Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.
E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)
Back to main blog
Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.
( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)
The Old Comrades:
November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 August 2007 October 2007 February 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 March 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 October 2009 January 2010 March 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 April 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013
Thursday, January 05, 2006
There's blame to go round on this one. Yesterday's Education Guardian reports that
Council chiefs admitted today they were considering dropping a controversial policy of not blaming bullies in schools for their actions - following a scathing attack by the prime minister.It's a poor lookout for the country when the national leader sticks his nose into the doings of city councils, and a worse one when they change their policies for fear of him. Nonetheless if one can think of it as Anthony Blair Esq. making the argument rather than the Prime Minister, Anthony Blair Esq. is quite right.
The city council revealed today that it was "reviewing" its no blame bullying policy after it was dropped from Department for Education and Skills' guidelines in December.Ah, a "no blame" approach to one's own screwups.
The "no blame" approach, which was widely adopted in schools in the late 1990s, originated in Bristol as an alternative to directly punishing bullies.As an alternative to teachers doing the job they are paid for, more like. Understandably few people enjoy the task of sorting out an alleged case of bullying. Where accounts conflict it can be difficult to know if bullying has truly taken place, or to know if just one or both sides are to blame - or even to ascertain (rather than assume) that it was all a misunderstanding and no one is to blame. It can even be frightening. Tough. That's what the "professional responsibility" teachers are always saying they should be admired and renumerated for entails.
Instead it encouraged the bully to discuss with their classmates the root cause of their behaviour and to find a way forward with the help of a teacher.Good for Dan Morris. What I always wonder about teachers and education bureaucrats who advocate a "no blame" approach to those who bully children is whether they also advocate it in cases of workplace bullying of teachers and cvil servants by their superiors. If so, I hope they have told their union reps.
The MP for Wansdyke described it as "dangerous" and "reckless" and said it did nothing to get the bullies to change their behaviour.How, exactly, can you have "no blame" as one of several approaches? Were the bullies blamed and not blamed on alternate days?
"Wide range of advice" is open to the same objection as above. I guess that on Fridays the council tells 'em to kill the bullies, just for variety.
"We have always been led by central government's anti-bullying guidelines, which, until very recently, contained references to the "no blame" approach.A fair point. But I think that Bristol city council should not blame the government, but rather strive to identify the root causes of their behaviour.
"The schools minister has now announced a review of the DfES guidelines to clarify that the government does not think councils should recommend this approach to headteachers and we continue to follow their advice."Translation: please don't bully us, Mr Politician.
She said the council would now begin consulting with parents, teachers and pupils over its anti-bullying policy.And the bullies. You forgot the bullies.