Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cheating Bastards

So, the Government is to issue guidance to parents on how much they can help children with course work that counts towards their exams. Parents are apparently unsure about what constitutes cheating in this context.
Dad, how do you spell bollocks?

The increase in continuous assessment and in course work that constitutes a large proportion of the overall marks in exams has been a significant factor in increasing the bias in educational achievement towards the middle classes.
I've seen this phenomenon from several angles. I saw it happening during the brief time I was a teacher and I've seen it when I was in other employment and professional, middle class parents would contact me to ask me to help with their child's project when it was on my own subject of expertise.

Some companies almost need to employ a designated member of staff to deal with requests for help with school projects. Some of the children and parents can be very demanding and aggressive. If you say you're rather busy just at the moment with the work you are actually employed to do you'll get the response: "But it's got to be finished by the end of the week!"
And because education is such a sacred cow today, any reluctance or inability to help is regarded as a crime against society.

The idea that parents are unaware what constitutes cheating is ludicrous. I've known several teachers who have done most of the work on their childrens' school projects without the slightest twinge of guilt.

I'm no lover of traditional, formal examinations but at least children sitting in rows in school halls are on a level playing field. To pursue the analogy, you wouldn't let little Johnny's father come on and take the penalty for him in the school football tournament. But that is effectively what is happening today in the examination system. And if the bias was towards working class families on council estates, there'd have been an uproar about it long ago, probably in the pages of the Daily Mail. After all, those at the bottom of the heap spend their whole lives cheating the system. But as everyone knows, tax avoidance and white collar crime are something entirely different.

OK, now I've got my A*, I can come clean.
I'm not really a middle-aged man at all. This blog was created as part of an English project. My real name is Tristan. Most of this blog was written by my Dad. He wrote a lot of it at work. He says he did it in his lunch hour. He must have very long lunch hours.

He won't let my Mum read it because he pretended to be gay and she might get the wrong idea. He only did that because someone at his golf club told him my English teacher was gay. Anyway, my English teacher said I got inside the skin of another character brilliantly and that I should think about a writing career. When I told my Dad that he nearly pissed himself and said I couldn't write a shopping list.
But he's so pleased with 'his' A* in English and my place at Uni that he's taking us to the Seychelles for Christmas. When I got my results he said "You've got a lot to thank your Dad's Willie for, Tristan" which I thought was gross. But kind of funny too.

I better delete this blog now before anyone reads the truth. Thanks Dad. And if you are a bit gay, that's cool. Well, that's what Jemima, my gf, said anyway.


At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Graham said...

Glad to see nothings changed in the English class system then,besides you wouldn't want all those working class oik's in Uni anyway.Better they learn a trade
besides plumbers earn about the same as barristers these days, what ever happened to the good old Polytechnics..

At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A classic post, Mr Lupin. Thank you for brightening up an otherwise very dull Thursday morning.

- Tony -

PS Always suspected you were married and living in a detached tudorbethan house in Weybridge. How are things at the golf club?

At 11:13 PM, Blogger cello said...

The embarrassing bit is when you cheat and help them and they still get poor marks.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

graham: same old class system, same old double standards.

tony: Tristan's been doing a bit of caddying for me - an attempt to get him interested in golf. But he's really more into skateboarding. Teenagers, eh.

cello: the funny bit is when teachers cheat and help their own kids and they still get poor marks.

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