lies with the Religious and Political extremists who want their kids at home so they can indoctrinate them!

Home schooling is a pit of religious and political extremism that requires dealing with.

It is good to hear that something is being done about it!

We need:

a. A register – so we know who is being educated at home and no child drops off the radar.

b. A full inspection – to ensure that the education is appropriate and good enough.

c. Or we need to stop home schooling altogether!!

Education – International Tables are a fraud!

If you do not teach children to question and think, enable them to be creative and investigate, to develop cognitive skills, problem solving and lateral thinking, to debate, work in teams and develop a range of skills, you are wasting your time.

Cramming knowledge into young heads to regurgitate for tests is not education.

A cram course of teaching to a test, just so that we can rise up the International PISA tables, is no measure of the education they receive!

The PISA tables are hopelessly flawed. They do not measure any of the important things!

THROW THEM OUT! THEY ARE POINTLESS AND EVEN DESTRUCTIVE!!

Our children deserve far better than that!

They are not exam fodder for the education machine!

Poetry – Fodder For the Exam Machine

Poetry – Fodder For the Exam Machine

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Fodder for the exam machine

 

Education is the future of the planet.

Education should be inspiring, expanding and illuminating. It is a joyous thing.

Education should never produce failures with no hope; youngsters disenfranchised from society; winners or losers. It should be inclusive of all abilities and disabilities, all cultures, colours and creeds. It should be unifying and a celebration of success.

Briefly it was. Until Gove took over and we had a dive back to the glorious fifties – the days of bullying in the classroom, caning, violence and disparaging put-downs – the days of regimentation, learning by rote; where knowledge and facts were god.

But this is the 21st Century when facts are not so important. We need skills now. We have computers for facts. We need problem solving and creativity.

But this is the brave new world of the tick-box culture, the exam tables, inspections and rigid enforcement – where failure results in redundancy and fear rules. Cash plays the tune. Where teaching is controlled and the profession divided, castigated and cowed.

This is the time for education, for the masses, on the cheap; where we open the gates to the Creationists, Muslims, Jews and Big Business who will pay to get their hands on our kids.

But that’s OK. It’s cheaper.

The ones that matter go to the private schools and the ones who really matter sit on the benches at Eton and Harrow and wait to take their place at the trough.

We do not want the masses educated. We do not want them thinking. They are merely units in the economy. They should know their place and pull their weight. They are earning money for those who deserve.

Fodder for the exam machine

 

Cloistered in rows for the injection

Of narcotising facts.

Memorising and regurgitating

No time to relax.

 

Tests to be taken.

Exams to be passed.

Tables to move up.

We must not come last.

 

No room for creativity

In the bright new world

Of numeracy and literacy;

There’s money to be hurled.

 

Fodder for the exam machine

Fodder for the job market

Fodder for the attainment tables

Chant it, test it, mark it!

 

Teaching by numbers

In the tick box culture

Where children are sacrificed

To the cash soaring vulture.

 

No time for fun!

No time for play!

No humanisation;

It gets in the way!

 

What use is art, music or drama?

Lateral thinking or creativity?

They won’t get you a career

If you can’t recite your ABC.

 

Back to basics!

In a flight to the days of 1950

When the Empire ruled

And people were nifty.

When discipline ruled

With the cane and the shout

And schools churned out rejects

No one cared about.

 

So open the gates –

Let the creationists in!

Welcome Big Business

To bring back discipline!

 

We’ll soon sort the wheat from the chaff

And blame all the failures for having a laugh!

 

But down a dark alley

Or in the dead of the night

I hope you don’t encounter

A mind filled with hate;

A drop out, a failure

With no hope in their life,

Labelled, excluded

Not caring their fate.

 

Fodder for the exam machine

Fodder for the job market

Fodder for the attainment tables

Chant it, test it, mark it!

 

Numbers to crunch!

Heads to fill!

Machines to service!

Young minds to kill!

 

Opher 6.6.2016

Radio Humberside – Post 16 Education in the UK

Well I did get to speak for a short while. I had so much to say and so little time. Here’s the gist of what I would have said if I had had longer:

  • Politicians have repeatedly interfered with education – introducing change and dogma but with little understanding. They should leave it to the professionals. What we have is a mess.
  • Post 16 education does not marry with Pre 16 education.
  • The curriculum is too knowledge-based and narrow.
  • The English Baccalaureate was a terrible move it has narrowed the curriculum too much and downgraded the Arts and Humanities. Music and Art are disappearing and even Geography and History are squeezed. This is not a balanced curriculum that will produce well-adjusted students.
  • The emphasis on knowledge has created a cram course. Students are being fed facts for exams. That is not education. It is too stressful and not what we need in the 21st century. Doing away with pupil centred education and coursework was a retrograde step. End of course exams create pressure and favour only one particular type of student.
  • Looking at international PISA tables is plain stupid. It is not an indication of where anybody is. The Asian schools are exam factories cramming information into heads but not educating. The stress is ridiculous.  Suicide levels are unacceptable. The students are not educated – they simply regurgitate information. When it comes to something unpredictable or requiring innovation or lateral thinking they are lost.
  • We need a seamless system that runs through from age 11 to 18. It should be broad and balanced, marrying knowledge with skills.
  • The 21st Century does not require memory – knowledge is available at the touch of a screen – it requires teamwork, innovation, flexibility, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, personal skills, lateral thinking and versatility – all those aspects which this government has downgraded and left out!
  • The GCSE was a good exam that was inclusive and everyone could achieve and get a pass. The top end could achieve to a higher level and if they had used raw scores instead of just grades it would have enabled differentiation of abilities. It did not lead into A Levels.
  • We need to find a replacement for A Levels which is broader, includes all the skills as well as knowledge, has room for the Arts and Humanities, has vocational courses and apprenticeships and prepares students for life – not just university.
  • Education is not just for employment. Education should expand student minds, get them thinking, engaging and enjoying learning. Education is for life not just work. It should be stimulating.
  • The 21st century has the challenge of Artificial Intelligence. Many of the present jobs will go – both the low-skill and high skill. But there will be many new jobs. We will still need plumbers, builders, electricians, leisure workers, teachers, nurses and carers of the elderly and others. They need training. That should be the curriculum.
  • We need to embrace the new technologies – make our students proficient with ICT at a far higher level and enable them to use their smart-phones positively – like they would do in real life. It doesn’t have to be a negative distraction – smart-phones can be a positive force in education
  • Britain is best at creativity and innovation. It is a shame that our politicians have suppressed that and created a cram course of winners and losers that is only about the winners who go to university. All students are important. None of them should be losers. There’s a place for everyone in society. It isn’t just about the high flyers!
  • A seamless education should work around the old GCSE model, have the width for all types of students to prosper, have the balance to marry knowledge and skills, include vocational elements and apprenticeships that are seen as having the same importance as the more academic. It should not be about rote memory but involve student centred learning, investigation, exploration and creativity. It should not always be teacher-led. There should be room for so much more!

Dump the PISA tables!!

One last thing – the key to a great education is outstanding teachers. For ten years teachers have been hammered and the best and most experienced are leaving in droves. Working a 60 hour week in a tedious and unrewarding curriculum, with the constant stress of inspections that are draconian and punitive, with pay drastically eroded after a decade long pay freeze and pensions reduced, is not good for anyone. The workload is exhausting and drains the life out of people. Knowledge teaching is tedious and boring.

If you want a dynamic system you have to pay properly to attract the best. You have to reduce class sizes, reduce workload and return to a reasonable work/life balance.