Monday, 2 May 2016

YES to the Parent Boycott!

I am yelling a BIG THANK YOU to all you parents keeping your kids out of school on Tuesday!

I would totally join you, except we are going to the woods today, but yay sisters and brothers if it means your action helps me register my disapproval 'against the government’s more onerous assessment regime for primary school pupils'.


You are RIGHT. Nicky Morgan and all her drones are WRONG. They want your child for global PISA scores and to create non-thinking automatons for the great economic enterprise. They couldn't give a rat's arse whether your child is happy in life, or whether your child can set their own goals to fit their own personhood.

Kids need space - mental, emotional and physical - to grow. We parents have a duty to provide that space. We have a duty to preserve for them that precious freedom to run about woods, ask questions about beetles to which you won't know the answer, and tell us stuff about lichen that comes as a surprise to us all. That is what childhood is for, goddamit. We should not meekly hand over our children for someone else's economic benefit.

And a life out of school bloody well works.

The Offspring Grit had all their primary years running about WITHOUT SCHOOL. It hasn't stopped Shark getting an A grade in Physics and a place at Sixth Form. It hasn't stopped Tiger swotting for an A grade in Maths nor gloating over her A* in Latin. And a NO SCHOOL lifestyle didn't stop Squirrel from staring into space solving the problems of the universe. (I have to be kind on that one.)

Sometimes, being out of school can be wonderful. It's the place where you can find the stuff of a creative life now withering in your local school. So yes, sure it can lead to a life start of independence and no small amount of happiness: I am 16 and live alone in the wilderness

Okay, I'm not suggesting we all take ourselves to the woods forever, but I ask myself who's the happier? The young person without the formal education who had the joy of time and space to find out what makes them feel fulfilled in life - a person who already had a lifetime experience of organising themselves, setting their own goals, managing their own identities, ambitions and aspirations, and who is able to go out and get it?

Or the person who wakes up already old, aged only 25, discovering they've been in an exam machine for the last 25 years with very little autonomy, self-expression or creativity, and who now discovers they're indebted to the sum of £30,000 in a discipline they didn't really want to do, but they can't get a job in anyway, because there are no jobs, so they work in a coffee bar instead?

Thank you people for saying NO to the miserable grinding system and for offering your kids a wonderful day of freedom and exploration instead. I hope you all have a fantastic time.

Just let me say it one more time.


This is what I think. Your leap into the woods is no less than the journey work of the stars.*

*And God bless Walt Whitman for helping me out.

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