Gossip Makes the School Go Round

So I’m pissed with Austerity. She’s such a bitch. She and Regina and Chastity can drown in some Victorian lake. While Lord Byron recites poetry.

When we were on Quest, we heard things at home had taken a turn for the worse. We read about the poor school inspection on Quest and looked over the numbers. They were shitty. The credit crunch had hit just over ten years ago. My assumption then was that the kids in school were the ones who’d be feeling it. Wrong. Duh. Actually it’s our children, who were just born at the time who are the ones feeling it. The school kids then are now the adults who work for zero-hour contracts and can’t afford a cave to sleep in. Austerity the Victorian ball-buster has gained her awful power.

To be honest, I do love a good gossip. That’s the other reason I live in Wales. From our postman to the friends we meet in supermarket queues, Wales may have invented all six degrees of separation. All of this under a radar of humour, a sprinkle of complaint and a dash of look-over-your-shoulder-paranoia. I don’t mean the gossip thing blithely either. I believe in its value. Gossip speaks volumes; of what people decide together is acceptable and what is important to us collectively.. and if you don’t believe me, check out this lady. Elaine Lui à la www.laineygossip.com explains it in her truly awesome way. Her TedX of the sociology of gossip is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFDWOXV6iEM. 

So rumours have floated about the poor morale at our secondary school for years. This was when the girls were at primary school so I heard the stories and let them slide. Plus this is Wales I thought. If there wasn’t a chip-on-your-shoulder in the room, something would be wrong. Right? When we on Quest, it was out of sight, out of mind too. Now we’re back though, these aren’t so much school rumours now as testimonials.

Parents are taking out their children and sending them off to boarding schools by the fingers on both hands. My friends with special needs kids don’t have the information about their children’s progress that they need to hear. Last year apparently one pupil had a running total of forty different teachers come through their classroom. If this is true, and the lady who told me is gold-standard reliable, the teachers are coming and going as fast as the grey storm clouds in a Welsh sky.

But wait. All isn’t lost. Strong pupils are still being looked after at our secondary school. They’re still being groomed for greatness and well, really good exam results. Because here’s the thing. If you’re in charge and you only have so much money to spend on your children, who would you spend it on? Would you spend it on the kids who may get meaning and positive self-identity from their time at school but will probably never get good exam results? Or do you spend it on the kids that, if you invest in properly, will get those exam stats? These are the ones who make your school look good on paper. Remember; you don’t have the money for both groups. Well, I know what I’d do. And it’s not a good result for me. The smart kids win every time.






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