The latest proposal from Michael Gove is to increase school hours (7.30 til 5pm possibly Saturdays too) and decrease holidays. More indoctrination time. This is nothing new. Primary school lesson time has already had to increase to fit in the massive curriculum. Summer holidays have dropped from 6.5 weeks to 5.5weeks over the last 10 or so years. We are told children forget what they have been told over the long school holidays. Their programming wears off. Unfortunately parents are so busy working, they are grateful for the school providing free childcare. Remember the biggest complaint when schools shut for snow 2 years back? Parents were angry that they couldn’t get to work for lack of childcare.
As well as increasing school, availability of family is being decreased by making sure parents are busy at work, and stressed from it. In the Blair years, single mums were forced out to work to “best support their children”, and out of school childcare massively increased. Money, not nurture is best we are told. Many non single mums have to work to help pay the vast amounts required for rent or mortgage, which can’t be paid on one average income.
Brown proposed to extend the age limits at both ends. In the next 2 or 3 years, the school leaving age will rise to 18. This has been kept really quiet somehow. The compulsory age for single mums to work will soon be when their youngest is just 3 years old. Child care is now big business, and there are increasing amounts run by chain businesses.
School infiltrates into home life in the form of homework, shopping for kit ( anyone else noticed the uniforms turning into suits again?), parents evenings, paperwork, school runs (schools increasingly centralised, so further to go), nursing them when they get sick from school, feeding them, paying for school stuff, getting them to bed on time, up on time, sorting out their issues from school, making sure they enjoy school so they don’t refuse to go, etc etc. Kids contribute little to the home and family because their lives are so taken up with school. Personally I feel like my main expected function as a parent is to serve the school and make sure my kids get good grades. That’s what “good” parents do. “Bad” ones have their kids taken into care. Spot the difference?
Schools are slowly becoming more like prisons. A secondary school near me with over 1000 kids has 60 CCTV cameras. Fences are going up, big fences. Security codes are on external doors. All staff and visitors have ID. For the children’s safety of course. Possibly some of this followed on from school shootings like Dunblane? More and more kids are being crammed into the same space. In the Thatcher years, playing fields were sold off. Now the remaining outdoor space is being built on for computer suites, or more classrooms for more kids. Smaller schools are closing down, not viable apparently. Gove recently proposed reintroducing physical punishment.
Teachers are not happy about the new proposals, the last straw perhaps? But I see loads of surplus teachers everywhere, possibly following the massive recruitment drive over the last 5 years. They work as Teaching Assistants and Cover Supervisors, they retrain in a shortage subject to try and get a job. So teachers leaving isn’t a problem, plenty more, and cheap ones too.
Compulsory education started in Victorian Times. Victorian Times is a subject we are constantly reminded about, which makes me suspicious of what is being covered up. We are told about the introduction of “free” education for all, and how lucky we are that schools today are much nicer than Victorian times. But surely there was an outcry? Surely parents defied the state and tried to hang on to their kids? How did they force everyone to comply?
In the US, Obama proposed increasing school hours in 2009. Coincidence? Or part of the same plan?
If you want to know about how children can be brought up and educated harmoniously and joyfully by their families and community, read The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff, it is a documentary of a South American tribe with no state control. We have got too used to the idea of schools bringing up our kids and forgotten that there is another way. You might think things aren’t too bad now, but you can see the way it is going. It happens by stealth so we don’t even realise it’s happening. To find out more about the subliminal program in schools, try “Dumbing Us Down” by John Taylor