Friday, June 27, 2014

Silly season

Imagine a country school, small, only 13 pupils all of them from the same ethnic background. The one thing you wouldn't expect is it to be put into special measures due to a 'hate crime' yet such are the rules when a child uses the word 'gay.' Well Ofsted's rules that is, normal common sense rules don't apply when dealing with what is essentially an inspection bureaucracy...
A village primary school with just 13 pupils was put into special measures after an Ofsted inspection found too many incidents of racist or homophobic bullying and serious acts of violence.
But the chairman of governors at Ravenstonedale Endowed School in rural Cumbria has fought back, claiming the report was based on a single incident of children using the word ‘gay’ as a throwaway comment and not knowing what it meant.
Liz Morgan said it had been ‘blown out of proportion’ and also denied there had been any racism at the remote school, where all of the children are white.
She said she believed Ofsted had an agenda against small schools and suspected they’d been unfairly labelled racist because racism and homophobia were treated as one category by Ofsted.
Whilst I suppose it is possible the school is bringing up a secret sept of the UK version of the Hitler Youth you have to start wondering just what the Ofsted inspector was taking when they came to the conclusion that the school was guilty of too many incidents when there appears to be only one and that of a child probably using the term gay as an insult, not to gays, but in its other usage as something not terribly good. English is a terribly slippy language often picking up loan words and changing the meaning of others to suit new circumstances. The word awful was once used to describe St Paul's cathedral in London. It didn't mean that it was rubbish, but that it inspired awe to look at as in full of awe. Same way that gay used to mean happy (still does, though not in current usage)  then meant homosexual and now has turned not into a homophobic insult but means a bit naff when used in context. Now the gay mafia and the politically correct brigade may not like it, but in certain contexts the language has shifted and the word now has another meaning as well as the old ones.
It will be interesting to watch what happens to the hate crime school of Ravenscar, the accusations quietly shelved at best or some petty nonsensical measure put in place to sop Ofsted's position.
Seems like the silly season is now well under way.

2 annotations:

Kath lissenden said...

and considering Ofstead allowed all those schools in Birmingham to become Islamified it's a bit bloody rich.
Maybe it's a knee jerk reaction given all the signs they ignored in Birmingham, after all we know how these government departments love to bolt the stable door after the horse has bolted. Or maybe ofstead are genuinely idiots.
I remember when I worked in school, we knew when ofstead were coming and teachers who had preformed badly at previous inspections were moved to other classes in different year groups. The whole thing was a right fiddle. Let's hope this school comes out on top of this situation.
To the untrained eye it could look like an excuse to close a small school to save money.

Anonymous said...

You have got to agree that Ofsted is just so gay!