Schools send us their very worst behaved

11th February 2011 at 00:00

I read Gerard Kelly's editorial regarding poor behaviour with interest ("Bad behaviour must be rooted out ...", 4 February) and would like to add to it.

I teach in a specialist pre-16 department in a further education college. What we have noticed - especially this year - is that schools are definitely sending us the poorest behaved children they have.

We have a really good record of achieving outcomes for learners who are low-achieving or are expected to be. But recently we have become expected to conjure up qualifications for children who have no interest in the courses, who have special needs but no support from schools, who are non-English-speaking, and often whose behaviour is so poor it defies belief.

Only this week, after asking a badly behaved student to leave my session, I was called a "fucking knobhead" by her; I then found myself in a ridiculous situation where she refused to leave the workshop and no one was able to do anything about it.

Last year, I took a four-inch knife out of a student's pocket only for the school to fight tooth and nail to get him reinstated in college as he was, apparently, the "victim".

In my department, we are simply giving qualifications away (sometimes equivalent to four GCSEs at A*-C) to students who don't deserve them, while boosting the school's results and funding.

It is very sad and I am losing all faith in the system and in teaching as my chosen profession. And if I hear another manager at my college say, "Well, at least we've all got jobs", I will scream. I don't come to work to be called obscene names, told to fuck off, and then give away qualifications like confetti.

FE lecturer, Name and address supplied.

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