A six-year-old boy has become one of the youngest children to be permanently excluded from school, following an 18-month reign of terror that left some of his classmates psychologically traumatised.
The boy was thrown out of Ashton Vale primary school in Ashton, Bristol, after worried parents wrote a letter to governors demanding his removal. They reported him urinating on fellow pupils, stamping on children’s heads and scratching classmates’ faces. One parent claims he bullied her son to such an extent he needed speech therapy, while another victim began wetting the bed through fear. However, his father, a BBC technician, yesterday blamed the school for exacerbating his son’s bad behaviour and not acting quickly enough. “I think they’ve gone the wrong way about it,” he said. “At home he’s as good as gold.”
What’s this? The Guardian making a BBC employee look like an idiot?
He did, however, admit that his son had been given “more than enough chances” and had “taken it too far” at the school. “He’s always been naughty. He fights everyone all the time but doesn’t know when to stop – he just carries on.”
The boy was known as a trouble-maker at nursery, but the frequency of violent incidents has risen steadily and he has been suspended numerous times.
His father fears his unusual domestic environment may have had an effect on Troy’s behaviour. He has split from boy’s mother, but they still share the same home, despite the fact she is now expecting a baby with her new boyfriend, who lives in the Birmingham area.
Yes, that doesn’t sound good.
But to get more serious, here’s what Natalie says about this boy’s expulsion.
This sort of thing is ineradicable from state education. It comes from the obligation to pretend to educate every child, whatever the real harm done to other children such as the rest of the class in this disturbing story. Some children should be abandoned by the education system.
I take a certain angry pleasure from writing things like that. What usually happens is that people make hesitant criticisms of the cult of “inclusivity” or of “no fault” programmes that purport to deal with bullying and then a representative of The Blob lashes out and says, “Ooooh, riiiight, you are willing to just abandon children, are you, just do nothing for the most vulnerable members of society?” and the wimps backtrack. So I might as well short-circuit the outrage. Yup. Abandon them. You think that’s unethical? You educate them, then: I’m not stopping you.
I have a rule about putting something, however lame, up on my Education Blog every calendar (clock?) week day, Monday to Friday, week in week out (weekends optional). Sometimes that has meant doing something at 12.05 am and then the next something at 11.50 pm nearly two real days later, but I have so far stuck to this rule, even when abroad.
Because of this rule I have often gone trawling through “national” education stories such as the one Natalie linked to, the way I wouldn’t have done in the normal, Education Blogless course of my life. (Which was part of why I do an Education Blog, and why I do it the way I do it.)
What I’m getting round to saying is, I have recently, despite finding the subject pretty boring, been paying quite close and regular attention to what passes in Britain for education policy. And I can confirm that Natalie has identified one of the absolute central idiocies of our present government’s education policy.
The state can either include every child in its education system, or it can, in its crude and insufficient way, educate most children but not all. It cannot do both. It simply cannot. It doesn’t matter if every single MP in the House of Commons is New Labour and agrees with Education Minister Charles Clarke about everything he and his assistants ever say or ever do. Reality remains reality. If a boy like Troy is in a class and can neither be removed from that class nor beaten in to submission, then that class will be about begging Troy to behave and Troy not behaving. It cannot also be about teaching any of the other children anything except about the idiocy of their school’s policy, and their government’s policy, with regard to Troy.
Our present government does have an education policy, after a fashion. This policy is completely ridiculous, but here it is. It is to command this week that Troy shall be included, but, next week, that Troy shall be excluded. This is called government by initiative, and it is driving the teaching profession to premature senile dementia. It is making it literally impossible to be a state employed teacher. Yes, the government is recruiting record numbers of teachers. But ask yourself why? This is because record numbers of teachers are also saying to hell with it, often within a few days of joining, and going off to become financial advisers, or ditch diggers, or unemployed wrecks.
My, we’re in a cheerful mood here this weekend, aren’t we? Thank goodness for the Ireland/England rugger game, which kicks off in about three hours. If England lose, I don’t know what I’ll do. War, and economic meltdown, and plague, and this, and then, on top of all that, that. Doesn’t bear thinking about.
I think I just wrote a Brian’s Bleat.