Anorak News | Babysitting Class

Babysitting Class

by | 23rd, November 2006

“FOUR out of 10 schools are not good enough, says watchdog,” announces the Guardian. THWACK!

“Thirty eight per cent of secondary schools are only satisfactory.” THWACK!

“One in eight children in care absent 25 days a year.” THWACK!

Those are the painful facts as gleaned from Ofsted’s Annual report. For those of you lucky enough to be ignorant of the complicated school system, Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education.

“The report card for education has been increasingly encouraging over the past 10 years, but it still is not good enough.” That is not our surmise of the numbers. That is the view of Christine Gilbert, the head of Ofsted. She is Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools.

Sadly, unlike their pupils, teachers cannot feed this report to the dog, leave it on the bus or smoke it, for it is now a matter of public record.

The Telegraph looks at the report and offers the headline: “Ofsted: schools failing 3.3m.”

And know this is not a good number. We live in a time when school is all about passing everything. The age when there were just two options open to a student – pass or fail – has been improved upon. Today’s students have many options, even if they are all about passing by degrees.

But things can still be improved. Student can get better passes. And Ms Gilbert is the new broom who will sweep in the changes.

Her job is to highlight the errors and weed out the trouble makers. Ms Gilbert, a former secondary school head teacher, is, incidentally married to Tony McNulty, the Home Office minister. Forget joined-up Government, this is hitched-up Government.

And Ms Gilbert tells the Telegraph: “Better education and care make a difference to the life chances of young people. It is a cliché to say that children have only one chance at school, but the cliché is right.”

Clichés often are right. Just as stereotypes are usually based on some truth, clichés are founded on historical accuracy. Mrs Gilbert is driving the point home. Those who can do; those who can’t teach. Education, education, education.

But there is another solution. In the Times, Ms Gilbert tells us that the greater world can play a part.

Says she: “We should look at drawing in heads from business and industry… I do think that schools could benefit from leadership expertise of people from outside, particularly those who have taken early retirement in their 50s. They could come in as consultants or heads.”

Who needs more trained and talented when you can get old people in to look after the children. Like the mother who can’t afford a proper nanny, schools can call up grandma and grandpa to pop round to babysit.

Bring on the babysitters, or child-rearing consultants, as they will surely be known…

Posted: 23rd, November 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink