Monday, 28 March 2011

That Definition Of ‘Insanity’…

…is ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result’, right?

Well, progressives have that one down pat:
Children should be given more say in the running of their schools, England's Children's Commissioner says.
Why, yes, of course that’ll work…

/facepalm
Dr Maggie Atkinson also calls for their voices to be heard when education policy and other laws affecting them are changed.

She adds that they have a right to be heard under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
That’s the same convention that’s plastered the high street with the nonsensical ‘Children have a RIGHT to play!’ posters?

Well, they can safely be ignored, then.
Speaking at the annual lecture of education charity National Education Trust, in London, Dr Atkinson said she wanted a system where children and young people were taken seriously in the running of their schools.
Why stop at schools? Why not let them have a say in council discussions on rates rises, or traffic management?

I mean, they don’t know any more about that than they do about running a school, but hey, think big, Maggie!
She said: "The quality of just about every setting, in and beyond schools, can be richly informed, I dare to say improved, if the voice of the child or young person has a legitimate place and they know it will be heard, whether or not they always get what they say they want.
Frankly, I think we hear far too much from ‘children and young persons’…
Dr Atkinson quoted Article 3 of the UN Convention: "Everything we do must have the child's best interests at heart."

She added: "If that means adapting to issues through the eyes of the child, so be it.

"The demands of this article on the adaptation of our professional practice should not be underestimated as we change laws on education, and on its inspection and regulation."
Welcome to the brave new world, comrades!

Surely the unions will have something to say to protect their members’ interests?
General secretary of the Nasuwt teaching union Chris Keates said giving students a voice in school could be an extremely powerful aid to learning.
Oh. Guess not.
She added: "Unfortunately, all too frequently the Nasuwt has encountered practice in some schools which can only be described as the abuse of student voice.

"Children and young people under the guise of student voice are manipulated and used as a management tool to monitor teaching staff.

"Feedback from young people is manipulated to undermine individual teachers. Pupils are used inappropriately to observe classroom practice and to interview staff."
Riiiiiiight. The only possible drawback to this that you can see is the potential for pupils to be used as informants against poor teaching methods…

Is it any wonder that education is doomed in this country?

17 comments:

Chalcedon said...

What about being seen and not heard? Just follow a bunch of kids on a lunch break and listen to the inane drivel they talk, and every other word is a swear word too. And this woman wants such children, who are also pretty ignorant in the ways of the world such as organisation skills, to have a say in running their schools? Madness. Teachers need to lead by example.

PT said...

"Dr Atkinson quoted Article 3 of the UN Convention: "Everything we do must have the child's best interests at heart."

She added: "If that means adapting to issues through the eyes of the child, so be it."

So, Dr Atkinson has made at least three wild, unsupported assumptions here, and then offers them as the basis for her brilliant idea.
1) Teachers and parents do not have the best interests of the children at heart.
2) The professional training, life experience and plain common sense of parents and teachers are inferior to those qualities in children.
3) Children will vote for hard work, respect and discipline rather than whatever results in having more fun.

I find it strangely encouraging for the condition of England's children that Dr Atkinson has so little to do in her post as Children's Commissioner that she has to come up with this sort of idea to justify her appointment.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

On the basis that we are all treated like children by government and charidees - thats you, me and the rest of adult society given a voice on how our schools should be run then!

On a serious note, I can but wonder how such a person as this woman, brainless and self-opinionated as she so obviously is, ever reached the nadir in the employment market that she has!

CJ Nerd said...

Katherine Birbalsingh (aka Miss Snuffleupagus) has covered this too:
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/katharinebirbalsingh/100080930/memo-to-dr-maggie-atkinson-children-do-not-always-know-whats-best-for-them/

Span Ows said...

Your last sentence says it all. How on earth do complete #$%*^@&'s like this get into the positions they do? (and presumably get paid a jolly decent salary too)

tolkein said...

Dr Atkinson is being very sensible.

If children's voices are to be heard, they will surely need representatives to help them give voice - and make sure those voices are diverse, tolerant and welcoming of all strands of belief (except religious belief or old fashioned morals, as these are exclusionary by nature).

And who better qualified than Dr Atkinson and those who think like her?

This is just a plea for more work and jobs.

neilreddin said...

"Dr Atkinson quoted Article 3 of the UN Convention: "Everything we do must have the child's best interests at heart."

So the parent who slaps a child who has just hit his sister get Dr Atkinson's approval, yes? After all, they would have both heir children's best interests at heart.

Oh hang on, social services are at the door ... back in a bit ...

Laban said...

Ms Atkinson is childless.

Her CV is worth a read (if your blood pressure is low).

Ringmer said...

Just skipped through the CV. Would go in the CFP pile for me. (Content Free Psychobabblers.)
3-D thinking ?
Does that mean special glasses are required ?

Was also a little puzzled by "Trained as a general and a grief counsellor".

Who can supply the missing word(s) after 'general' but before 'and' above?

(Interfering busybody fits the bill for me.)

Mark Wadsworth said...

Have you done this one yet?

ReefKnot said...

The Children's Commissioner. Now there's a position ripe for being abolished. And all the staff that go with it.

Woman on a Raft said...

Another opportunity to save money by sacking her and disbanding her bureaucracy. Every little helps.

Woman on a Raft said...

Links little fingers and shakes with ReefKnot.

Captain Haddock said...

When I was a kid at school .. the definition of madness was "looking for hairs on the palm of your hand" ..

Confirmation was finding them .. ;)

JuliaM said...

"What about being seen and not heard? Just follow a bunch of kids on a lunch break and listen to the inane drivel they talk, and every other word is a swear word too. "

A lot of them get on my morning commute. It makes one despair for the human race!

"I find it strangely encouraging for the condition of England's children that Dr Atkinson has so little to do in her post as Children's Commissioner that she has to come up with this sort of idea to justify her appointment."

I'd find it more comforting, if it didn't work.

"This is just a plea for more work and jobs."

Undoubtedly!

"Her CV is worth a read (if your blood pressure is low)."

*grinds teeth*

It certainly isn't now!

JuliaM said...

"Who can supply the missing word(s) after 'general' but before 'and' above?"

I think it means she trained as a general grief counsellor, as well as a specialist grief counsellor, but it is certainly apparent that English isn't her strong suit.

"Have you done this one yet?"

I have indeed!

"Another opportunity to save money by sacking her and disbanding her bureaucracy. Every little helps."

And yet the coalition makes no moves in this direction, so far as we can tell. They must realise that unless they cut off their enemy's supporters, they will constantly have their plans thwarted.

Mustn't they?

nightlurker said...

Dr Atkinson quoted Article 3 of the UN Convention: "Everything we do must have the child's best interests at heart."

If this works can we use the same argument for a referrendum on EU membership?

It's for the chiiiiiiildreeeeeeeeen!