…and breathe…

Judging by the hit-counter, my exasperated rant a couple of days ago struck a chord far and wide.

Once upon a time, I got as far as requesting the documentation about how to establish a Free School – not because I really agree with the principle behind it, but because I wondered whether it would provide a vehicle for developing a very different school model inspired by what I have seen in continental Europe. (It soon became apparent that the freedoms necessary to make such a place work would actually be very hard to secure, and the idea died).

I still find it difficult to fathom just how and why we have arrived at a situation in this country where so many people, not only in schools, spend their working lives running round like the proverbial headless chickens to the point that they are less rather than more effective. I wonder just what the extreme imperative is, that they all think they are chasing after.

In public services, it isn’t financial profit, so I wonder whether it is simply an inherited mindset that has been absorbed from genuinely profit-driven organisations. The less charitable, but by no means impossible reading is that we are all being driven so hard simply so that our masters can fulfil their own ambitions. Would that they could see just how counter-productive it all actually is.

All of which is really by means of introduction for this article which appeared in The Independent yesterday, which shows how such mindsets infiltrate people’s behaviour – and how the pressure-cooker of modern schooling is creating wider problems that we perhaps cannot see. I think it is required reading.



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