When gazing in a mirror whilst trimming my beard, I admit that time has indeed marched on. My hair and beard are either silver, or snow white. Ever more, I look back upon my life, and examine the times which I have lived through, and noted how things have changed, usually for the worst. We do, as a Nation, live longer, mainly due to advances in medical technology, but these advances are, unfortunately, skewed towards the better educated, as well as those wealthier than the poorest. The life and the Body Politic have changed, in so many ways in these Islands of ours; so much that if a man who lived in, say the Nineteen-Thirties was transported forwards, and deposited in this year of Twenty-Nineteen: he would hardly recognise that this is the land of his birth. Changes almost beyond belief have been wrought; some for the best; but most bending towards the destruction of what was once known; in my eyes: as civilised society.
Take just one item from the morass of bits of our very lifestyle which have been subject to the slow, insidious grasp of the Liberal Left, and you may agree with this writer that ‘Change’ has not altogether been for the best. I can only speak of my own experiences in Education, but I believe that my upbringing had much in common with the wider community. Primary school was where we learned the Three ‘R’s: Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. There was discipline, there were no rowdy interruptions, we called the teachers ‘Miss’, ‘Mrs.’ or ‘Sir’; with absolutely no exceptions. The teacher’s voice was the only one heard, unless and until a common question was asked, and usually a forest of hands shot up in response: because no-one spoke without invitation, and we all waited until addressed by our name before replying. We learned by rote; by lists, by those ‘Times Tables, by learning, off by heart, small booklets full of the ‘most difficult’ words: and no-one jeered, or laughed, or disrupted the class! No-one ran inside the school buildings, because to run was to be uncouth, to be ill-mannered. We ran, and played, and talked outside; gaining, without ever realising or noting the fact that we were exercising, muscle tone and strength.
Moving on, as I did, to a Grammar school, or as most of my friends did towards a Secondary Modern school, we were all subject to varying models of discipline, but, again, we learnt by reading, by example, by observation. True, in the Grammar school which I attended, the physical side of the ‘discipline’ model tended more towards the back-hander across the ear, or in my own case being knocked unconscious for the ‘high crime’ of ‘disrespecting the teacher by lifting my desk lid before he was out of the class. But, I lived through it, and, I suppose, looking back from fifty years of life’s hard knocks; we came through with a healthy respect for rules, written and unwritten.
Fast forwards some fifty-odd years, and take a good, hard look at modern British schools, the (allegedly) comprehensive education system, and the hold which the Left commands on schools in general, teachers, the curriculum, how it is taught, and the very ethos of how our children are ‘educated’. Schools are crippled by league tables, exams are dumbed down and ‘well meaning liberal’ teachers refused to discipline black children for fear of being called racist. In the average state school, the kids would have had their studies disrupted by kids who didn’t want to work in classes run by teachers who couldn’t keep discipline. Discipline is a term so foreign to the State school set-up as virtually all of the teachers, never mind the kids; would not know what it means, never mind how to spell it. Bullying, of the weaker by the strong, is rampant, and the futile and feeble attempts aimed at grappling with this alarming problem are almost laughable; inclusive of such crap as Anti-Bullying Strategies. My approach to bullies is, understandably, old-fashioned in that physical force is used against proven bullies: but that ideal is so far away from present-day realities that it can be discounted. A close friend has a grandson attending a school which also caters for ‘Special Needs children’. He enquired why his grandson wasn’t showing any improvement? The Answer? The class contains disruptive kids who cannot be controlled; the lessons were interrupted, and the learning curve was disrupted!
But now we have a new role-model: a former marxist teacher who was fired after stating what she considered to be the absolute truth regarding the education establishment. A black educationalist who refuses to stick to the mould. She stuck to her guns, made her case, established a brand-new ‘Free’ school in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in Greater London; and this year, the first in which her pupils won through to receive the best results ever in GCSE examinations. Her school is named Michaela, her methods are strictly old-school. No more is the idea that anything goes in That School.
Results Count, which is why Michaela’s Head teacher can post this on her Twitter feed:-
Why does the success of the Michaela School so infuriate the left?
Because though the headmistress Katharine Birbalsingh is black, she’s the wrong kind of black: a conservative who doesn’t believe in playing the race card or identity politics.
Because though the kids come from largely working-class, migration-background families, they are the wrong kind of working-class immigrants: ones who don’t know their role is to be victims and to blame their failures on racism and government inaction.
Because though the results are some of the best in the country, they were achieved using the wrong kind of methods: not the “child-centred”, supposedly creativity-nurturing, discipline-lite laissez-faire approach as recommended by the leftist educational establishment — aka the Blob — but with teaching methods so rigorous and demanding that classes are like a cross between a Trappist monastery and a Marine boot camp.
The derisive comments come thick and fast, such as:-
Some one needs to educate this head teacher that for kids life is much more than bloody discipline and GCSE.
You only have youth once.
Say no to educational robots.
This school will always be oddball.
It will never catch on.
And so on, and so forth.
But Katherine marches onwards, defiant and certain that her methods and ideals work, and her ever-supportive parents are right behind her.
The question must be asked, would this fantastic school’s educational achievements ever catch on? Even under a Tory Government, with an enlightened Ministerial hand on the tiller; I would give it odds of 100/1 against. The grip of the Left-wing on the whole of the education system, certainly in England, is so strong that it would take decades to rid ourselves of the Socialist ideals which have been fed so skilfully into the minds of teachers and pupils who, at present, don’t even know or understand what pap is being fed them: all under the guise of an ‘Enlightened System of Education’.