People

23rd November 2007 at 00:00
Billy Childish, the maverick artist, poet and songwriter, has attacked the drudgery of modern schooling, claiming it is more damaging for pupils than corporal punishment.

The 47-year-old would like to see creative subjects, such as art and PE, made compulsory, while maths and literacy are relegated.

"I think we were better off in the 1970s, with corporal punishment, than children are now," he said. "Today, children face all these pressures to achieve. It's unkind and mean-spirited."

Mr Childish (above) will publish a novel on December 1 charting the adventures of a dyslexic schoolboy. The Idiocy of Idears has already attained cult status after copies were left in bookshops with a note encouraging customers to take them.

The plot is based on Mr Childish's experiences as a Kent schoolboy in the 1970s. At primary school, he was placed in remedial classes and he left secondary school with no qualifications, He was subsequently diagnosed with dyslexia.

Later, he trained at Medway College of Design, where he had an affair with fellow artist Tracey Emin.

"I knew I was dyslexic," he said. "because I was quite smart but teachers told me I was backwards."

Mr Childish believes that creativity, rather than literacy and numeracy, should be prioritised, and that pupils should have plenty of "fresh air and movement".

"It's a shame to make children's lives drudgery," he said "There will be plenty of time for that when they leave school."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now