The Removal of Humanity 370


Occasionally I post about my personal experience of butting up against the consequences of the removal of both common humanity and common sense from the administration of the systems which govern us. It is not that my experiences of this are worse, or more consequential, than those of anyone else. It is simply that I have a forum on which to rail against the contempt with which we all are treated.

Tomorrow we move home, within Edinburgh but about six miles away. Cameron has finished P5 at Royal Mile Primary School and will now be entering P6 at a new school. Hopefully. In Edinburgh there is no entitlement to a place in your local catchment area school if you move there after year 1.

About six months ago I phoned the primary school of our new catchment area to ask if they would have a place. They replied – in a rather brusque manner – that they could not give me any information and that I could not apply for a place until after we had moved. At that stage I had to send in a form direct to the school with a council tax demand plus utility bill as proof of address (making it impossible to apply until you have not only moved but received those bills).

As instructed, now we are moving I contacted the school again. It is closed for the school holidays. As Edinburgh schools restart on 14 August, I contacted Edinburgh Council. They reiterated that applications must be made straight to the school itself. They confirmed that applications cannot be made before moving and must be accompanied by a Council Tax bill and utility bill. They told me that school offices reopen on 12 August and I will then be able to apply for admission on 14 August. They told me that they hold no information on pupil numbers in schools beyond year 1 and that there is no entitlement to a place in the catchment area school after year 1.

So I have no idea where Cameron will go to school on 14 August – I suspect he will for a while end up not going anywhere – and no means of even beginning the process to find out before 12 August (which is the earliest I can submit the form, presuming I have somehow procured a utility bill after a fortnight). Doubtless there are people who do not worry about such things, and that may be admirable. But we, and I suspect many others put in this position, find it very worrying.

What is undoubtedly true is that this is a system formed around the convenience of bureaucrats which shows an utter contempt for the needs and feelings of parents and pupils. My small family problem is but an example of the deliberate hollowing out of normal human helpfulness from societal interaction which comes when you stop caring about people as individuals.


370 thoughts on “The Removal of Humanity

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  • Sharp Ears

    Orwell lives – in Edinburgh apparently.

    Sorry for both Camerons. It must be very unsettling.

    • Sharp Ears

      I meant to say very unsettling for both Cameron and for Craig and for Nadira too.

      • craig Post author

        Thanks. Yes it is – it is unsettling enough for a 10 year old to leave his friends and start a new school, without this added worry. Also means he will probably have the added stress of starting late, not having the right uniform on time etc and all those things that can upset a little one

        • Ros Thorpe

          Make sure you get the right uniform and keep him home till you’ve got it. We cannot even begin to understand what it’s like to be a new boy dressed wrong. Starting late isn’t an issue and actually makes you a point of interest especially if you’ve got stories to tell of lounging at home while others went to school. I’ve experienced this with my daughter and I was very surprised how she fitted right in.

          • Shatnersrug

            Interesting bitchy comment. There was me thinking all parents had to send their kids to school. Apparently not, and apparently worrying about their children’s schooling is something only middle class people do.

            #middleclassstudenttrolling

  • Photios

    ‘Personnel’ is now ‘Human Resources’.
    ‘Croak-voiced Daleks’ now rule the world.

    • andrewsgreen

      Human resources. Never has that phrase become so horribly appropriate. An infinitely replaceable and expendable resource.

      • Photios

        Remove the ‘person’ and all you have left are economic units to be exploited as required.

    • Mr V

      I have no idea why this US based abomination is even a thing (well, yes, besides fundies being afraid their kids won’t perpetuate their religion if not indoctrinated into it for decades without contact with inside world). I am a scientist, but I’d never be so arrogant to claim I know all topics of even elementary school so well to teach them as good as people specializing in them. Furthermore, even if I did, I am not really qualified in the very base of the issue at hand, teaching children. It honestly scares me there are people arrogant enough to believe they would do job of a dozen different teachers without irreparably harming their child (which they inevitably do) never stopping to question themselves if it’s really a good idea and how far behind the kid will be even after a few years of such treatment.

      • john hartley

        The idea that “homeschooling” necessarily means that one individual schools a child in all subjects, or that it will “invariably” harm children is nonsense. As “a scientist”, I am surprised that you like to display your lack of knowledge to the world. However that self justifying epithet when used in internet commentary usually sees a display small minded ignorance, stupidity and broad brush generalisation (*). You unfortunately do not buck this trend.

        (*)You have so much in common with fundamentalist Christians you appear to loathe.)

      • Nikolay

        Why so much confidence in the role of school in education? School can be seen as the forceful removal of the child from the family unit and delivery into the arms of the state. What is an education? do children finish school with the skills they really need? Do children who spend more time in school end up with more academic success? What is the psychological impact on children of being tasked with meaningless exercises over and over again, performing no real work, solving no real problems?

      • Steve Ambartzakis

        When you have a retreaded terrorist movement as a government, as we have in South Africa currently, who insists on rewriting the history books and “de-colonising” education you will see the wisdom of home schooling, if you want your children to have an education which will fit them into the 21st century that is

  • Peter Neary-Chaplin

    Craig, Ask for a water bill. I’ve already received one for the whole of the next 12 months despite not moving into the new place until tomorrow. Hats off to Southern Water. Wondering whether to go to a competitor….no…wait…

    • Millsy

      Point of information : In Scotland Water is publicly owned – no private water companies . Water is billed through the Council tax , so sending in a Water Bill is only an English problem /solution .

  • PleaseBeleafMe

    I’m in a somewhat similar predicament with moving back to the Ottawa area from Switzerland. My kids need to do placement tests when the school year opens to determine which school they’re allowed to go to. Makes it a terrible pain when choosing housing or how daily commutes get organized.
    Bureaucracies serve themselves! Using the kiss model becomes more and more rare with time and complacency. That’s why shite needs to get burned down ever so often.
    Coming through your neck of the woods for a few days in a week or so Craig. If I find u face down in a piss trough at the local pub I’ll clean u up and buy u a few rounds.

  • daydreamer

    I suppose some of these rules are in place to stop people from pretending they live somewhere that they don’t live in order to get their child/children into what might be considered a better school. Families misleading schools about where they live (by using former addresses, using someone else they know’s address, or by moving somewhere very temporarily to get proof of residence) is a common thing to do here in Edinburgh. It would be better if there were an effective way to make things less of a bureaucratic nightmare for genuine cases though.

    • Bramble

      Daydreamer, It would be better if all schools were good and all children received a first rate education, wherever they lived.

      • daydreamer

        I agree 100%. Is there any indication in what I said above that made you feel you had to point this out to me?

  • Sal

    Assume a refusal and get your appeal papers ready. Let them know. You will be amazed how quickly something will just come up…..

    …which of course is more evidence that what you say above about the structure of the system is completely correct.

  • Anon1

    If you’re not already channelling the proceeds from the blog towards a private education for your son then you should be. A rigorous private education will give him a considerable advantage over his peers, who will be learning to draw mosques and question their gender identity while he learns to read and write. Do everything you can to keep the state away from your children.

    • Sal

      There are still many people who actively choose state education for our children, because we want those children to live in a more egalitarian world, with a choice of associates made on the content of their characters, not the content of their parents’ wallets.

      • Loony

        Does a state education teach logical coherence?

        This entire blog post concerns the inhumanity of the state and how it causes disproportionately unsettling effects through the ruthless enforcement of trivial but inflexible bureaucratic diktats.

        For what possible reason would anyone want their children to be taught by a system dedicated to the removal of humanity?

      • Agent Green

        So using their own children to take a personal ethical position? Excellent.

    • Anon2

      Cos that’s what you want for your children isn’t it, a considerable advantage over their peers. Lovely tory worldview.

      • Anon1

        I don’t have any children, but if I did then of course I would want the best for them. That is morally the right thing to do. Choosing the worst for them because of some selfish principle, as Jeremy Corbyn did, when you have the means to do otherwise, is morally the wrong thing to do.

        • glenn_nl

          So let me get this straight. If someone like Corbyn doesn’t send his children to a private school, it’s morally the wrong thing to do – selfish in fact. And if he does, why then he’s a lousy hypocrite.

          • Anon1

            Yes, indeed. That’s the position wealthy lefties put themselves in when they oppose private education. Usually they turn out to be complete hypocrites and go on to send their children to the best schools once they’re rich enough. In Corbyn’s case, he was prepared to leave his wife rather than do the best for his children.

            Both of these positions are abhorrent. Fundamentally, Glenn, you have absolutely no right to stop parents doing the best for their children. Have a think about it.

          • glenn_nl

            Sure, sure. And if skint lefties also oppose it, it’s the Politics of Envy. Of course.

            Ain’t it strange how this works – if one opposes your point of view, it is guaranteed to attract a highly negative label, however one personally behaves. Quite the trick-box.

            What you ought to, but never will, think about is how this public school/ ruling class BS has created a class-ridden society every bit as bad as the Caste system in India. That is why it is socially and structurally way behind its supposed European contemporaries, and what has made the UK such a spiteful country – beset with all the ills one expects of an extremely divided and unequal society.

            All this should be completely obvious. Pick from a privileged few all the time, and it’s clear you’re getting a bunch of public school duffers corruptly and incompetently running the show – never more obviously than right now.

            I doubt you’ve really thought about it any further than how it benefits you and your mates.

          • Anon1

            If you abolish public schools, out of envy and spite, Glenn, then parents will simply move to the best catchment area, find the best tutors, perhaps educate them at home or abroad. You can’t enforce equality, no matter how hard you try. And your “skint lefty” will always end up sending his child to a private school, or move to a good catchment area, should he find he is no longer skint. Except an ideological extremist like Jeremy Corbyn, of course. It’s human nature. You can’t stop it.

          • George

            Does society (which really does exist despite our lady of the iron’s hallowed pronouncements) never enter at all into your thoughts at all, Anon1? Does it not concern you that people who can afford to relocate their offspring are a shrinking group. Meanwhile the general decay all around worsens. And what would be the outcome? Gated communities?
            And then there’s also the autistic obsession with “freedom” and “individuality” conceived as if against a complete void. Not to mention once again that scam whereby competitive capitalism (only having existed for a few centuries, therefore scarcely a flicker in the long span of human existence) with its fixation on self-obsessed greed is projected as “nature” and “what cannot be altered”.

        • Jen

          I believe the issue was that Jeremy Corbyn preferred that his son go to a comprehensive school rather than attend a (government-funded) selective high school on the basis that young teenagers do best learning together irrespective of whatever result they got on one exam they did in Year 6. Even though his wife eventually got her way.

          Selective education (separating children into separate academic streams on the basis of grades or a one-time exam achievement in primary schools) isn’t necessarily ideal: children who don’t do well academically can still have the other qualities needed for university study, like self-discipline, that academically oriented ones, relying only on their smarts, might not have. By streaming them, you’re effectively cutting off people who might make the grade as college and research students.

          • Jen

            Incidentally I say this as a person who attended a private school as a teenager and observed that within the school there were two academic streams: a smaller upper stream (that I was lucky enough to be part of) with teachers who catered to that stream and who often came from overseas universities; and a larger lower stream with teachers whose career histories included having taught at public schools.

            In effect, the school fees paid by the parents of the students who ended up in the lower stream were subsidising the education of the upper stream.

      • Loony

        Someone like Usain Bolt enjoys a considerable advantage over his peers. No doubt his parents are very proud of him. Are you suggesting that should you be the parent of a child with such a talent then you would seek to somehow cripple the child so as to prevent the child from enjoying a considerable advantage over his peers?

        Lovely Khmer Rouge worldview.

      • Agent Green

        State school or no state school, people with the money to spend will always be able to obtain advantages for their children. There is absolutely nothing you or anyone else can do to prevent this.

        Ban private schools and those with money will just pay an army of home tutors or use holiday camps. Naturally those parents with money also have access to the best music tuition, sports tuition etc etc. Nobody can prevent this and it is entirely in the natural scheme of things.

        • Alex Westlake

          If you ban independent schools in the UK then those with enough money will send their children to independent schools overseas

          • Michael Droy

            You mean like a 52 week holiday? Just think how much you could fine the parents for that!!

        • George

          “Nobody can prevent this and it is entirely in the natural scheme of things.”

          “There Is No Alternative!” The “natural scheme of things” is a scam set up to justify ruling class ideology. The fact that money is becoming increasingly concentrated in fewer hands means, however, that these wondrous private institutions will eventualy have to be protected in gated communities.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          I would like to comment on these assertions.

          1. My father spent a very great deal of money on inappropriate education. It does not matter how musical you are, if you are handed the wrong instrument to learn, money will not buy success. A very large number of parents mistake money spent for standards achieved. It does not matter how academic you are, you need stretching with a similar cohort to fulfil your potential.
          2. During a gap year, tuition at a Conservatoire in Austria cost about a tenth of private education in the UK. The quality of teaching was about ten times as high. I had no more teaching time than in England, but the outcomes were enormously higher. The return on investment is not directly proportional to the value of the investment. Parents should think about that.
          3. Many private schools are not particularly academic. The one I attended was effectively a two-form entry comprehensive, with the most talented not being pushed, in effect teaching themselves and as a result being like an employee rather than a motivated student. You also have to keep quiet and hold back so as not to humiliate less gifted pupils. Becoming an adult aged 13 is not a good idea professionally. Particularly not having to go out into the pugilistic thuggery of Mrs Thatchers Britain.
          4. The reason many high achievers come from humble backgrounds is precisely because their parents are not aggressive back seat drivers. The more parents push and demand, the more of a shop floor employee you become. Success is about decision making more than anything else. If parents are constantly taking those decisions, their children become emotionally stunted. My time away from family always correlated with emotional growth, higher achievement and much deeper learning. UK Establishment always wanted that put back in the genie. Why? High profile parents are always right….

          Let us be clear: the UK Establishment favours aggressive thuggery with adequate academics. They absolutely abhor systemic level thinkers who were beaten up at school.

          • PleaseBeleafMe

            Excellent comment!
            I would also add that those who can pay for the “illusion” of a higher education might feel “morally” obligated to look for ways to spend their wealth. This of course creates a market for the rich kid school.
            Add in the old ” it looks good on a resume” incentive and u get a multi-tiered system.
            We are indeed taking away the ability for our children to think for themselves. I’m guilty of this as well as my patience runs out as soon as my children don’t do something perfectly the first time. As parents we are doing our children no favour by being their best friend and do they all fucking have ADD?
            One thing I am in favour though which might make me a shitty parent is I would send them to as close as “normal” a school as possible. Screw the prestige! Am I gonna want to have a beer(s) with my kids when they get older without wanting to box their ears for being “better than the plebs”?

    • Republicofscotland

      At least 20 British prime ministers were educated at Eton. One has to wonder if Britain would in the state its in, if more PM’s from state schools held the office, who undoubtedly wouldve been more in touch with what ails society.

      Instead we’ve have, classically educated self- centred, cliquish posh boys with a touch of psychosis, who look out for the rich and dream of yesteryears British empire.

      • Sharp Ears

        And before Eton, they are all at private prep schools. Try Surrey. The Surrey Yummy Mummies here drive their offspring to school in new or newish 4 x 4s and then repeat the process when they take them home. There will be just the mother and the child in the vehicle.

        These are the current fees PER TERM for a popular local prep school.
        Nursery*: £3630.00
        Year 1 & 2: £4350.00
        Years 3, 4 & 5: £4930.00
        Years 6, 7 & 8: £5090.00

        See that they start them young. Calculate the annual disposable income needed to have the above amount x 3 just to pay the fees for one child.

        PS P George’s fees for ‘Thomas’s’ in Battersea are £6,429 a term or £19,287 a year. P Charlotte and P Louis will follow on. Nice.

        • Agent Green

          And? Your point is?

          Those with money will always spend it on the finest things they can buy. These are naturally unobtainable to many. People who have children will always seek to spend their money on them. The more money they have, the greater the advantages they will be able to procure.

      • Alex Westlake

        How many of those 20 held office before state education even existed? Wilson, Heath, Thatcher, Major, Brown and May all attended state grammar schools. Comprehensives have yet to produce a Prime Minister. Grammar schools gave the top independent schools a run for their money in a way which comprehensives do not. Labour’s assault on grammar schools was probably the most socially divisive legislation of the last 50 years or so

        • Republicofscotland

          “How many of those 20 held office before state education even existed?”

          Almost half, (9) to be exact, An 1880 Act made education compulsory. Major, and Brown aside nearly all, those you mentioned went to Oxford university, infact of the 55 PM’s to date, more than half 28, went to Oxford university.

          • glenn_nl

            ‘Strewth, I am totally awed at your enormous and detailed general knowledge, RoS.

            Have you considered going on Mastermind, or University Challenge?

          • Alex Westlake

            You’d expect Cambridge to be up there with Oxford but it isn’t. The last Cambridge educated PM I believe was Stanley Baldwin

          • Republicofscotland

            Glenn.

            Sarcasm doesn’t become you, information is readily available on the web, if you can be bothered to look for it.

            As for University Challenge, Oxford and Cambridge, have 3 or 4 teams involved, whereas other universities are only allowed one team.

          • glenn_nl

            Yes, RoS – information is indeed readily available on the web. And contrary to your apparent belief, you’re not the only one capable or willing to perform searches.

            Why do you feel it necessary to perform these little searches all the time, then repost the results here with a bunch of rather odd punctuation, many times every day, year after year? Do you really think it’s a public service, or something the rest of us cannot do?

        • Republicofscotland

          Still is, he’s wheeled out like Hannibal Lecter every so often to mumble and wave his arms in closed shops, espousing the “benefits” of the union. The man’s a complete charlatan.

          • Anon1

            Normally to espouse the “benefits” of the European Union, actually. Which you want an “independent” Scotland to rejoin.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “who will be learning to draw mosques and question their gender identity”

      Is that you Nigel?

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      you spelled anon wrong. In your case it should be inane1.There are some dumb comments on the blog but yours is a real biscuit taker.

        • Deepgreenpuddock

          have you considered Royal High primary down porty way. socially and culturally diverse

        • Deepgreenpuddock

          your comment was so dumb it just provoked despair.I have already wasted more energy than it was worth.

    • George

      The word “peers” is completely misleading here. It creates the comfy image of a level playing field and that is becoming increasingly NOT the case.

      • Anon1

        Well yes that’s my point. The further the state system goes down the pan the more appealing a private education becomes. Of course, what you want is to drag everyone down to the bottom because that would be “fair”.

        • Steph

          No chance of trying to pull everybody up again then? There was a brief moment in time when fee paying schools were not particularly popular, mainly because they were absolutely crap in comparison to state schools. Only wierd aristos and cranks continued to send their kids to such places. Since then we have stupidly allowed the b******s to syphon all the cash back into their greedy little fists. But you seem perfectly happy with that, so I will say no more.

        • J

          I thought this ‘analysis’ of socialism had been retired in the seventies. Overjoyed to see the usual suspects reviving it from oblivion. And it makes you seem ever so intelligent, keep using it!

  • Eilidh Innes

    Totally understand. I vividly remember the horror of being sent to a school that I knew I would hate after being refused at my chosen school. In the 1980s these things were decided by who one knew. Vulnerable 11 year olds were sent to a toxic, bullying school and barely made it out alive. Hatred of bureaucrats and faceless people making decisions has accompanied me throughout adult life. I hope your wee boy gets everything sorted out for him. Upsetting at such a young age.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Vulnerable 11 year olds were sent to a toxic, bullying school and barely made it out alive. ”

      Indeed, I went from a small mixed gender primary school run by peacenik hippies to a large all male comprehensive with 1200 pupils where the culture was a cross between a prison and army barracks. In the end I just stopped attending, preferring to spend my days reading in the local library or visiting museums and the like. I turned up to do the exams in the final year and passed all 7.

  • alexey

    Just to add rather than a bit of whataboutery, try marrying a foreigner and bringing them into the country.
    Indefinite Leave to Remain fee: £2,389. That’s on top of the ones you have to pay before that. If you don’t you get a letter saying your spouse has 7 days to leave the UK.
    Hostile environment picks easy targets and appears to be government policy in more than one area.

    • mrjohn

      in Japan the administration fee for permanent residence is about 60 GBP. You fill out a form, attach your tax forms, certificate of residence from your city office, proof of employment, documents for dependents, and wait about 3 months.
      The UK is horribly inefficient if it costs over 2000 quid.

  • Mist001

    My total belief is that the UK has now adopted bureaucratic practices which are commonplace and acceptable within all EU countries, as a result of being an EU member. France is a bureaucrat nightmare for everything and from what I’ve read, Italy is even worse. The thing is, Brexit won’t reverse or replace these practices.

    • Laguerre

      France doesn’t have a hostile policy towards foreigners, as May introduced.

      • Mist001

        “France doesn’t have a hostile policy towards foreigners, as May introduced.”

        I beg to differ, depending on ones interpretation of ‘hostile environment’. However, since this post/thread concerns bureaucracy, then I await your contribution.

  • Republicofscotland

    With all this gender identity and sharing toilets etc, home schooling I think is on the rise. Yes schools allow a child to develop socially a good thing, however do parents really know what their children are being taught in some schools today.

    • craig Post author

      We were very happy with Royal Mile Primary – despite the mixed reviews you will find for it online. No complaints about the education at all, very happy and a great multicultural mix of pupils.

  • janet thornhill

    you really want to be a disabled person in today’s world to see exactly what the uk wants of you – to die as soon as possible

    • Sal

      A lot of truth in what you say; the hostile environment is in every department of government and insults and victimises the disabled at every opportunity. It’s utterly vile.

  • Trowbridge H Ford

    Of course, this is more important than the Palmerstonian struggle going on in Hong Kong. Shit happens almost every time everywhere.

  • Hatuey

    Hang in there, Craig, and don’t fret. This is all quite normal and has been normal for years. And it’s the same in Glasgow.

    The 2 day intervening period between the 12th and the 14th will be stressful for you but that is time enough to sort everything out. Once you get the right person to listen to your predicament, they will make special provisions to allow your son to matriculate etc. whilst things iron out in the background.

    BTW, the situation you are in is very common. I think they like it to be stressful and full of uncertainties so as to serve as a deterrent against those who would hack the system and have their kids go to the best schools despite being in different catchment areas.

    • andic

      Some people like “lighting fires” just so that they can be the ones to put them out. It is probably even more true for local govt departments

      Sometimes in life there are things that you only have to do once and they can be daunting, but remember the person on the other side of the process does it every day and it is no biggie for them and it should work out just fine. It is just a shame that they often cannot see that from your side it is unfamiliar and offer a little reassurance. It’s probably a sackable offence to show humanity in the education department.

  • Tarla

    Let’s face it, a lot of the time humans are an inconvenience for the capitalist state. Couldn’t run a piss up in a whiskey distillery. Mr. Murray will probably get fined for non attendance of his child. One arm of the bureaucracy not knowing what the other arm of the bureaucracy is doing.

  • Sharp Ears

    Could a word with Mr Swinney help?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_Secretary_for_Education_and_Skills

    And you Scots think yourself lucky. The new Education Secretary is Gavin ‘Shurrup and Go Away’ Williamson. He replaced Damian Hinds who was in post for just 18 months. Gove had the longest service in the job (4 years) when he massively expanded the dreaded Academies which were initiated by Labour. Two others have held the post for short periods since 2010- Greening and Morgan. The lack of continuity cannot be good for the country’s education system.

    The job title itself changes regularly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretary_of_State_for_Education#Secretary_of_State_for_Education_2

  • M.J.

    While your son’s waiting for a place, why not teach him some HIstory on which you are expert, and maybe get him to attend some self-defense classes, to give him confidence? Not to mention the local scouts, who just might provide useful contacts.

    • Trowbridge H Ford

      Have you ever thought what is expected from someone teaching an adequate education in today’s world?

      • M.J.

        I wasn’t talking about the national curriculum, just passing on a special enthusiasm, while waiting for a suitable place..

  • Andyoldlabour

    Craig, your account brought back memories of a different nature, but equally disturbing, when my wife and I were at the mercy of the DWP a few years ago. Being reasonably well educated (particularly my wife), we experienced a perceived deliberate attempt to humiliate us each time we had to turn up at their offices.
    We faced sarcasm, nasty remarks on a regular basis, so much so that I began to think the members of staff hoped that we would continue to suffer. Maybe various institutions encourage this behaviour?

    • Anon1

      This also happens when a child from a ‘posh’ background ends up at a state school. Ritual humiliation by inadequate teachers is the order of the day.

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        Inane 1
        That comment is utter trash.I worked for decades in the Scottish education system and any attempt at such a thing would be swiftly stopped. There is a very high level of professionalism in Scotland.Cant imagine where you are talking about.

          • Deepgreenpuddock

            If you think that you provided a convincing example of an absence of professionalism I think you must be deluded. The teacher demonstrated a great deal of forbearance in the face of deliberate hostility and provocation. The loon was not thrown out quickly enough.
            Do you want to discuss gender as an issue?Personally I would have told him to explain his assertion, with supporting evidence, in writing and deliver it first thing in the morning.
            Usually mouthy types are found wanting when it comes to creating ordered arguments in a form which can be challenged by reason.
            It is also the case that the filming was illegal without the teacher’s permission.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Loony

            I think that teacher should be banned from teaching for life and the pupil applauded. The teacher is corrupting young minds, by teaching ideology instead of science and fact.

      • George

        What a pathetic piece of mythologising. All the “posh” (?) kids running the gauntlet of those evil “inadequate teachers” who are obviously just waiting to vent their no doubt “lefty” resentment on their “natural betters”.

        • Anon1

          Well the teaching profession is stuffed full of lefties, many bitter and resentful like you, who go into the job in order to get to work on young minds. I didn’t think this was controversial.

          • Deepgreenpuddock

            yet another spaffed out comment. see Boris Johnson for a definition of spaffing.

          • George

            None of the teachers I had spouted Marxist rhetoric. So the only way the “lefty” label comes in is from those who don’t find the teaching “patriotic” enough and object to the introduction of teaching about other cultures. They moan about the “failure of multiculturalism” as if this multiculturalism was “a choice” when it is an unavoidable fact of the modern world. The kind of inclusive school that would encourage tolerance and expand interests is intolerable to them since it detracts from the inbred solipsistic nepotism that is easier for them to control. And this vision of an incestuous reactionary elite is taken to be “reality” while the actual reality of the outside world must be labelled as part of “Left wing indoctrination”.

          • George

            The point I am trying to make refers back to what I said earlier about “level playing field” – and it’s a point you distorted. In order to have the kind of society you want i.e. a meritocracy, where some can shine out, you need precisely that level playing field, where there is equal opportunity for all. When some are barred frm that opportunity (because they don’t have enough money) then you no longer have meritocracy. You have plutocracy. Hence my comments about incest, nepotism, solipsism – all of which lead, ironically to stupidity.

  • Komodo

    Yup. The convenience of an unaccountable management wonk with a spreadsheet overrides yours. Customer service is now a laughable concept when performed by anyone other than the customer himself. See also: High Street banks.

  • Alec

    Completely agree. I have just moved and had very similar experiences plus many more aggravating and unneccessary problems with changing address with banks, claiming benefits for my 97 year old mother, councils claiming I never sent them forms when I delivered them myself by hand, etc, etc. Modern life has become an absolute misery.

  • MBC

    I’m not a parent but my friends with kids in Edinburgh tell me it’s mad. I hope it’s not South Morningside Primary, which is already overcrowded. Schools affect house prices. South Morningside has a good reputation, which puts house prices up in the area, as parents want to move there. Another popular one putting house prices up is Sciennes Primary. Hopefully if you’re moving six miles away from the Holyrood area the new school might be in a less popular area with lower house prices so there will be more chance of a place. The local authority has a duty to find Cameron a place. I hope he doesn’t end up having to travel long distances to an out of catchment area school, as I believe some kids do. There is social apartheid in Edinburgh schools, so I am told. Boroughmuir High School is bursting at the seems whilst a few streets away Tynecastle is half empty, all because of the catchment area and belief in the education offered by the school.

    • craig Post author

      Yes. It is definitely not one of Edinburgh’s “posh” state primaries into whose catchment area we are moving, and it may well be full purely because it is surrounded by high density housing with a lot of young families. Royal Mile Primary strangely enough had spaces because the population of Central Edinburgh has been decanted out to make way for literally thousands of airbnb flats.

  • nevermind

    Should all fail and you decide to educate your own son, I offer Cameron three hours per week online German tuition, should he want to learn it.
    Today’s education system is arranged around the system, teachers and what is needed to teach them to spot terrorists, future criminals and or whether their pupils/charges/ boys/girls skew the schools performance figures.
    They have the monopoly on the system that demands O and A levels and Ofsted’s regime ensures that they all compete with each other.
    Pupils who are bright but are deaf really are screwed, as local authorities can’t afford signing services and teachers are not required to learn signing. Pupils who are bright and are ahead ofr classes are not being encouraged to help those who are slower or need help, enforcing that winner takes all, me first and forget the rest attitude, which can be clearly observed in the current Government.

    Why ever the three top universities and or schools still think its a tradition and or are proud to have fostered and brought up pupils to become our self serving leaders, hallo Alexander Johnson, upholding a totally rancid status quo which disappears weeping children into boarding schools, faggots children and keeps control over their life outside the family, is beyond me. Good luck

  • Michael McNulty

    This is the problem in today’s “tick box” society created by bureaucrats. A lot of life happens outside and between those boxes where events don’t fit into any of the boxes provided. This might only get worse with increased use of A. I., because in the end we may be able to reason with a person, but trying to reason with an algorithm that has no pulse our chances are slim.

    • Bill Thomson

      Nail on head precisely hit by M McN.
      Minion’s line manager proposes an idiot sheet, to support “under resourced” staff.
      Design is contracted out to an aware designer with no knowledge or understanding of the process being idiot sheeted.
      The idiot sheet is then made interactive and browser available with hidden tricks and traps by a data retentive, iconnected, in remission video games addict.
      Minion is now a data entry enforcement officer empowered to impose penalties and to evade all personal responsibility.
      Bureaucracy has a zero tolerance policy on responsibility.

  • Even Stephen

    Thank you for sharing what seems to be a hole that our humanity & empathy has fallen through our hands. Keeping our children well schooled is so important for their development & society as a whole. Teaching empathy & the basics aren’t going to help if we can’t keep or get those kids into their rightful class. That was the USians first mistake. Defunding public education.

  • Harry Law

    A council in Dorset which spied on a family to see if they lived in the right school catchment area has lost a landmark ruling over its actions.
    Jenny Paton took Poole Borough Council to a tribunal after it used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) to spy on her family 21 times.
    The Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled it was not a proper purpose and not necessary to use surveillance powers. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-10839104
    No need to use utility bills just as them to contact MI5 they will know where you are 100%. /s

  • George

    I share your pain Craig. Trying to get a straight answer out of ANY organisation is a futile matter nowadays. Now I know the following moans are relatively trivial compared to your own current worry – but they seem related:

    My disabled son left a toy behind in a local Argos store. I thought it would be a simple matter to just phone them but – no, I had to run the gauntlet of automated messages from some remote centre and I just hung up knowing that I’d never be able to talk to an actual person in the actual shop I just left.

    And then there’s that wondrous Amazon company where they have clearly cut further costs by NOT employing even the most rudimentary customer relations staff. Instead, if you have a query, they put you on a forum where other customers will advise you! (Imagine going into a high street shop and there’s no-one there. But there’s a big sign up saying, “The next shopper will help you”!)
    And at one time I could phone the local train station for info on times but now once again – automated messages – only this time I have to TALK to a machine!

    Perhaps someday soon, our mysterious overlords will finally solve all of those troublesome human contingencies by, not only having robot servers, but robot customers too?

    • Trowbridge H Ford

      Nicola at least told Boris what’s what, making him look like an utter fool which he is. Oxford is overrated, and Eton is even more so.

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