Friday, October 05, 2007

Bullying at School Only Solved by Home Educating

Bev at Cruel at School has been doing great work recently: Channel 4, GMTV, and articles in her local press.

Bev decided to home educate her daughter after despairing at solving the problem of bullying in a school which is supposed to have a very progressive policy with regards to listening to children and to maximising their enjoyment.

I find the disconnect between the Ofsted reports and what local children tell me very peculiar. The children frequently report terrible, brutalising experiences in schools, and yet Ofsted gives these schools a lovely shiny report, after supposedly consulting with pupils. What is going on, I wonder? In one of Bev's articles on her front page, we learn that:

"Schools Minister Jim Knight questioned whether it was practicable to ask schools to keep detailed records on bullying. "Feedback from heads indicates that placing a duty on schools to measure and record every incident of bullying would be a huge bureaucratic burden," Knight said" "

Perhaps Ofsted feels the same way.


Anonymous said...

It's the same where I live. The primary school has a glowing report and theschool is well known for being up on "green" issues. But time and time again, local mothers have told me there is a huge amount of bullying that goes on there.

They never mentioned that in the local paper when the "outstanding" Ofsted report was announced!


Another Anonymous said...

Having worked in the local school while my daughter was still there, I discovered that, appallingly, the children were being 'briefed' during assembly and lessons on what to say / what NOT to say should the OFSTED inspectors speak to them. Except they of course didn't call it 'briefing'. They did it in a way that got the kids all fired up about how great the school was, and sort of made them forget temporarily about the bad points.
My daughter, having been brought up to be honest about her feelings, was very worried that if the inspectors spoke to her, would the school expect her to lie to them? I always told her that she should tell them the truth - however, they never did speak to her so she never had the opportunity.
This school was and still is on Ofsted 'Special Measures', i.e. failing spectacularly, so I think the Ofsted inspectors know when a Head is trying to pull the wool over their eyes...

Carlotta said...

It isn't just me then, J, and thank you very much for the explanation, Anon.

It is a terrible inditement of the schooling system when children are actively encouraged to lie.

I feel that even in the situation where children are not overtly briefed prior to Ofsted inspection, it is the case that many children will not tell the truth, perhaps out of fear of repercussions from the school or other children, and also because of the longer term briefing, so to speak. ie: over the years, the children are led to believe that they just have to put up with having their fingers bashed in the loo doors, or being pushed down the stairs or kicked in the back, knifed, etc, for this is after all normal life and behaviour, and anyhow, what is the point of complaining as nothing will change.

So much for learning about truth seeking and critical thinking in schools. It is a mockery. Great to hear that you made sure this didn't happen to your daughter.

Wobblymoo said...

If you complain about bullying at any school I have been in or my children, it is twisted so that the bullied child is made to feel it's their fault. I have heard of no school that holds it's hand up and say we've got a bullying problem and until they all adopt that approach then there will be no change.

dottyspots said...

I was told that due to my son's 'difficulties in interpreting social situations' that he was 'misinterpreting horseplay'.

Hmmmmm, being kicked in the chest, punched, tripped and finally having your arm broken is apparently 'horseplay'...

Oh and of course the usual line that he was 'manipulating' me and saying 'what I wanted to hear' - so the various other parents, etc., that also expressed concern to me were imagining it then.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you as parents sort it? It's something I don't get. If my kid was bullied, I wouldn't complain to the school, I would find out who the kids were and have a talk with them and their parents.