The country is in a mess and who know who is to blame. Our children.
Certainly a new authoritarianism seems to be creeping into education.
In April the papers were full of the goings on at a school in Huddersfield affecting much older pupils.
As the Telegraph told it:
Furious parents have accused a school of overkill after hundreds of children were given detention for forgetting items like rubbers and pencil sharpeners ...
The school texted parents during the Easter break saying that children would receive a detention if they failed to bring a planner diary, a pen, a pencil, a sharpener, a rubber, a ruler and a calculator.But there is no policy so repressive that a member of the teaching profession cannot be found to defend it enthusiastically:
"During the last term we experienced a huge increase in the number of students routinely arriving at school without the basic items of equipment we expect them to have each day.
"It is extremely disruptive to learning when large volumes of students need to borrow equipment from their teacher or our Student Services bureau ...
"It can be difficult for parents to appreciate how much this particular problem can get in the way of teaching in such a large school. We expect the prospect of a detention to act as an incentive to students to take responsibility for bringing all their equipment in future."Note that this policy goes hand in hand with the modern trend for calling pupils "students".
Today came news that a London school has told children to clasp their hands behind their backs when walking:
Pupils at St George the Martyr Primary School in Holborn, central London, have been ordered to adopt the pose - known as the "University Walk" - when walking down corridors.
This follows an order from new executive headteacher Angela Abrahams who says the rules will strengthen pupil safety, raise their aspirations and maximise learning time.Personally, I suspect that once you have given someone a silly title like "executive headteacher" this sort of nonsense is likely to follow.
Again this ludicrous policy easily finds defenders. The woman with the silly job title says the policy was:
"introduced to strengthen pupil safety, further raise the aspirations of pupils and to maximise learning time".And the Revd Guy Pope, the school's chairman as the Telegraph terms him, says:
"I think parents are not looking out for the best interests of their children."That's right. The parents may think they care for their children, but none of them cares half as much as the Revd Guy Pope does.
In fact, I suspect if you asked the Revd Guy Pope what he thought of the Revd Guy Pope, the Revd Guy Pope would tell you that the Revd Guy Pope was pretty amazing.
If only there were a suitable and topical fate I could suggest should befall him.