Saturday, 2 May 2015

Taking ‘In Loco Parentis’ A Little Too Far…

Schools are being forced to act as “miniature welfare states” to plug the gaps created by cuts in services to the poorest families. A survey of more than 2,000 headteachers found they were having to buy clothing such as uniforms and even underwear for their pupils as well as providing washing facilities and breakfasts.
Which, you’ll note, is not the point of schools. We don’t send our children to school to be parented (well, we never used to, and normal families still don’t,,,) but to be educated.

And I think we can all agree that the UK education system is not doing such a bang-up job on that front that it has the time to dabble in this, can’t we?
At one school, all pupils were provided with toothbrushes and instructed to brush their teeth twice a day.
Really? What, they all needed this? The entire school?

Or was this simply a case (yet again) of sheepdipping the entire school so they couldn’t be accused of singling out the few with incompetent parents?
The survey by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) estimates that schools are spending £43m a year to offset the effect of poverty on their pupils.
Fantastic! Slash the school budget by £43m because the NAHT have just admitted that they have a surplus of that amount, since they clearly aren’t spending it on education!
Teachers were paying out of their own pockets to buy basic equipment such as stationery, P.E kits - and even birthday cards and presents for pupils who would not otherwise get them.
Great! Licence to ignore every whinge from the teaching unions about low pay, then. It’s clearly too high.
Support for disadvantaged pupils supplied by schools includes:
- Buying birthday cards and presents for pupils heads know won't have any otherwise.
- Running food banks at school with the aid of a local charity
- Providing headlice treatment plus a haircut.
- Paying for outings for those who have diminished exposure to community events.
- Buying clothes and supplying free PE kits. Also washing facilities to wash clothing.
- Providing staff time to help parents complete paperwork they don't understand for assistance.
- One school is organising two teeth-brushing sessions a day because children who have not been taught to clean their teeth at home.
- Setting aside time for parents to talk about their worries, debts and family needs.
None of that is the responsibility of the school, it is the responsibility of all the other overblown public sector departments we are forced to fund.

And it’s merely serving to prop up useless, ‘don’t care’ parents who shouldn’t be having kids they can’t or don’t want to bring up properly.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable, the 'one stop arse wipe shop' chain continues to expand.

What a state this country is in. Porous borders allowing the dregs of the world in to claim their free health treatments, money and housing and our own dregs of humanity - our indigenous chav underclass - to claim the same and continue not working. Bonkers Brittan.

Macheath said...

I'd disagree with you to a certain extent, in that a school should, if necessary, lend the pupil any item deemed necessary for that day's learning - though most primary schools supply basic stationery as part of standard classroom equipment.

However, birthday cards, presents and haircuts have nothing to do with the function of the school and advice to parents, unless it directly concerns the child, should be offered on a voluntary basis only.

It is interesting that the primary school attended by my children, with a number of families in difficult circumstances, abandoned its second-hand clothing rail (uniform items, trainers and sports kit given by departing/growing pupils and sold for a small donation to school funds - or, in cases of dire need, given free) because of a lack of demand - "People want to buy new" - while the second-hand uniform shop at the prep school down the road is thriving.

Anonymous said...

Same can be seen with buggies. Parents or more usually a 'lone-parent' that would quite happily claim to be in poverty will quite happily drop the best part of £1,000 on a brand new, ridiculously over priced buggy.

The spurious claim being that they want their (usually just her though) kids to have the best. As if pushing round a barely sentient lump in a £150 buggy will some how affect their chances of a happy life. That clearly already being out of the question given the quality of individual pushing said buggy.

Despite earning a fairly decent salary and perhaps not strictly needing to, my wife and I buy secondhand all the time. Why wouldn't we? I work hard to earn that money and want to ensure it goes as far as possible.

Oh, hang on, I think I might be on to something...

Able said...

“ … to the poorest families ...” Oh my aching sides!

What isn't being said is that the overwhelming majority of those 'families' (if not exclusively) will be the entitled, give-me-what-I-want-for-free, it's-everybody-elses-fault-and-job-to-do-my-work-so-I-can-go-out-partying-and-sleeping-around single 'lady' families requiring this, there won't be a 'father' to be seen.

And let's be honest every one of the teachers will be a dyed in the wool, trenchant, rabid feminist who rather than dare blame the special snowflakes of their fellow sisterhood are predictably demanding that more money be stolen from men (men still pay >70% of net tax) to pay for yet another of their unintended consequences.

JuliaM said...

"Unbelievable, the 'one stop arse wipe shop' chain continues to expand."

There's a demand for it, that'll never stop, once it's indulged.

"... though most primary schools supply basic stationery as part of standard classroom equipment."

Well, quite! I've never heard of a school requiring it - the only thing I ever had to do at school was cover my exercise book in sticky film, and the school even provided THAT!


"What isn't being said is that the overwhelming majority of those 'families' (if not exclusively) will be the entitled, give-me-what-I-want-for-free, it's-everybody-elses-fault-and-job-to-do-my-work-so-I-can-go-out-partying-and-sleeping-around single 'lady' families..."

Spot on!