Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Nanny Bans Dinosaurs

Nanny Bans DinosaursNanny has many strange bed fellows and followers, who happily inflict their perverse and idiosyncratic views about life on the rest of us. One such example of perversity is Dr Patrick Hazlewood, head of St John's Marlborough.

It seems that, in the opinion of Dr Hazlewood, homework is a dinosaur.

"Homework, like the national curriculum, is a dinosaur..."

In view of this, he has banned it; and given his pupils the opportunity to "manage their own learning".

Now that'll work, won't it children?

This rather radical idea has taken everyone by surprise; including, so it seems, his own school. School policy notes that:

"regular homework is an essential element of learning and contributes to the development of sound study habits..".

Parents are even asked to tell the school if they think their child has been given too little homework.

This "brainwave" was not entirely Dr Hazlewood's own idea, plagiarism? tut tut, but the idea of the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA); which has concluded that teachers are not there to transmit knowledge.

May I ask what their role is then?

The Department of Education has belatedly said that homework is "an essential part of a good education". Unfortunately they are the very same idiots who funded the RSA project in the first place.

That's the trouble with Nanny, she doesn't keep track of what her acolytes are doing.

Dr H is no stranger to daft ideas; he has already introduced "cross-curricular projects", whatever they are, and has allowed pupils to mark each other's work.

The intellectual basis of this idea to ban homework, and I use the words with a degree of irony, is that pupils are to be encouraged to "love learning for its own sake".

Seemingly pupils will be instilled with:

"competences for learning, citizenship, relating to people, managing situations and managing information..".

Exams it seems only impede pupils' progress!

That is all very well, but please tell the employers that when they are selecting a short list of interview candidates from over 100 CV's.

This daft policy will do the pupils no favours; as the real world, like it or not, relies on exams and other dinosaurs to grade and classify people.


  1. Anonymous11:00 AM

    When I was training as a physics teacher in the early 80's, the fad was for 'child centred learning'. We were told to present children with various pieces of equipment, and their natural curiosity and inventiveness would lead them to discover facts and laws of science it had taken great minds years to figure out. Needless to say, we students suspected it wouldn't work and it didn't. Nevertheless, to qualify as teachers we had to write a few essays saying what a wonderful and advanced method 'child centred learning' was. Whenever I consider a return to teaching, news of some new wacky theory reaches me. Also, I'm a bit put off by the big government advertising campaign for teacher recruitment - good jobs don't have to try too hard to get applicants.

  2. Anonymous12:14 PM

    As teachers dont teach or mark homework we can save alot of money on the education bill.

    Now there's an idea

  3. WOOHOO! No homework!

  4. But being serious, this *is* a bad idea...

  5. Anonymous2:57 PM

    'As teachers dont teach or mark homework we can save alot of money on the education bill.'

    But who would facilitate their diversity awareness indoctrination? Oops sorry truth spilt out, i mean education.

  6. Anonymous11:37 AM

    I was a student at this school and although these ideas do sound crazy they work. The idea of no homework was sort of wrong though he renamed it extended learning. so we still had work to do at home. The idea of cross-curricular activites also worked, it gave us a topic across all our subjects so that it linked. it felt like more worthwhile work because at the end of a term it was like one big project in all subjects. Another idea of his that worked well for me was marking eachothers work, it helped you get into the mind of a teacher or examiner, if you know what to look for in a good peice of work you know how to do a good peice of work. We used this in my german class alot and it helped me to understand where i was losing marks and what i needed to do to improve. I just finished my gcses and everyone i know has done really well. The ideas sound a little strange but are actually very effective.