BBC Interviews

7 April 2008

Spoke at length on two radio interviews today: BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Scotland. The Ulster interview asked for my comments on the Tories’ new proposals to stop the parents of excluded children appealing against a headteacher’s decision to exclude them. I said it was all a bit of a sound bite and that it could backfire: what would happen to the children once they were out of school? As my book Yob Nation shows it can cause chaos in the streets. I said what was needed was more resources in mentoring these difficult children, better management systems in schools (currently in too many schools it’s the teachers’ fault) and a cultural shift whereby parents and pupils are held more accountable for their actions.

In the BBC Radio Scotland interview I talked about the effect of the internet on schools and teachers: the prevalence of cyber bullying, and the way in which it’s outrageous that pupils can get away with libelling and defaming their teachers left, right and centre. Again, I noted the cultural shift in the last decade whereby teachers are endlessly expected to meet the needs of the children, with very little onus put on children to actually work.

Waiting to be interviewed, I met Patrick Cockburn, the amazing journalist who has reported so bravely upon the Iraq conflict, exposing the US and the UK’s lies about the war. His summation of the five year occupation in the Independent was devastating a few weeks ago.

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