Over the past eight weeks I’ve been watching a riveting Channel 4 documentary about a state school in the north of England – Educating Yorkshire. It would be difficult to imagine a more damaging indictment of the (increasingly feminised) state education system, where both female teachers and the minority of male teachers now focus their attention more on the female pupils – regardless of their sometimes appalling behaviour – at the expense of the male pupils.
It’s a wonder that the female:male ratio of university students today isn’t even higher than 3:2. In fields favoured by women – well-paid, flexible working arrangements, pleasant surroundings, high levels of social engagement, appreciation from customers, low risk (i.e. public sector) – the ratio’s even higher. Among medical students today the ratio is 7:3.
Christopher Stevens, the TV critic of the Daily Mail, has written an outstanding critique of the series for the paper, and it was published in today’s edition. His comments on an incident which particularly riled me:
The evidence of Educating Yorkshire is that atrocious behaviour is, sadly, commonplace, and there are no sanctions. Teachers can do nothing to enforce their authority — and the children know it and exploit it.
One girl made a hobby of tormenting a younger boy called Jac-Henry, saying the filthiest things about his mother until he lashed out in anger. Then she beat him up.
She kept a gang of cronies around her who would swear Jac-Henry had attacked without provocation. The girl pleaded a loss of memory over the incidents — ‘Did I stamp on his head? Dunno, might have done.’
The result was that she got off scot‑free and sniggering, while Jac‑Henry was diagnosed with behavioural problems and referred to an anger management specialist.
The ‘anger management specialist’ was, predictably, a female teacher. Jac-Henry was clearly crushed by the blame that had come only in his direction. When asked what lessons he’d learned from the incident, he said with genuine emotion, ‘You shouldn’t hit lasses’. Meanwhile the girl had learned she could hit ‘lads’, because she wouldn’t be held accountable for doing so. Will she take this knowledge into adult life? Doubtless she will. The article: