I’ve just read Beth Prescott’s piece on children persistently absent from school. I think she misses a key piece of the equation for solving this which is a rethink of schools themselves. Our school system is antiquated, based on a private school system from victorian times, schools are often authoritarian and discipline focused rather than nurturing, as well as being severely under funded. They don’t prepare our children for life in the adult world, and certainly not the climate change affected world today’s children will be forced to survive in. No modern jobs force us to spend all day in a small room with 30 bullies, while an overseeing bully torments us. This sort of toxic environment really needs a rethink. Growing Great Schools Worldwide gives an alternative vision of how things could be.
Amy Doherty, Exeter
Amy Doherty’s rant complaining of a toxic school environment states that every child in a class is a bully, based on class sizes of 30, and that every teacher is also a bully. The writer offers no constructive alternative suggestions to change this perceived environment, just a full on whinge of a situation that is just not creditable. Yes there is a focus on academia because that is how schools are judged in the current climate and the recent suicide of a head teacher following an Ofsted visit shows just how much pressure schools are currently under. I suspect the writer’s ire should be directed at the government and its policy making rather than bashing schools with statements that cannot be justified in reality. Just my two cents’ worth (I am not a teacher by the way).
Tim Grindley, London
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