According to the Telegraph the riots are all down to teachers

I was left open mouthed, but not entirely surprised this morning when headlines started coming in that a teacher had been in court for looting. As a teacher myself I tweeted that I hope this person would no longer be able to work with children, and that I hoped they would be properly punished by the courts. It is now known that the person in court is not a teacher, but works with children at a school. This did not, however, stop David Hughes, a man who is apparently the chief leader writer for the Telegraph publishing on his blog an absolute rant against the teaching profession.

This is what he wrote

teacher is charged with looting – why am I not surprised?

One’s capacity for shock has been rather depleted by the events of the past few days but a riot-related item this morning did manage to raise the eyebrows. The BBC is reporting that the first person up at Highbury Magistrates Court on looting charges was a 31-year old school teachernamed Alexis Bailey. She pleaded guilty to being part of the looting of the Richer Sounds store in Croydon. If this is what teachers get up to, is it any wonder that children have been queuing up to ransack shops? It prompts the question of just when was it that schools stopped punishing theft and instead started turning a blind eye to it? You can date this profound shift to the time youngsters started to heave all their books in and out of school each day in gigantic rucksacks because they could not leave them in their desks in case of theft. The difference between right and wrong became blurred. Before the change, theft was severely punished in all schools: teachers would come down like a ton of bricks on any light-fingered pupils. Then for some reason they simply threw in the towel and told children to protect their own stuff because the disciplinary system could not. Such moral ambivalence has helped spawn the rampant criminality that has had us all so transfixed.

One wonders how such an ill educated fool gets to be a chief leader writer for a national newspapers when virtually everything he has written is either rubbish, or if true, largely been done not because teachers have asked for it but because governments have sought to impose it, in and in the main that has been Tory governments.

Note his main argument that 

You can date this profound shift to the time youngsters started to heave all their books in and out of school each day in gigantic rucksacks because they could not leave them in their desks in case of theft. 

So breaking down his argument, this stems back to when children have to take their books around with them (and home) and the end of each day, in case of theft. So we are talking about after school hours, in evenings, at night ? In essence his claim is that the fault is that teachers failed to protect schools after school from thefts and break ins. Is that a teacher's role ? If so, what an utterly ridiculous argument.

Many people on the left have sought to blame the riots on cuts, EMA and tuition fees. They are wrong, as can be clearly seen by the type of people going before the courts.

But equally the right are wrong to turn to their usual targets, which as we've seen since Michael Gove because education secretary, always seems to involve attacking teachers.

Now you can't access the blog any more written by David Hughes, but you can access the cached version HERE.

Next time David Hughes writes about education, remember what he wrote and see what his real agenda is, which is basically to blame teachers for the nation's ills, even riots.


Steve said...

Obviously that article's a load of bollocks but as teacher myself, we have surely contributed to the situation.

Schools are full of too many managers all doing their best to 'massage' results and 'manage' the number of disruptive pupils without actually changing anything. Heads implement government policy without a fucking care what it's doing to education and the upbringing of our children and teachers largely follow. Two paltry strike days in my last ten years is pathetic considering the opposition to government initiatives and policy that there's been.

Bad behaviour is now 'challenging' and to address it directly is 'being confrontational' And we all know that the only kids who matter are those C/D borderliners who might just affect the results.

And we have a middle management layer of careerists whose only purpose seems to be to avoid acknowledging problems even exist.

A total fucking shambles. We always used to joke some kids would do well despite the education they received. Truer every year.

Edward Spalton said...

The poor quality of journalism in the MSM no longer surprises me.

However, I knew an up and coming young social worker in the Sixties - the days of Roy Jenkins's "Civilised Society". He praised the contribution which the "voluntary unemployed" were making to society.

I remember a couple of things from "New Society" of those days - a tremendous drive to dispose of any distinction between "deserving" and "undeserving" recipients of state benefits and a serious proposal to award a state pension of £500 a year (the wage of a farm labourer) to the workshy who could become "state registered ergophobiacs" and so be dispensed from the humiliation of having to prove that they were "genuinely seeking work".

The same "all must have prizes" ethos had penetrated education too, Leicestershire was the first county to go comprehensive in the Fifties and I well remember the Leader of Ashby de la Zouch Urban District Council stating the objective succinctly. "Good, working class lads go to grammar school, get good jobs and vote Tory. We're going to put a stop to that". Our teachers never told us their political opinions but I guess that most were Labour-inclined. They were utterly horrified, believing that education was about opportunity, not levelling. It's been downhill all the way since and Margaret Thatcher, as Minister of Education, was the most prolific closer of grammar schools!.