What are schools teaching our children?


We asked an anonymous teacher for their perspective…

The whole issue is funding.

I don’t know what it’s like in other schools but ours is really suffering. I think we also had a deficit from a few years ago they’re still trying to crawl out of. We have no Personal Social Development (PSD) in our school at all and I think it’s such a shame. I used to enjoy teaching it and received training on sex and relationship education. The kids really responded to being taught it, and drugs etc.
One of the poor things is that in most schools PSD is not taught by specialist staff, it is just used to plug holes in people’s timetables. So I only had one lesson last year, but some had many lessons. Where I feel comfortable talking about it, many staff don’t. The teacher’s background will also affect the quality of provision, for example my school is multi racial. Could a teacher who does not drink alcohol teach an unbiased and informative lesson on the subject? Could someone with extreme religious beliefs on homosexuality teach about sexual discrimination and gender preference?

I think also because teachers aren’t doing their specialist subject they don’t always give it as much effort. if you’re teaching maths all day, having to then go and teach a Y7 group about friendship is really not going to be the top of your agenda. And I know I struggled teaching politics to Y9s as I know naff all about it. So subject knowledge is not there.

At the school I’m at we used to have something we called the green hut. It was a mobile classroom that some staff had somehow blagged, and it was decked out to be a real teen hang out e.g. colourful chairs etc, and it was full of leaflets about sex, drugs, STIs etc etc, and it was manned by one of the support staff (they’ve had multiple job titles over the last few years, pastoral coordinators, learning support assistants, behaviour support etc) so kids always had somewhere to go when they needed help.

I can’t think alcohol has ever have being a real focus on any curriculum I’ve seen, definitely over shadowed by drugs and sex.

Facts for kids I would include: at how many units serious health implications can occur – I was reading something recently about a young dad dying because he had twice the fatal level of alcohol in his blood and remember thinking the level seemed quite low. Also about the changes in decision making and risky behaviour and maybe going into a lot of detail.

I reckon at some point they’ll put really strict bans on drinking being glamorised in TV & movies and really control alcohol adverts. Basically what they’ve done with cigarettes they’ll start to do with alcohol.

Can you offer a different perspective on alcohol education?

What do you think we should be teaching in schools?