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Breaking News: Teachers aren’t to blame!

Jun 19, 2012

It has been a long time in coming and finally we have someone else backing up what this blog has been declaring for a long time: stop blaming the teachers for poor academic attainment.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief executive of the education standards watchdog Ofsted, was at the National College for School Leaders conference in Birmingham last Friday and what he had to say was pure dynamite.

He said schools are having to battle ‘an anti-learning culture’ of ‘lost standards, values and ambitions’ and he was particularly scathing of absentee fathers saying they should see that bringing up their children is their responsibility and that their influence has a 'direct impact on educational outcomes'.

Sir Michael added: "Young people need boundaries set by parents and society, not just their schools."

Yes, you read that correctly. He is pointing the finger firmly at parents and not at teachers which would explain why the speech didn't get much coverage in national media.

Though Sir Michael did trip up slightly when he then hammered working-class communities for all the problems and said that 100 years ago the working classes had a 'real respect for education' but no longer did so.

Firstly, I'm not entirely sure that is correct and secondly, as we have pointed out here at Teachfind, a lot of parental issues are not confined to the working class neighbourhoods because middle class schools are complaining about their parents too.
Never mind, it's nice that the top man in Ofsted is at last waking up to some of the real issues that are concerning young people in our classrooms.

For too long now teachers have been accused of creating the mess many schools find themselves in when it is plainly the fault of parents and the lack of support they show.

And your annual income doesn't make you a better or worse parent. It's your actions as an interested and supportive parent that do. Unfortunately, it appears that Sir Michael was full of his own importance because he announced a new review of education standards which will result in 'radical' recommendations to resolve the problems of educational failure in poor areas.

We could save you the time and effort Sir Michael. The simple solution is to get parents to engage more with their children’s education and to not blame teachers for most of education’s failings. You could also not expect teachers to teach manners and social skills on top of academic attainment.

But then that’s probably too simplistic for the political debate that is sure to follow any ‘radical recommendations’.

Ofsted announces review: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/news/ofsted-announces-major-review-of-access-an...

Comments

Bit of a false dawn - on all counts. Michael Wilshaw continues to be scathing about teachers and the assertion here that the 'simple solution' is, in effect, to blame parents rather than teachers... Really?

Parental attitudes are just one layer in the vast Russian Doll of society. We ALL know that life is vastly complicated. Government policy, unemployment, societal and cultural change and how decisions made locally and nationally within these realms interface with micro and macro economics, politics, belief systems and trade at the global level are really what cause the difficulties.

Debate of this kind (the only kind nowadays) is the equivalent of conducting micro-surgery with a lump-hammer. We all do it, but we really should know better.

I agree with you. Good manners, right conduct, being responsible and discipline enough should all be learned first at home. It is the responsibility of the parents to discipline their children. Yes school is their second home but all the fundamentals must be learned FIRST at home. Teacher's arent to blame if students fail. Students have a choice; it is to be serious about studying or not.

You could not imagine how hard it is to teach academic lessons to a great number of students having different kind of attitudes. Because of the great level of difficulty teaching has, teachers have no time at all to discipline the students. It is up to them if they want to listen or fail. Teachers are already inspiring students to learn by their way of teaching. Students just don't realize it. Teachers are not to blame if students are failing! Students always have a choice!

Samantha Collins

dissertation writer

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