147 days ago
As you may know, my occasional panic attacks consist of a nightmare that I have somehow managed to go back to Oxford as a mature student but, sitting in Schools facing finals again, I realise that I have done even worse than last time and that my Desmond will be removed and I am, if lucky, heading for a Douglas. One of the papers I must face is logic. Observing recent events, if I am compared with the current crop of Oxford-educated poltroons running the country, I reckon I might come top of the class and be set for a Geoff.
222 days ago
One would have thought that with all those Oxford PPE graduates in Government, someone would have done a paper on logic and spotted that nothing makes sense. But it seems not. Dear cabinet members, you are transported in time and are back in Schools and once again sitting Prelims and here is question one on the logic paper.
285 days ago
Long time readers will know that my displacement nightmare activity involves my return to Oxford University. For reasons that are always slightly different, the story starts with me, rather foolishly, deciding that my 2:2 was not a true reflection of my academic genius and somehow I manage to persuade my old college to take me back for another stab at it. Somehow, I then contrive to screw it all up again and suddenly I am sitting in Schools, staring at an exam paper realising that this time around, notwithstanding widespread grade inflation, I’d be lucky to get even a Desmond.
1891 days ago
The Guardian's Stuart Jeffries pens a lengthy piece on rugby and tackling in schools which says nothing in particular in a fairly tedious way. But in the way it treats No 8 and Eton College it says far more about this awful publication than about the art of the scrummage.
Mr Jeffries, a grammar school boy, seems convinced that many rugger players are toffs and thus manages to get in several paragraphs about Eton. The only minor issue with this approach is that because of the Wall Game and rowing, rugger is a relatively minor sport at Eton. To lambast rugger as a game which most public schools in England play would be accurate if rather pointless but to single out the one major public school where rugger does not dominate the winter term, is just the Guardian way. Never let facts get in the way of a spot of Eton bashing with a dose of Call Me Dave abuse thrown in for good measure.
For the record I am no particular fan of Eton or of Call Me Dave but facts do matter.
And that brings me to the author's insistence that at his grim North Midlands grammar school, as a Number 8, he was forced to bind onto the two second rows by sticking his hand between their legs, rubbing past their testicles and grabbing their shirt. At length he describes the homo-erotic nature of this encounter.
2982 days ago
The grades achieved in GCSE’s have been rising steadily ever since these Mickey Mouse exams were introduced. If anyone says that is because they have got easier they are attacked by the usual bunch of deluded lefties for being brutal and unfair to hard working teachers and students alike. On the grounds that most teachers are probably ardent cyclists here goes – today comes evidence that your exams are a total joke and do not stack up as academic yardsticks of anything.
The pass rate for GCSE maths is c60%. It is one of the, ahem, harder GCSEs to pass.
A survey conducted for Bae today showed that 35% of our fellow citizens need to use a calculator when doing a piece of basic addition where the answer is more than 100. The survey found that 19% of adults could not complete the eleven times table. One despairs.
The really interesting statistic was that of the over 55s (most of whom will not have passed even CSE maths) only one in ten struggled with these rather basic questions. Guess which age group did the worst? Yup it is the 18-35s, the GCSE generation whose hard work and talented teachers has led them to all get such cracking grades.
Now a bit of maths from me. 35% of all respondents cannot, for instance, tell you that 61 + 72 = 133. But in the over 55s (a bigger age group than that 18-35s) that number falls to 10%. Yet only 40% of the 18-35s have failed GSCE Maths (for 1 in 3 of the UK population I reach that number by subtracting 60 from 100). And that means that it is perfectly possible to pass GCSE Maths without being able to add 84 to 27 (111). Words almost fail me.
The war criminal Blair blathered on about education, education, education. The amount spent on teaching our kids has soared in real terms, teachers are paid ever more and the result is this. Something does not add up.