In Frank Chalk’s It’s Your Time You’re Wasting a supply teacher gives us an insider’s look at the current state of the British education system. It makes depressing reading.
This is a system that almost seems designed to fail. It fails teachers, it fails society, but most tragically it fails British children.
A succession of stupid and short-sighted political decisions, combined with social decay and political correctness, have turned classrooms into battlegrounds where the chances of actually learning everything are very slight indeed. A complete breakdown of discipline allows badly behaved kids to prevent anyone else from learning.
Most tragic is that Britain used to have a system, based on the 11-plus examination and the streaming of bright kids into grammar schools, that allowed intelligent kids access to a superb education and the possibility of going to university regardless of how much or how little money their patents had. This system was abandoned in the interests of “fairness” and Britain now has an education system that ensures that only children with very wealthy parents have a chance of a good education. A shining example of the fact that ideas pushed by the Left never ever work, the result is that bright children without rich parents no have no way of escaping the vicious circle of welfare dependence, crime, drugs and general hopelessness.
Chalk also points out, quite correctly, that misguided ideas that have led to the tolerance of a ubiquitous drug culture have had devastating effects on children.
He reserves special venom for academics and social theorists. As he says, no modern idea on education has ever worked in practice.
The author does more than point out the failures of the present system. He offers practical suggestions as to how the system can be rebuilt although he admits that he believes there is no chance this will happen.
No human being could survive this insane system without a sense of humour and the author certainly has that although not surprisingly his sense of humour is rather black. It’s a type of gallows humour really, entirely appropriate in a society determined on self-destruction. He combines this humour with genuine compassion for the children whose lives are being destroyed by a system that is supposed to be there to serve them.
This book was originally published in 2006 with a revised edition (published by Monday Books) appearing in 2013.
It’s Your Time You’re Wasting is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand why Britain seems to be determined to go down the toilet even faster than the rest of the western world. Very highly recommended.