RELOADED: Modern Education is Rubbish Part 3. Why Are Our Schools Failing?

February 3, 2008

This entry is now available here.



  1. […] bookmarks tagged schools RELOADED: Modern Education is Rubbish Part 3. Why … saved by 4 others     RedcometCharAznable bookmarked on 02/03/08 | […]

  2. I was a timetabler in three schools in Australia. See if you can get hold of First Class, an excellent timetabling program used in Victorian schools. The few posts I have made about timetabling and teaching conditions on UK sites rarely get a response, but I remain appalled at how bad the ‘system’ seems to be over there. It seems that an infection of stupidity has spread throughout the land.

  3. PS First Class does elective determinations, student allocations, extras, attendance, etc, as well as timetabling, and can be networked.

  4. I’m sure oldandrew won’t appreciate this but all of this is available with timetabling software over here.(I’m assuming it does elective determination, but not sure what you mean by it).Nova T6 and it’s link to Sims is a good package, when it works. The main problem is that as some parts of the sims network get updated at different times to other parts there are often glitches. However in the main there is very little you can come up with structurally in the timetable that you cannot incorporate through the system into the school timetable, though you may need to cheat occasionally. However the autoschedule on T6 can’t cope with anything too complicated, like interlaced carousels with varying staff and departments.

  5. I’m puzzled – why are people rabbiting on about timetabling, and the merits or otherwise of SIM’s???

    I’m sure that will solve all my behaviour issues.

  6. Puzzled,

    I’m mentioning timetabling because OldAndrew said, ” In schools timetablers can be trained in a couple of days, and setting is done without any training at all. It is commonplace to assume that egalitarian ideology is the reason why mixed ability teaching has taken hold in our schools. A more practical explanation is the simple fact that ordering students effectively according to a variety of criteria is beyond the ability of many Heads of Department. Use of Microsoft Excel for this purpose might seem an incredibly primitive way to carry out this task, but even that will be beyond many teachers. Haphazard organisation within schools also helps create a confusion of responsibilities and a culture of blame, in which every task is the responsibility of somebody else, and every failure is the fault of somebody else.”

    The organisation of school curriculum is relevant to student behaviour.


    Electives are subjects that students choose to do, as opposed to compulsory subjects. Student preferences are entered and First Class works out the best blocking, which may have a different name over there too. Blocking means that a number of subjects run at the same time on the timetable. The comment is relevant to what over there is called “setting”.

    I know all about the culture of blame, having worked in a school in which they blamed you for the consequences of their failure to take your advice.

  7. So an elective is a posh word for options, yup sims does that.

    Sims/NT6 won’t solve discipline problems. However if you believe all proper subjects are best taught in Sets according to ability then at least using modelling software means the school can maximise this rather than just say, “We’ll set math’s and science form yr 8 and nothing else as the timetable won’t allow it”.

  8. Posh!? That’s the only word I’ve heard for them from the working class school in West Heidelberg where I started teaching in 1974 through the middle class school in Rosanna East and the country school in Edenhope, etc. It’s just the Victorian word for the concept.

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