Ouch Too

Forum => News and Current Affairs. => Topic started by: Sunny Clouds on 26 Sep 2021 04:46PM

Title: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 26 Sep 2021 04:46PM
Ok, so politicians give soundbites, but Starmer is a lawyer so should read what his speechwriters say.

 MSN
Quote
Over the long term – combined with professional careers advice – this would mean no young person would leave compulsory education without the qualifications needed, the party said.
Sir Keir said: “Every child should leave education ready for work and ready for life."
BBC
Quote
He also wants a £250m scheme to prevent young people leaving school without qualifications - and has plans for better careers advice and compulsory work placements with local employers.
So is he going to get someone to create a full range of "the qualifications needed" that are suitable, for example, for children with, for example, an IQ of 50 or childhood-onset dementia to get?  Or sufficient "compulsory work placements with local employers" (my emphasis) that are suitable, for example, for young people who are quadriplegic or deafblind or psychotic?  Or will children unable to get qualifications for work, or young people unable to do the possible work placements with local employers be prevented from leaving school? 

My bet is that he and his speechwriters haven't so much turned a careful plan into small generalised soundbites, they haven't thought through it.  In particular, I doubt they've asked themselves how they're going to find sufficient local employers willing to go along with this or what they're going to do if they can't.

I'm not arguing that Johnson is any better.
I'm not against the general idea of preparing children better for the workplace, quite the contrary.  But a policy built round all children being expected to get qualifications and all young people being able to work is yet another opportunity for policitians, media and society in general to brand children and young people that can't get qualifications and/or can't work at all or in the context of what work is available and accessible, as in some way socially unacceptable.

>edit to change title of thread since topic has been expanded - KK
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: ditchdwellers on 27 Sep 2021 11:45AM
When I taught in post compulsory education and training some 25 years ago it was a completely different scene to what it is today. It has always been seen as the poor man of education, and historically training in trades and land based industries (the sector I worked in) has been looked down upon as somehow of lesser value than academic courses.
Well, hasn't that come around to bite the government in the backside? It all started going wrong with Tony Blair who insisted that 50% of the population should go to university, so suddenly all the FE colleges were finding it more profitable to offer degree programmes than their traditional courses. It was a horrendous time for post compulsory education and many students were short changed by poor quality courses inadequately staffed.


The real victims of these changes have been students who worked on practical skills courses, short courses, ones that needed learning support, and specialist departments for those with additional needs requiring specific small group programmes. Agricultural colleges used to be good at providing these sorts of courses, and the teaching staff at the one I worked at were all dedicated and had a great rapport with students . The management were another matter!


Unfortunately there are few what I would define as pure FE colleges left. Many agricultural colleges have closed or merged with other colleges and now offer things like hairdressing and plumbing, at the loss of their dairies and other facilities! They are now just satellite operations.


I'm curious to see how Starmer intends to deal with each and every one of the school leavers post 16. The statement doesn't reveal much and it would be interesting to challenge him on the full scale of the plans. Have they even considered your points Sunny?
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 27 Sep 2021 01:16PM
I've also been involved in post-school training.

For many years, back in the past, I was a director of a community charity providing a wide range of local facilities, both educational and non-educational, for all age groups, babies to oldies.  (Not the sort of charity which many people think of when they think of as charities.) 

I did a large part of the number crunching & research for a bid for EU funding for youth training.  We pulled in over £4million that time.  We worked together with a wide range of local businesses.

On the funding issue, when Cameron was doing his stuff about Big Society, he visited us and sent in his researchers or whatever they were.  Oops, embarasment, it hadn't occurred to him that an organisation like ours got most of our funding from official/public sources such as government, local authority, EU.   E.g. his notion of a school that's a charity is Eton.  We had a school providing a type of specialist education on a not-for-profit basis paid for through public funding for pupils that would now be described as SEND.

Ah, yes, Starmer wants to stop schools having charitable status.  That will make schools like that collapse financially.  Don't worry, though, they can become academies, with all the wonderful opportunities those provide for directors to skim off funds for their mates to provide unnecessary products and services whilst the teachers use their own insultingly low pay to buy things like stationery for the pupils.

I think I may perhaps be a tad biased here.

I am entirely in favour of a better education system.  My views on what I know on the national curriculum would be best bleeped out.  But I also have a horror of plans to reform it that aren't based on proper research and consultation.  They don't help.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Fiz on 27 Sep 2021 01:57PM
I agree that the government needs to invest in trade skills and to raise the esteem of those in trades. It's much needed. I don't think the financial encouragement to go to Uni to study things like film studies or sport studies is helpful to them or society.
Even having an HGV license and driving well are qualifications and skills to be valued.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 27 Sep 2021 07:17PM
The thing about subjects like film studies and sports studies is that in reality, if you can make it in either field, there's a chance you'll be better off than being a plumber or whatever.

How far the number of students doing those subjects maps onto the numbers in those lines of work or ones requiring similar skills and knowledge is something else. 

Bear in mind that film and sports aren't just about starring.  They include an awful lot of other trades.  You can coach sports, write about sports (look at the proportion of stories in mainstream media that are sports-based) etc.

It may well be for all I know that too many students are studying those subjects relative to jobs available, and I'm completely with you about skills & qualifications like HGV driving being things we should value as a society.

Sometimes it's how things are done.  For example, when it was recognised that qualifying as a registered nurse was something that should be recognised as a degree-level competency, I think that that was really good.  I was disgusted, though, at enrolled nurses being thrown under a bus.  Now we've got HCAs.  They do valuable work but without the respect and status and title of an enrolled nurse.  We don't even give them the dignity of using a title like 'orderly'.

I don't think there's much gap in our views.  Insofar as I see studying subjects like film and sport as, from the student's perspective, more valuable than, say, driving or plumbing, I am seeing it from the perspective of a student recognising that in terms of pay and the profit to be made on providing the service, our society sees far more value in football than HGV driving.

Mind you, maybe I'm just sour.  I failed my HGV.  A child ran out in front of me and I did a swerve and emergency stop.  I clipped a wing mirror which is an automatic fail, even though there was no actual damage and it was necessary to save the child's life.  The examiner was very apologetic and said he'd seriously considered pretending it hadn't happened, except that there'd be the paperwork for the incident.

It was a short army course so there were no re-takes, so that meant I could only drive HGV off-road where I didn't need a licence.  You wouldn't have wanted to 'bump into' me on Salisbury plain.  Who knows what else I might value more than wing mirrors and licences.  Cute bunny rabbits?  Sergeant majors?
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: On the edge on 28 Sep 2021 10:33AM
There is an argument for addressing poor educational attainment.  Throwing money at it without having a direction is the problem, it can create a hierarchy of who is best to support and maximize it.  There is also the realism of accepting that for some areas no amount of money is going address employers or other people's attitudes.



Having A-levels in physics/science e.g. isn't the be-all or end-all, but literacy IS. I'd want money spent there. I'd also like to see those who struggled with literacy as adults encouraged back to learning too.  It is appalling areas of the deaf world who are left with learning and literacy issues AFTER leaving school, feeling adult education is wasted time or not for them.


I'd like to see special schools with more focus on what matters, children's future's.  It should be a national outcry for children after spending many years in daily and formative education leaving with a poor ability to read or communicate.  Many years ago (I know, I Know!), education was geared to literacy above all, if you didn't have it after school your life was pretty much set as negative.  All my birthday and Xmas presents were books.  In the welsh valleys literacy was prized above all.


It was NOT OK to fail. Today we are lesser critical of poor achievement and accepting these things, that's a serious error, because UK education continually still turns out children with poor communication and literacy despite many mind-boggling technical achievements available.  So it isn't money alone that is needed but targeted learning and addressing poor education at root.


Both in and out of education the priorities are mostly wrong.  In adulthood poor attainment is no big deal, but, it IS.  Maybe taking the disability and deaf politics out of it would be a start.  The 3R's are the thing not much else is as important.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 28 Sep 2021 05:38PM
I don't think you can take disability out of it unless you do what was done when I was young (and perhaps it was different in Wales) and lock a whole range of SEND kids up in 'institutions' where it didn't matter whether the curriculum was relevant, because they weren't given an education, they were just written off.

However, we have children with IQs of 50 & 55 who will struggle to be literate.  We have children with juvenile dementia.  We have children with psychosis.  We have children with combined impairments such as blindness or deafness plus cognitive impairments.  We have children with a whole range of impairments that make literacy almost or completely impossible.  It is grossly unfair to expect them all to have to stay in school until such time as they are able to be literate.  If that is done, some children will die before they ever leave school.

But my suspicion is that Starmer sees the solution as being to hide the 'thickos' and 'loonies' and 'crips' away in institutions again, which would work wonders for national literacy statistics once they're removed from the education system. Even better than offrolling.  (Do they do offrolling in Wales?)

I know a middle aged woman with a form of dyslexia that means that she would still almost certainly fail a GCSE.  But she's a dab hand at a certain sort of crafts and also does nicely helping out with certain practical stuff in a relative's business.  You don't actually have to be able to read to have something to give.  Of course that's where 'reasonable adjustments' come into it, because the 'reasonable adjustments' for her are for someone else to check labels on things and buy bleach & disinfectant in distinctively coloured bottles.

I agree that literacy matters.  I'm just very unhappy with what appear to be rigid plans that don't take into account that some people are incapable of ever becoming literate, and of those that are, they may still be incapable of ever acquiring sufficient level of literacy to pass an exam.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Fiz on 28 Sep 2021 06:01PM
Hardly any people with sports studies go on to a career in sports. Both my nieces have such degrees, one works 9.5 hours a week training children at a club in the evenings and weekend and the other has a totally unrelated good career. It could lead to being a personal trainer in a gym earning minimum wage so most move on to other things because it's difficult to survive on minimum wage. Because it's easy to get a place at Uni on these courses, they're swamped by the less academic wanting a degree in a subject that interests them but the careers don't follow. I only know one person who studied film studies, they're now working in an unrelated field in a temporary post. Statistically law degrees which require higher achievements at A level to get a place have only 50% of graduates ever work at any level in law because university places far exceed need. And then on the other spectrum, not enough places at Uni for people wanting to study nursing and yet there are nursing vacancies in every hospital. The government are daft. Student finance needs rethinking.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 28 Sep 2021 07:10PM
If they want more nurses, they need to improve working conditions, otherwise even if you train as a nurse, there's a good chance you'll have a much better career if you transfer your skills to a different line of work unless you pick your specialty and your hospital very, very carefully.

Likewise medicine - look at all the doctors who emigrate or leave medicine or retire early.  You could train an awful lot more and we'd still struggle to recruit in some specialties, especially general practice.  Unless and until our government starts putting the funding into the NHS that it needs, I'd advise any school leaver to think very, very carefully indeed before training in a health-related subject without, at the very least, considering what else they might do with it.


Incidentally, the subject you study isn't always the point of the degree. When I was doing my research about which A-levels and university subjects were worth considering back in the dark ages, I discovered that the arts graduates with the lowest unemployment rates were classicists.  Not many of them would have gone into fields using their specific classical languages and ancient history.   On the other hand, career-wise, it was a good starting point if you wanted to get into computing or politics.  You wouldn't have to look far to find politicians who'd studied subjects like classics.

I don't say we don't need more training courses in practical subjects and career subjects, I just think that often people's choices of subject are based round certain realisms about what happens when you get into the workplace.




Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 28 Sep 2021 07:12PM
PS what's wrong with studying law then using it as a starting point for a career in business, politics, journalism, stockbroking, insurance etc?  Why do law graduates have to become practising lawyers?
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 28 Sep 2021 07:27PM
I probably shouldn't be debating so much right now.  I'm feeling ranty about stuff, which makes me sound less like I'm willing to consider other standpoints than I am.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: On the edge on 29 Sep 2021 08:02PM
Compromise is a devil isn't it lol.  It is so difficult to discuss and agree on anything lately, so many individuals have been empowered who have very different views and opinions to us.  So many new 'inclusive and diversity policies' and actions that are including people perhaps they shouldn't be.


It's a very fine line between free speech,  individual or group demands,  and plain bullying.  I find the net now unable to discuss anything within reason and inclusion lost the plot pre-covid.  I'll come right out and say no to complete individual power play, that's chaos.  Basically homo-sapiens is selfish so you need an effective opposition to protect the vulnerable.  So half a dozen shouting the odds is going to go over my head, I try to look at the bigger picture and there is no room for the extremes or minorities within minorities, it is fragmenting common sense and hurts people, basically its survival of the fittest, we saw so much of it during the lockdown and since.


On the plus side lockdown did force neighbours to consider other neighbors etc and the community partially emerged again.  Disabled and elderly were the leaders in many respects raising funds for the disadvantaged showing there is more than a disability to be seen.  We also saw others criticizing 'why are we locked down'  just so the vulnerable are safer?  'Lock them away so we can get on with our lives..'  We saw the best and worst of it.


I think a lot of deaf people re-discovered own families frankly, being unable to interact effectively with peers covid forced them into compromising with others more, which is no bad thing.  Awareness will never happen in a deaf club.  I think Keir is going to be kicked out, the Labour Partyis riddled with really silly and contentious people and views.  They are idealists and don't use logic to solve or address issues.

They are extremists frankly, we don't need people like that. As regards to educating those with limited options I agree the support should concentrate there.  I do disagree the deaf are that.  The evidence clearly shows the deaf are very able people, very adept, quite educated,  and very determined as well, and their control over communication puts many hearing to shame, they adapted because they had to.

I just get annoyed when they plead ignorance and blame others, it isn't true.  Less than 5-7% are unable to advance effectively.  That is because we closed 85% of 'special' deaf schools that had been letting them down.  Institutional and dead-end learning that is all it ever was.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 29 Sep 2021 08:19PM
Quote
The evidence clearly shows the deaf are very able people, very adept, quite educated...


Dare I say that's something of a generalisation and I'm afraid taken as such, I don't believe it.

I don't say that no deaf people are very able, very adept, quite educated vel sim., I just don't accept it as a generalisation.  Deafness is not a protection against conditions that can make it impossible to gain qualifications and/or impossible to be able to do a work placement. 

Some deaf people are very able, some are quite able, some are a bit able and some are barely able at all etc.  Deaf children can have very low IQs, be severely neuroatypical, have severe ADHD, be quadriplegic, have juvenile onset dementia etc.

That doesn't mean that I would disagree with you that simply sticking deaf children in separate schools isn't the best way to deal with deafness in children, although, as you've worked out, I don't have much of an issue with our local deaf 'units', which fit conceptually with my long-term notion of pupils with different abilities and needs being in different 'houses' in schools; and obviously, it's just a matter of jargon whether, if you cluster facilities together, pupils share some facilities and not others.

Although, as I think of it, if you were to have a few deaf children who for psychological or mental reasons (i.e. in addition to their deafness) couldn't cope with being in a hearing environment, I could see the logic for specialist schooling.  I suspect that at present, those in this category not currently in specialist deaf schools and units are locked away in what I'll genericaly call locked 'mental' places.  I daresay quite a few these days, having been mainstreamed are offrolled or stuck long-term in those horrible wall-facing isolation cubicles used by academies which seem to me to be hideously cruel.

That being said, some people object to streaming within schools, so separating academically doesn't appeal to everyone.  Society can't even agree as between one part of the country and another whether it's appropriate to teach a child with an IQ of 60 English or maths in the same classroom at the same time as a child with an IQ of 160.

We need some balance but then that brings me back to my long-term scream of 'where's the money?'  And I don't believe there isn't any.  Try taxing Amazon, for starters, and put a stop to political corruption.  Hmm.  I think I'm being naive again.

 :f_sadface:
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: On the edge on 04 Oct 2021 07:32PM
Before we ask about money, we have to ask about how education should work with the disabled and others with limited ability to advance via current educational norms. We can't all be winners but we don't want the inequality of all being comfortable losers either.


Support for special schools is there because mainstream support isn't which doesn't address the end result.  Specialisation doesn't seem to be able to manage realism as such but is more concerned only with immediate support at the schools. It is a very natural assessment and approach.  Increasingly schools ar the parents let's face it and it is they who are having to equip children to face life as adults.


We now have FE via colleges and Universities so they are in education a very long time, (unlike moi who started full-time work  at 15).  I end to wonder then why, are they still struggling? Still reluctant to include themselves or support the ideal? IT's difficult? try working full time at 15 near deaf then come back and say how difficult it is after spending 16 years or so still in school being armed (Or not), to cope with adult work life.  I think we need to demand more from specializations and mainstreaming, money alone won't do it you need a proper curriculum and a bottom line.


The charity has no bottom line, it relies on you needing them e.g. They aren't going to make themselves redundant. Unfortunately, the state supports us being needy and relaint on them, as it saves money and them having to establish a proper system, charity was created to help those who fall through the gaps, the state just creates more gaps.  The irony is we voted for that by thinking hey we can run it ourselves, oops we hadn't the faintest idea how to go about it... 
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 04 Oct 2021 10:03PM
Quote
The charity has no bottom line, it relies on you needing them e.g. They aren't going to make themselves redundant. Unfortunately, the state supports us being needy and relaint on them, as it saves money and them having to establish a proper system, charity was created to help those who fall through the gaps, the state just creates more gaps.  The irony is we voted for that by thinking hey we can run it ourselves, oops we hadn't the faintest idea how to go about it... 

I agree that we shouldn't be reliant on charity.

The point I was making about schooling, though, is that with state schooling, the government gets others to provide it, or at least in England it does.  I don't know about the rest of the UK. 

In the past that was churches, then local authorities (but, in England, still many religious-supported state schools, i.e. some of the money comes from church/synagogue/mosque, and then variations such as community schools, free schools, academies etc.

If you're a trustee of a charity with the sort of school I was a trustee of, your idea of how much money you get from it is free coffee and biscuits at meetings and probably mince pies, hot drink and a free raffle ticket for a prize worth maybe £1 or so at the Christmas party.  Oh, I forgot, I got a free badge with a logo on it.  I wonder what that was worth.  £2?

But a MAT pays the directors that carry out the role of the charity trustees.

In either institution, there can be what's trendily called chumocracy, but it's less likely in the sort of charity that runs state schools, because the money just isn't there.  MATs typically take over the more profitable ones and offroll as many kids as they can get away with.

Stopping charities, which don't make a profit, from running schools providing state education is not going to mean that they're directly run by local authorities, it will simply mean that they're taken over by Multi Academy Trusts, which make a profit.

And Keir Starmer isn't proposing to stop private companies running state schools. 
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 04 Oct 2021 10:18PM
Quote
Before we ask about money, we have to ask about how education should work with the disabled and others...

A very valid comment as to where the priorities should be.

My comment about funding was about the absurdity of suggesting that children that can't get qualifications and/or do a local work experience placement shouldn't be allowed to leave school.  On further thought, I suppose Starmer's get-out on that would be that mostly the references were to children, so they could leave at 18, but there were also references to pupils, with no age limit.

Whereas your thinking about what do children actually need to equip them for life, how long do they actually need to be in school, what would a proper curriculum be like etc. appears to be beyond the thinking of certain politicians in government and opposition. 

Again, you and I could split hairs until the cows come home about just what sort of education children need, but we've got an awful lot in common over it, primarily a belief that it should be practical.

And whilst you have reservations about charities - and some charities in a whole range of fields have shamed charities in general - I compare them with MATs, and see getting rid of those a bigger priority, and I also compare them with private companies running private 'bins' to use the word some of us mad'uns use, and I say stop the obscene profits and abuse first, then target the not-for-profits.  But if you said then guarantee every child a place in a state-run school, I'd be all for it.

It's like where we've argued over just how much Deaf education should or shouldn't focus on BSL.  I think you think English/indigenous language should be the language of education, and I'm comfortable with BSL as a first language.  But that's because I believe every child that is mentally and physically capable of it should leave school at least comfortably bilingual, and preferably trilingual.  Thus my argument wouldn't run counter to your desire for Deaf pupils that are mentally capable of it to be able to communicate fluently in English, preferably multi-format.

But our arguments about "What do children and adults actually need?  What could they reasonably and realistically achieve if we gave them a top quality education?  How far can we adjust for individual abilities and needs?" etc. don't make for politicians' soundbites.

Hmm, do I express my views in English or BSL?  Nope...

 :f_steam: :f_wah:

Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: On the edge on 05 Oct 2021 12:18PM
The issue is bilingualism not BSL really. Children don't get to choose how they are educated, that is the state and the parental choice until they are of age.  As is CI implantation etc.

Deaf have an issue with bilingualism, sign overrides their ability or desire to obtain another language properly.  We live in a hearing-speaking world so need options and those options are developed in schools (Or not as we argue).  This just gets the pat response you are anti-sign or something or, 'deaf only want sign and nothing else'. Bilingualism/English is essential because the deaf will have to cope and work in a hearing world.

How that statement is discrimination or an attack on deaf signers beats me.  It does seem most of the argy-bargy comes from deaf who didn't manage to successfully cope in the mainstream and are bitter about it, yet still resisting bilingualism because outside their area sign isn't effective for them, it is just the way it is.  That they also believe a monolingual approach of BSL only is the best way to address that does not seem realistic to me.

In the scheme of things we have to adapt and hearing don't, it is as simple as and unpleasant as that.  In the worst-case scenario where a dedicated signer needs support to communicate and cannot do it on their own, then the image of deaf people is that they are in need of help all the time.  This defeats their social-medical label and campaigns of course.  The image of a deaf person with a terp is not one of a deaf person being independent via first, or second impression.

What you see is what it is etc... Deaf demand support every day which re-inforces the reliance image.  Yes, deaf need to be in school a lot longer and bilingualism where it is possible must be an essential part of their education, however, they need to be taught to USE it as well or inclusion can't happen.  Deaf people cannot walk into a hearing area alone and manage it as it stands because they won't find others able to communicate effectively with them.  I appreciate numerous BSL campaigns and learner classes, but there is little or no sign(!) or indication that is translated to real effect at ground level.  BSL awareness is not hearing loss awareness either.

Deaf inclusion cannot work with BSL alone, and hoping hearing mainstream is going to sign for them, not even with a law. They KNOW it, so there is less impetus to move outside and make the stressful effort of trying as it stands.  Inclusion is a relative thing for the deaf and how do we address that mindset?  Nobody is saying stop signing we are saying alone it won't enable inclusion they say they want unless (A) Everyone hearing signs too, or (B) you have unrestricted access to terps in the social sphere.  Frankly, I don't see interpreter support as being able to enhance deaf inclusion socially.

Nobody feels comfortable chatting to 3rd parties all the time and deaf won't use them that way. One person too many. I am not negative but the directions deaf seem to want to take today are not helping them get what they want.  I think adults are a lost cause in many respects the focus has to be on the future with deaf children.  It is if the percentage of deaf children can make that break or not. 


I think most can and will, if education adjusts to realities, not pipe dreams and deaf dogma. I don't care what deaf adults say unless it is their child too, many want to lay down rules and overrule parents, and nobody is going to put up with that.  If deaf are included in society properly does it matter if the deaf community folds?  The clubs seem to be folding already, and the chools.  There is a bit of a Canute syndrome with some deaf.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 05 Oct 2021 01:06PM
I still have a problem with the way you seem to lump people together.

Maybe it's a regional thing?  Yes, there are some people who are Deaf signers who don't want to try to cope with English as well, but I don't see any evidence that they're more than a minority of Deaf signers, and then if you further take away from that group those that are physically or mentally incapable of coping with lipreading and reading, you've got an even smaller number.  (For comparison, bear in mind, that some people, albeit a small minority, use sign, particularly Makaton, for reasons other than deafness.)

I also find it difficult how perhaps we think in different terms generationally.  I see a difference between generations in lots of ways and when it comes to education think in terms of how tomorrow's generations might do things, not just how older generations might do/have done things.

By way of analogy, I consider it reasonable to make adjustments in our society for older generations that in all seriousness can have difficulties with modern technology.  Ah, you may say, but everyone can get to understand and use a modern smartphone and computer.  Now look at the proportion of, say, over sixties that have dementia, including early dementia or MCI.  (The euphemism MCI is one of my pet hates but I've lost the battle on it).   Look at the proportion with no realistic access to proper support to learn new things.  Realistically, society makes adjustments or has a headache.

There are people alive today who spent their childhood in all sorts of unpleasant institutions that have given them long term problems and we need to adjust for that.  Incidentally, in all seriousness, you may wish to consider that some Deaf signers were deeply traumatised and stigmatised as youngsters and that if you want to get them to rely less on BSL, you need to ask yourself if you'd make similar demands on those with other major childhood experiences.  Well, actually, society often does, then wonders why so many go over the edge.  Compare with women who were horribly gender-demeaned and hurt as children and remind yourself that getting them not to be what may seem to be ridiculously 'over-feminist' is about what's been done to them.

As I type this, I'm wondering something.  When you try to persuade a signer to communicate in English, do you put your case in English or BSL?  If they're primarily a signer, when someone argues that in English, I think after a few years of people doing it, they can end up psychologically 'hearing' someone saying "I'm mother tongue English and totally fluent in English and I can argue my case really, really well in English.  It's not really worth your trying to reply, is it, because if your reply isn't in English, I'll tell you off, and if it's in English but it's not very good English, I'll focus on why I think your English is rubbish, not on the arguments for how we could move forward as a society, how we could change things to genuinely welcome signers into English environments."

Quote
Yes, deaf need to be in school a lot longer

Why?

That sounds to me like another step towards the old institutions.

If you think that a proportion of deaf people need more education beyond school, then maybe that will apply to some, but I struggle with the generalisation, and I struggle to see why it couldn't be done in the context of adult education centres. 

Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 05 Oct 2021 09:53PM
I'm still trying to make sense of why you feel so strongly about Deaf people who want to be able to use BSL as their everyday language. This post may seem like an interrogation, but please understand from the outset that I don't consider you obliged to answer my questions.

Apart from anything else, I'm wondering what else I can learn.  I know that you've previously taught me something very important, which is that in some places funding intended for deaf people is focussed almost entirely on culturally Deaf people, which I hadn't known.

But are there other aspects of not liking demands some culturally Deaf people make? 

The way you speak of deafness and disability leaves me not sure how you feel about the links between them.  Also, you've said something a couple of times that seems to say you're uncomfortable with adjustments for disability & deafness, but I don't really have a feel for what sort of adjustments you think are reasonable.  I'm not asking for a long list (which isn't saying you mustn't post one!), more trying to get a feel.  The vibe I get is that you think that disabled people, particularly some Deaf people, expect too much in the way of adjustments, but I may have got the wrong end of the stick, which is why I'm asking.

The other thing I've itched to ask but hesitated because I don't know how to word it. Unless I've completely misunderstood, you're in Wales.  How do you feel about Welsh schooling and Welsh people wanting to be able to deal with public bodies in Welsh?  Personally, from my side of the border, it seems entirely reasonable, but I'm sort of mentally mapping it on.

I know that over time you've said negative things about charities and we've often (but not always) disagreed over issues where charity is involved, mainly, I think (?) because the sort of charities you've been involved in have been very different from the sort I'm involved in.  For me, the first thing I think of when someone says charity is the Statute of Elizabeth, then inheritances given to communities (e.g. mansions given for hospitals before the NHS) and what I think of as 'community charities'.  What I'd think of as big name charities come last.  I see a small number of big name charities as getting most public visibility but as being often rather irrelevant to my life except for useful shops, publications & equipment. 

On the other hand, if I've got the vibes right, you feel about RNIB the way I do about BPUK.  "Nice someone tried to do something for people with a problem/issue/condition that I have, but you don't represent my views so please stop acting as if you do."

That's a lot of questions and I do fully understand and accept that you're not obliged to answer any of them, OtE.  It's just that you have such passion in your views that I want to understand them better.  Even if we end up still disagreeing on a lot, I've already seen some things differently.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: On the edge on 18 Oct 2021 09:53AM
I've lost patience with Labour, it is ironic they are making most noises in and around S E England and London, have all the extremes anyone could ever want, yet only Wales voted for them in office.  Wales traditionally hates tories historically so would vote for anyone but a tory regardless of how badly others perform.  As oldies cannot change their views and do vote, and younger voters are too busy on FB to vote the situation goes on and on. 

Not that I care who runs Labour into the ground they are a spent force and attract too many idiots. In reality, Momentum runs Labour an ultra left-wing arm of dubious nere do wells who want the UK like the old USSR was who favours Korbyn, another Marxist.

In Wales the first minister there still defies a leave decision of Brexit in Wales whose voters defied LAbour there, the first time they have.  Despite the welsh labour party defying its own electorate, they still prefer them to Tories.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 18 Oct 2021 12:51PM
You are entitled to disagree with Labour and dislike Corbyn, but firstly, to describe his views as marxist would not be a fair description, whether in the academic sense, or either of the two main modern political senses.  He could reasonably have been thought to agree with some of Marx's views, thus supporting public services such as the NHS, whilst, unlike Marx, not objecting to the existence of private services, e.g. private healthcare as an extra option as opposed to an essential. 

Secondly, Momentum has never pushed for support for the UK to be like the USSR, not least because the USSR didn't stick true to the ideals it claimed to espouse, but veered off into those distortions of power and politics that can be seen when any state goes too far to the right or left. 

I find myself wondering how far you understand the difference between marxism, trotskyism, communism, socialism etc.  I'm rather supposing that you're on the right of the political spectrum.  Would you be happy if I confused pre-Chicago-boy neoliberalism with post-Chicago-boy neoliberalism?  Would you be happy if I confused the concepts of economic liberal and social liberal, or if I confused, say, American and British uses of the word liberal, with their distinct differences on the political spectrum?

But given Starmer's purge of the left wing of the party, and the politicians and strategists he is gathering round himself, it seems clear that he will be following New Labour, so we will see a furtherance of Tony Blair's privatisation of a range of public services and facilities.  To use the NHS as an example again, I see no reason to see that he wouldn't take steps to bring in further privatisations and outsourcing.

I find it interesting what you say about older people in Wales not changing their views and younger people being too busy to vote.  It's very different where I am.  All ages demonstrating, campaigning, organising, helping with voting etc. across the political spectrum.  Not being a member of the Labour party, I don't get to hear what goes on in their meetings, but I do know people who belong to it, just as I know members of other parties. 

Mind you, I know some people do get entrenched.  There's a local couple I know who are in their eighties and I've no idea what goes on their voting slips, but he's never going let her see him as anything other than Tory and she's never going to let him see her as anything other than Labour!

Oh well, things we're disagreeing on again.  Never mind, you can have a smile at my initial reaction to the use of Korbyn, thinking "But he's not red-haired.  Oh, it's the 'has a sense of humour' meme of Korbyn & Korbin he's referring to."  Finally, the penny dropped, red-haired as a play on red-politics.  I didn't get it at first because  I think of Korbyn as a fashionable American name, where politically our red is their blue!

Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: On the edge on 19 Oct 2021 11:50AM
You are entitled to disagree with Labour and dislike Corbyn, but firstly, to describe his views as marxist would not be a fair description, whether in the academic sense, or either of the two main modern political senses.  He could reasonably have been thought to agree with some of Marx's views, thus supporting public services such as the NHS, whilst, unlike Marx, not objecting to the existence of private services, e.g. private healthcare as an extra option as opposed to an essential. 

Secondly, Momentum has never pushed for support for the UK to be like the USSR, not least because the USSR didn't stick true to the ideals it claimed to espouse, but veered off into those distortions of power and politics that can be seen when any state goes too far to the right or left. 

I find myself wondering how far you understand the difference between marxism, trotskyism, communism, socialism etc.  I'm rather supposing that you're on the right of the political spectrum.  Would you be happy if I confused pre-Chicago-boy neoliberalism with post-Chicago-boy neoliberalism?  Would you be happy if I confused the concepts of economic liberal and social liberal, or if I confused, say, American and British uses of the word liberal, with their distinct differences on the political spectrum?

But given Starmer's purge of the left wing of the party, and the politicians and strategists he is gathering round himself, it seems clear that he will be following New Labour, so we will see a furtherance of Tony Blair's privatisation of a range of public services and facilities.  To use the NHS as an example again, I see no reason to see that he wouldn't take steps to bring in further privatisations and outsourcing.

I find it interesting what you say about older people in Wales not changing their views and younger people being too busy to vote.  It's very different where I am.  All ages demonstrating, campaigning, organising, helping with voting etc. across the political spectrum.  Not being a member of the Labour party, I don't get to hear what goes on in their meetings, but I do know people who belong to it, just as I know members of other parties. 

Mind you, I know some people do get entrenched.  There's a local couple I know who are in their eighties and I've no idea what goes on their voting slips, but he's never going let her see him as anything other than Tory and she's never going to let him see her as anything other than Labour!

Oh well, things we're disagreeing on again.  Never mind, you can have a smile at my initial reaction to the use of Korbyn, thinking "But he's not red-haired.  Oh, it's the 'has a sense of humour' meme of Korbyn & Korbin he's referring to."  Finally, the penny dropped, red-haired as a play on red-politics.  I didn't get it at first because  I think of Korbyn as a fashionable American name, where politically our red is their blue!


There are very distinct differences between how the English vote and how the Scots/Irish and Welsh do. Wales we tend to view anything done in England is to our detriment really! (Not that I personally subscribe to that view, occasionally they recognise we exist).  We are currently discussing independence again.  The Labour party has done nothing for Wales, it is a relentless drag on progress.  But again Tories are the lowest life forms on the planet. as welsh are concerned.  Any politician that stands against them gets the welsh vote.  I remember reading of a town in Texas that elected a dog that was deceased as mayor because the locals loved the dog, not the old mayor.  Wales is a bit like that. Substitute sheep for dogs`.


I just think all this stuff emanating from Momentum/Islington or S E Counties is dangerous 'inclusive' nonsense that hasn't been thought out at all.  It's a mish-mash of extremes with common sense left out of it all.  The drive for independence (From Scots mostly), is as much a 'defence' against stupid decisions made in London being foisted on the rest of us.  While London is happy to have near half it population as non-brits, it is not a situation many are comfortable with.


It is just seen as a hotbed of demands from people who aren't like us, rarely mix with us,  and don't want the same as us either, own schools, own language provisions etc...  Obviously, the way you word these concerns gets the racist and discrimination tag by default.  Then it goes covert and real racism emerges.  The current Brit response is cest la vie then ignore it all, that is the brit way, which of course means demands others make, even reasonable ones, are getting lip-service that's all.  Like most, I get fed up trying to express concern then getting shouted down or called all manner of names instead.


I don't consider myself racist or discriminatory, nothing is black and white anyway and there is no universal cure-all that will work.  I don't know how many laws/acts/rules have been passed since 1900 but am guessing it a lot! That is ignoring the conveyor belt of do this or else we got as EU members as well.  Many were geared to equality, inclusion, and democracy, and the jury would still be well out as to how effective most were or ever will be.  Disabled had 5 in recent times we are still out of it.     


Reading current issues in media and elsewhere complete failure springs to mind, and increases in the polarisation of people and views.  The stock response of getting down on one knee seems then a bit ridiculous and pointless as well as offering 'red flags' to the racist bulls. 


My own disability was re-branded as something else, it's cause (And effects),  blamed on others and even the way I communicated was rewritten.  I was zeroed with the simple capitalisation of the single term for my issue.  It is a form of identity theft.  Keir wants Momentum out? he hasn't the clout to do it, and, labour challenged him in their own recent meetings and booed him Momentum are a rabble run by very adept stirrers basically.  Credited with the jokes of 'Please support Gay Whales' or 'one-armed black lesbians.'


Inclusion? NOT as we understand it.  So we vote for them telling us how to act and think instead of the tories?  THat isn't choice.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Fiz on 19 Oct 2021 01:13PM
I can't see Starmer winning an election however dire our current government is. He's not saying or doing the things that need saying and doing to lead people away from following the status quo. He's not a prospective Prime Minister in my view and the leader of a political party should be.


Backtracking on the conversation somewhat, a major problem of the majority of young people choosing to go to university is those that complete their degrees have a qualification they want to use for their employment. They're failing to get jobs in these fields and continue to wait for these positions relying on the bank of Mum and Dad to live on while we have a massive shortage of people working in hospitality, haulage, caring careers etc.


I don't have a massive real life group of connections but I know of three young people in exactly this position. One, the child of a close friend has an engineering degree and is becoming more and more depressed to a debilitating degree by his lack of gaining interviews for positions. He, and the other two that I know less well, won't entertain doing any other work/employment while waiting for their chosen career path to get going. Possibly encouraging so many young people to go to university is raising their aspirations to a level where it's creating employment vacancies that would previously have been filled by young people not going to university?


I think we could provide incentives for people with medical qualifications to remain in the NHS for 5 years which I think would mean far less would leave the NHS at that point.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 19 Oct 2021 08:01PM
OtE -

Having regard to your attitude towards Islington, with its high high level of severe deprivation and reliance on foodbanks, and other voluntary donations of free essentials, free help, free social care etc. freely given by others in the same community, in the absence of the good (albeit not perfect) welfare state this country had for a few decades, if the desire of the people there for inclusiveness, which, living in a different urban area further north I can also relate to, then you give the impression, OtE, of living in a somewhat privileged community/social environment, which might explain the voting habits, or rather non-voting habits of the people where you live that you refer to.

As for an area with lots of non-Brits, well I'll admit to a bias, living as I do in an urban area which has for a long time relied on not only locals but incomers. 

Whether it was Norman invaders who saw fit to build a church near me, and contributed to the local church-based welfare state for centuries, or all those that helped build our trade and our environment, be that Dutch (including during the Boer War) and South Asians (before and after Independence and the Partition) and Irish (including during the Hunger, the War of Independence, and the Emergency), and Poles (usually thought of as during WW2, but also before and after), and Jews (that braved centuries of persecution and still do), and people from a whole range of other parts of the world, particularly parts colonised and exploited at the behest of those with power and influence in this country...I live somewhere where being English means being a mixture of centuries of blending locals with newcomers who braved hostility to contribute to what we are and what we have.

My favourite Christian song goes back to my younger days.  "When I needed a neighbour, were you there...and the creed and the colour and the name don't matter, were you there?"  There's a verse "When I needed a healer..."  When I was a child, I had a GP who was an immigrant.  Like many Jewish immigrants, he braved antisemitism to come here.  Without him, I wouldn't have survived childhood.  My current GP's family is from Uganda.  We left a mess there by colonising, bringing lots of Indians, particuarly Gujaratis, creating nasty racial and social division instead of unity, then so very many people saying "Not our problem" when it resulted in yet another bloodbath.

And me?  Well, I'm English born as were both my parents, but like most people where I come from, I've got bits of foreign in me. Didn't stop this country asking me to defend it.  Didn't stop me putting my life on the line again and again.  This country's terribly good at saying "Please come and help us" then "Bog off, we don't need you any more.  Yes, we know you've now cut your ties with where your family came from and you've nothing to go home to, but you shouldn't have believed our urgings to come here and help us out."  People who aren't wholly indigenous are treated as British so long as they're wanted, but as foreign when they're not.  At least I'm English & British enough not to be turfed out unless and until someone gets all ethnic about it instead of nationalist.

But then I live in a country where a significant proportion of leading politicians from various political parties have got bits of foreign, and I swore an oath of allegiance to a queen with foreign origins as well as British.

I really wish I hadn't engaged in conversation with you, OtE.  I wasn't aware of your views in relation to immigration and ethnicity. 

It will not stop me, when walking down the street where I live, alive and safe, being thankful for the centuries upon centuries of immigrants that are the people that are now my neighbours.  When I need a neighbour, they're there.

OtE, I have found it interesting to debate with you, but I now feel very uncomfortable.  I'd always seen disability boards as places that favoured inclusion not objected to it.





Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 19 Oct 2021 09:41PM
I think I'd better back off.  I'm feeling rather fragile at the moment and don't want to overreact.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 20 Oct 2021 03:47PM
Part of what I feel uncomfortable about isn't so much disagreement with an individual, it's a sense that things I tend to take for granted in the area in which I live are very different in other parts of the UK.

Well of course they will be.  We're all different.  But I think I'm a bit spoilt by a sense of community where I am.

It's like the issue of the deaf community.  I'm used to moving in circles where we're largely united, with the different parts of the deaf community, be they Deaf, deaf or HoH, be we signing, speaking, writing or mix & match, working together and helping one another, just as people with different disabilities and needs work together.   So OtE's references to the deaf community where he is, which appears very divided as between deaf, Deaf & HoH, is an eye opener for me.   

No, not everyone's nice where I am.  We have people like muggers and bullies and burglars and people who don't use what intelligence they've got etc.  Some of our local politicians, belonging to various parties or none, are incompetent and/or corrupt.  We have our divisions, but I don't sense the same sort of clear and universal divisions between, for instance, age groups and people of different origins and disadvantages that evidently exist where OtE lives.  I've added this message after explaining I need to back off to cool down, to say that I realise I'm lucky in many ways and that it's not until people tell me more about where they are and the people they know that I realise just how lucky I am in many ways and how little I focus on that.

Like anyone I can learn. 
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 20 Oct 2021 05:08PM
I'm glad you added the above post, Sunny.  I wouldn't want anyone to feel less than comfortable here on OuchToo, but members aren't always going to hold identical views about sensitive subjects and people are entitled to express that - within the rules, of course!

I think, regarding inclusion of traditionally disadvantaged groups, that unfortunately some of the extremists have spoiled the whole well-meaning concept and by doing so, stoked unnecessary prejudice in their ferocious denial of common sense reality.  For instance, I personally don't think it's unreasonable for women not to want a person self-identifying as female to share a changing room/toilet if said person still has full male genitalia.    (I'm sure in other places on t'Internet I'd be well and truly 'cancelled' for daring to state such a view  :f_whistle: )
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Fiz on 20 Oct 2021 06:00PM
I'm in full agreement with you on that Kizzy. Even to the extent that they may have had surgery to remove the genitalia and be taking female hormones so have transitioned. I think my view is influenced by years of violence from a man and being raped as a young child by a male. Those people would still be those people after surgery. My common sense brain says that I can't tar all men with the same brush but emotionally the damage is done unfortunately.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 20 Oct 2021 06:58PM
I'm the reverse of that.  I have been sexually assaulted at different times by both cisman and ciswoman.  Yes, that has included being vaginally penetrated by a woman with a hard object in her hand.  I will always feel safer in mixed environments because I trust men more than women to step in and physically protect me.  I found that in the army.  Also, when I was an in-patient on a psychiatric unit where a senior nurse was beating up patients, getting away with it because management didn't know how to stop it without admitting that it was happening, it was generally the male patients that protected the female patients and the female staff.

When I have visited friends and relatives in my nearest general hospital, I've always observed that male patients had quieter rooms and were more likely to be in rooms with fewer patients.  I don't think that's fair and I think the conditions for women would be better if they had the option of sharing the men's rooms with their better conditions.

As for changing rooms, I never understood why people want the sort of changing rooms where all the women go in one room and all the men in another.  Why not have non-gendered individual and family cubicles?  My local swimming baths have individual cubicles round the edge of the pool.  I feel safer that way, because if someone tries to get in whilst you're there, the other swimmers will see it and someone will intervene.  By contrast, I've used pools where there were shared changing rooms, and if you're in there, if there aren't others there, who's to see if someone does something dodgy?

That being said, I do understand and accept that some women feel very unsafe unless in all female environments.  I just want the choice for my own safety of mixed environments.

Meanwhile, whichever side of the argument we're on in relation to that, the way the arguments are made in some political circles doesn't help.  For example, I am angry about how far using the insistence that only women have cervixes as a way of distinguishing between natal women and transwomen is setting back years of efforts to get people with a Y-chromasome and a vagina and cervix to have proper check ups and cervical smears. Some were mutilated and registered as female, some, mutilated or not, were registered as male, and some regard themselves as unisex. But our society doesn't accept unisex as a valid sex/gender.

For the sake of a little less rigidity of expression, accepting that some people born with Y chromasomes plus some male genitalia and legally registered from birth as male can have cervixes, lives could be saved.  Never mind, who cares if men with dsd die of cancer?

Maybe someone should send a basic biology book up to Heaven and tell Him to get His act together and stop making people that don't fit into neat categories.

Politicians and activists that have concerns about things like shared facilities and transpeople don't need to throw people with dsd under a bus in order to pursue their aims, and they don't need to throw those of us that want the safety of mixed environments under a bus to get unambiguously single sex environments for those that feel safer in them. 
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Fiz on 20 Oct 2021 08:52PM
There's no way for us both to feel safe in that case sunny.


I realise that my life has been altered and changed due to trauma and it limits my life in many ways. I can't see a male GP for example, I'd panic if shut in a room with a man.


Both times that I have had wisdom teeth out under GA the hospital has gone out of their way to sort the gender issues out for me. The second wisdom tooth was at a time when there were no female dentists so I had a female chaperone who was with me in the anaesthetic room and who stayed with me all the time I was under the GA and was with me in recovery. I never saw the dentist. I'm thankful that these adjustments could be arranged.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 20 Oct 2021 09:14PM
Yes, there is a way for both of us to feel safe.  Flexibility.  Creativity.  We have vast numbers of hospitals and clinics round the country.  Some can be reserved for those that need people of a particular sex & gender to help them.  I don't personally see your need for a female chaperone and for female clinicians as different from someone needing an interpreter or wheelchair access.  No, seriously.  As disabled people, we're used to people seeing as unreasonable demands things that are actually manageable and practical.

Also, with modern technology, there's much more that could be done if anyone gave a wotsit to make us all feel safer with panic buttons, CCTV (in appropriate locations) etc.

And if they didn't expect us all to want or need the same, they could make far better use of space and resources available.  Triage people into those needing single sex clinical environment and those ok with mixed. 

Analogy.  I was in an army camp and we found the females had no working showers.  I said I was off to use the men's showers.  Others followed.  I went into the entrance area.  There were two corridors of showers.  I shouted we'd be coming in in 20 min.  I said which corridor.  After 20 min, we went in.  The men in that corridor were fine with it, and so were we. The men that wanted single sex had single sex.  If any of the women had wanted single sex, we'd have said instead that in 20 min, the one corridor would become women only.  The men would have been fine with that.

I remember being overseas in a rather hot country. Someone brought a shower in the form of a truck with jerry cans with holes in attached to water pipes.  We all looked at one another, and I stripped off and walked under a jerry can.  Others, male and female, followed.  But if anyone, either male or female, had felt uncomfortable, we'd all have rallied round and made arrangements.  We had ponchos we used as groundsheets plus bungees that enabled us to make shelters with them depending on circumstances. They'd have made adequate shower curtains.

Society can do that if we have the will.  If a hospital acknowledges that there are both people that want single sex and people that are ok with mixed sex, then they can more readily deploy their staff accordingly.  Have dedicated single sex teams and wards/clinics; but with mixed wards/clinics as well, it doesn't matter if there's an imbalance between staff and patient numbers. 

Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: Fiz on 21 Oct 2021 02:50AM
That assumes both the assertiveness and being mentally well enough to state your needs and the willingness of others to cooperate.


During a disability swim session which I chose to go to because the public swim sessions are too busy/noisy for me to cope with, I was groped by a man with learning difficulties who had a 1-1 carer in the pool with him. It terrified me. I wrote to the recreation centre manager and asked if one of the three weekly disable swim sessions be female only and he said no that would be discriminatery. I've not been swimming in a public pool since..


I think I will agree to disagree on the possibility of feeling safe because real life as I encounter it in reality isn't flexible.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?!
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 21 Oct 2021 06:17PM
Sunny, I never considered that there might be people who actively prefer mixed-sex environments, so you had me thinking there...


Fiz, that pool episode and its outcome is truly disgraceful - if anyone should have been excluded from those swimming sessions, I would suggest that man and his apparent carer (why wasn't the carer paying more attention?)


I'm no expert on learning disabilities but I would have thought the capacity to know right from wrong was present in most.  Though this could raise another debate - disability an excuse for bad behaviour???


Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 21 Oct 2021 10:32PM
As a youngster, I applied to Oxford University.  The college I applied to wasn't interested, but another college that I hadn't applied to invited me for interview and then said they'd like to offer me a place.  I paused, looked around me, and apologetically said no.  I said if they'd been a mixed college, I'd have said yes, but as an all-female college, it was too much like school.

I went to a girls school with a partner boys school.  Mixed classes and activities felt so much safer and when in the sixth form I was allowed to sit in the boys' prefects' room (I was a prefect at the girls school) I felt more relaxed.  I also liked going to the joint prayer group.

It wasn't the boys on mixed school buses grabbing my satchel and throwing it off the bus.  It wasn't the boys climbing over the top of the lavatory cubicles to get at me to beat me up.  It wasn't teachers at the boys school being nasty and blaming me when I got bullied.  It wasn't the boys stealing my school exercise books, rubbing out the teachers' pencil marks and substituting lower grades in ink, e.g. teacher pencils in A, girls rub out and ink in E. 

And it was my male child psychiatrist who gave me the foundations of feminism.  No, really.  He was the one that gave me the sense that I could do things others thought I couldn't.   I was ahead of my era in what I did in martial arts.  Some of the things I did with the army, a lot of people still don't think women do.  Years later, it was a female psychiatric nurse who did the worst to undermine me, although male mental health professionals also damaged me.

But that doesn't mean I don't see a need for single-sex contexts.  When leading local community action years ago, I organised events for lots of different women to come and say what they wanted, not what men said women wanted, and not what other women (including me) who had different things we wanted might otherwise assume all women wanted.  So I understand and accept that lots of women, for a variety of reasons, feel more comfortable in a women's environment, whether that's a safety issue, or a matter of what they're used to or other reasons.  That's no different from women wanting separate seating in their synagogue, chapel, mosque etc.

I think that for a lot of people, a woman often feeling safer in a mixed environment doesn't compute.  I've just been hurt too many times by other girls, other women.  That doesn't make me not accept that there are women that only usually feel safe in a women-only environment and consider it important to find ways to accommodate their needs.

Personally, therefore, my instinct is wherever possible to look for solutions that are about practicality and choice.  E.g. a local community centre.  Two women's loos accessed by shared main door.  Go through door, zigzag tiny corridor.  Go through another door.  Go past basins, mirrors etc.  Two tiny cubicles.

If they changed the layout to cut out the zigzag entrance and shared handwash etc., they could have two cubicles, over twice the floor space each, each with its own wash basin its own lockable door leading onto the main corridor.  I know a supermarket that's done that.  It's brilliant.  By cutting out those shared handwash spaces and extra doors & corridors, it's got a couple of generously sized rooms.  No need to argue if they're male or female.  One's got a changing table as well.  And somewhere off the floor you can put your bags so they don't get soggy.  (Guess what, men, whilst we women slag you off for missing and wetting the floor, there's plenty of women's loos with puddles round them.)  Extra bonus - they're now large enough for two people if someone wants/needs an escort, carer or parent.  You don't have to queue for the disabled loo any more, wetting yourself whilst non-disabled people squeeze into their tiny cubicles.

That doesn't mean nothing single-sex shared, just exploring how we can, wherever possible, make things win-win.

But I think I'm in the minority with a win-win approach on this.  That doesn't suit politicians or tabloids.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 22 Oct 2021 02:32PM
Which brings me back full circle to education.  Adapting for different needs, accepting that we're not all alike and that pushing someone to be good at something that either they're never going to be good at or that it will cause them mental or emotional damage to try to be good at is wasting human resources.

There is a child who lives not far from me who is on the autistic spectrum.  Leaving aside technicalities, what I, as someone living not very far away, observe is that he doesn't feel comfortable with what I'll call social interaction, but he can suddenly open up if he thinks there's something he knows stuff about that the other person, which could be a grown-up, doesn't.  I gather from others that he's dead good with computers. 

Fortunately, he goes to the sort of school that accepts difference and focusses on what pupils can do or can't do, but that's been severely damaged in our education system, or at least in England it has (I'm aware there are differences in the devolved parts of the UK, but not knowledgeable about them).  Academies trying to meet targets and offrolling.  Aargh.

If I want someone to look after my garden, do I want someone with good grades in maths and English or whatever, or do I want someone who knows which plants like it where and how to nurture them?  I know where my priorities lie.  And if they can't read the catalogue in the nursery, does the trader really care most about that or do they care how many plants they'll sell them? 

I was, I believe, horribly damaged by many of my educational experiences, yet other experiences I had were uplifting.  Hence my strong views on education.

Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: On the edge on 27 Oct 2021 10:43AM
Which brings me back full circle to education.  Adapting for different needs, accepting that we're not all alike and that pushing someone to be good at something that either they're never going to be good at or that it will cause them mental or emotional damage to try to be good at is wasting human resources.

There is a child who lives not far from me who is on the autistic spectrum.  Leaving aside technicalities, what I, as someone living not very far away, observe is that he doesn't feel comfortable with what I'll call social interaction, but he can suddenly open up if he thinks there's something he knows stuff about that the other person, which could be a grown-up, doesn't.  I gather from others that he's dead good with computers. 

Fortunately, he goes to the sort of school that accepts difference and focusses on what pupils can do or can't do, but that's been severely damaged in our education system, or at least in England it has (I'm aware there are differences in the devolved parts of the UK, but not knowledgeable about them).  Academies trying to meet targets and offrolling.  Aargh.

If I want someone to look after my garden, do I want someone with good grades in maths and English or whatever, or do I want someone who knows which plants like it where and how to nurture them?  I know where my priorities lie.  And if they can't read the catalogue in the nursery, does the trader really care most about that or do they care how many plants they'll sell them? 

I was, I believe, horribly damaged by many of my educational experiences, yet other experiences I had were uplifting.  Hence my strong views on education.


I think gender-based schooling has its points, Girls did better in a girls school and so did boys in a boys school mostly, co-ed schools today seem riddled with far too many issues and interferences today.  I went to a boys-only school, it had zero effect on relationships with girls outside it lol.  It is all rot to suggest co-education helps that better, improves equality/respect etc, clearly reading any media today it doesn't at all, and is far riskier.


Hence why a 60% increase of parents opting for home tuition instead, UK education is failing.  At colleges and Universities, females are scared to go out anywhere. Ample proof co-education needs a re-think.    Now we have to run 'courses' to recognise people are different and to include them more, most doomed to failure when the funding runs out of course.


I am glad my child is now out of all that.  He has autism, did mainstream and special schooling. One anomaly I found, was that sex education was never taught in special or mainstream schools to autistics.  At least not here. 'The less they know, the less issues they can present..' was what I was old!  Do they think autistics don't have feelings like that or what?



Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 27 Oct 2021 03:34PM
I stand by what I've said on here recently about the damage done to me by the girls school I attended and how much more decently I was treated when attending a boys school for some subjects, e.g. Biblical Greek, and how much safer I felt there.

The viciousness of some of the girls and some of the teachers was appalling.  I was never attacked, intimidated or bullied by boys.  Which, of course, isn't to say that I think girls don't experience that behaviour by boys, because clearly they do, I simply say that that wasn't my experience and that I never witnessed it when I was a youngster.  What I did experience and witness again and again was girls protected by boys and boys protected by girls.

If you think girls are not at risk in all-female environments, then all you're observing is that most girls and women that have been assaulted in them don't speak out about it.  There is more shame for a girl or woman in speaking up about being sexually assaulted or beaten up by other girls or women, than there is for a girl or woman speaking up about being sexually assaulted or beaten up by boys or men.

I will always feel safer in mixed environments, because when you say girls or women have sexually assaulted you, people don't believe you, and people don't stand up for you.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 27 Oct 2021 06:00PM
Quote
I stand by what I've said on here recently about the damage done to me by the girls school I attended and how much more decently I was treated when attending a boys school for some subjects, e.g. Biblical Greek, and how much safer I felt there.

I can well believe that having experienced bullying myself at a girls grammar school (I took the '11-plus' in the last year it existed, if I recall correctly - 1977).   Girl bullies seem exceptionally skilled at the psychological torment stuff like exclusion from 'in' groups and persistent references to appearance etc.   And oh how I hated team sports, being pointedly picked last all the time and with great reluctance by the others - 'Oh, we're not going to be stuck with **** again are we?' with a collective groan of contempt.  Nice.


As far as I'm concerned, if someone acts like a total a-hole, it doesn't matter what their gender is.  And I think personally that mixed-gender schools are better, from a 'socialising' point of view if not an educational one, as youngsters need to learn how to deal with both boys and girls!
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 27 Oct 2021 06:38PM
Yes, the learning aspect is really important.

My pet hate about bullying was that I was just told the old-fashioned "Ignore them, they'll go away" which works if everyone ignores an attention-seeking bully, but is totally useless against can't you take a joke bullies.  When you're on the wrong end of a can't you take a joke bully, you're on a hiding to nothing if no one's taught you to deal with it.

If you don't respond, the mud sticks.  If you do respond and they use a variation on "Can't you take a joke?" then not only does the mud stick, but you've additionally been seen as 'touchy', 'sensitive' etc.

And those not picked on tell themselves they're not being picked on because they're ignoring the bully, (until the bully turns on them) so it's a type of bullying that's about victim-blaming.

Boys can do it but it's a skill some girls are brilliant at.  I got on the wrong end of it in the workplace and in one job it took a long time before I worked out what to do and to confront the worst culprit. 

As for team games, aargh, I was such a slow runner.  But later in the Territorials, to my amazement, that was a plus.  Three different units used me to pace the men.  Plod, plod, plod.  5 miles, 10 miles, 15 miles, 20 miles.  Stop them racing off and crashing.

If only my local mental health services hadn't been full of nasty bullies, which resulted in a lot of their colleagues going off sick, victims of the bullying like their patients.  Better anti-bullying skills and I'd probably still have a career.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 27 Oct 2021 08:34PM
Our personal life experiences leave us with such different views on these things, don't they?

I do think I remain very obstinate about my sense that the best sort of education is a cluster of schools/units/houses on one campus, rather like different university colleges, with the potential for a mixture of mixed activities and activities specific to a particular unit.

There are probably pitfalls to it I don't see.  Maybe the whole issue of who'd fund it, who'd run it, whose interests would it serve etc.

My parents were so proud of me for getting a scholarship to what we used to call a 'decent' school, but even when sitting the exam, I knew I didn't want to go there.  Why did I lack the savvy to deliberately fail?  Aargh.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: ditchdwellers on 29 Oct 2021 09:30AM
I went to a co ed comprehensive school and had terrible problems making close  friendships with girls. Most of them were horrible to me as I wasn't a girly type girl. I had one girl friend who was also a bit 'different ' and the rest of my good friends were boys.


I still have a couple of close male friends, just as my husband has a couple of close female friends. We both experienced bullying at school and felt like outsiders.


Strangely, my teenage niece also has more close platonic male friends than female and she has also been the victim of bullying.



Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: On the edge on 29 Oct 2021 11:19AM
Quote
I stand by what I've said on here recently about the damage done to me by the girls school I attended and how much more decently I was treated when attending a boys school for some subjects, e.g. Biblical Greek, and how much safer I felt there.

I can well believe that having experienced bullying myself at a girls grammar school (I took the '11-plus' in the last year it existed, if I recall correctly - 1977).   Girl bullies seem exceptionally skilled at the psychological torment stuff like exclusion from 'in' groups and persistent references to appearance etc.   And oh how I hated team sports, being pointedly picked last all the time and with great reluctance by the others - 'Oh, we're not going to be stuck with **** again are we?' with a collective groan of contempt.  Nice.


As far as I'm concerned, if someone acts like a total a-hole, it doesn't matter what their gender is.  And I think personally that mixed-gender schools are better, from a 'socialising' point of view if not an educational one, as youngsters need to learn how to deal with both boys and girls!


To suggest because I went to a boy's school so would be less aware of getting on with girls etc is stretching credibility a bit! We only go to school a few hours a day. after all. Actually, I was less inclined to take girls for granted after and respect was all anyway.  My parents made sure of that!  Of course, today's schools are rubbish and the pressures males and females are under today is horrendous.  Technology and lax attitudes are rife and discipline a town in Nova Scotia, but...


Reading recent news co-ed further education seems a real danger to females.  Of course, being ancient as I am (!) I really don't know why schools and uni's and colleges don't ban technology on the campus or why nightclubs just don't search idiots and make more effort to prevent attacks on women.  I still think in educational terms single-sex education was more academically successful, and I DON'T see co-ed as making girls lives safer or them being treated equally either.  Teaching children about sex or relationships cannot be done in a classroom.


Schools look positively a dangerous place for them to be.  That is me looking at it from a past perspective, which I expect will mean I'm out of it, (Whatever it is supposed to be).  We are back to current debates, that parents aren't doing their job, especially with boys.  Being contentional, clothes are a risk too, I fully appreciate women have the right to wear whatever they want to wear, but to a teenage lad, whose brain doesn't exist above the waist,  the more flesh they see exposed is an invitation.


You can see quite young girls of 6 trying to be sexual too, I'd be scared stiff if I had a daughter. 


I'm hoping this is read in context and NOT any justification.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 29 Oct 2021 03:26PM
It frightens me in the world we're now living in that there's such an emphasis on the threat posed to girls and women by boys and men that the threat posed by girls and women is swept under the carpet.  To me, tackling safety is about making sure everyone is safe.  Most provisions that will make girls and women safer from men are ones that can be implemented in a way that keeps everyone safer. 

As for what boys and girls wear, schools don't have to stick to the same uniforms as they did.  I remember a local campaign when I was a youngster to allow boys at secondary schools to wear trousers in our town.  The parents won.  I remember, though, how often my mother pointed out that no one had changed the rule for girls, so they still had to have cold knees in winter.

On the other hand, near where I live now there's a co-ed school where boys and girls both have a choice between a range of clothes.  They can wear shorts, trousers or skirts.  Full-length skirts are permitted.  I've seen girls in knee-length skirts with leggings.  There aren't outfits dedicated 'boys' or 'girls'.  The school shorts are knee-length.

So schools don't have to allow girls (or boys) to wear clingy clothes. 

As for learning about sex and relationships, I thought that was what buses, parks, and alleys up the back of shops were for.  Seriously, though, you can teach a lot about relationships in the classroom without teaching it as 'relationships'.  E.g. teach about various societal norms and manners, teach about treating others with respect. Give pupils credit for helping others etc.

Of course, in England at least, that goes against the long tradition of encouraging bullying.  (Yes, I do mean encouraging, though I'm prepared to believe that a small proportion of head teachers don't realise it.)

As for banning technology on campus, some schools do require pupils to hand in smartphones on arrival at school and collect them at the end of the day.  Others simply have a switched-off rule.  I think schools that previously had signal-barring devices are less likely to use them now, though, because of the rise in use of computers in the classroom for teaching purposes. 

The funny thing is, though, that if you want to make young people safer, banning from a whole campus devices that would enable the person carrying them to summon help at the press of a couple of buttons seems a bit counter-productive.

That being said, when I was an undergraduate, panic alarms were distributed at freshers' fair and freely available elsewhere (to male and female students alike) and were quite effective if you were within earshot of others who could help.  But a phone lets you have a quick 999 call as well.

I think what helps pupils of all sorts to thrive best at school is a sense of acceptance and a school that focuses where possible on helping every pupil to feel good about their strengths and to develop a feel for how they might use them in life, whilst enabling them, where possible, to have a range of basic skills our society generally expects of people.

I think schools vary massively in that. 

But then I could go all ranty here about the politics of education and that could easily set us all off.  I daresay politicians, campaigners and the rest of us will continue to clash over issues like who should fund what, who should run what, who should profit from what etc.  I.e. the whole range of state vs private vs mixed state & private etc.

I'm sort of hopeful, though, that most (all?) of you here would agree with me that at present this country's education is beset with problems that include a range of targets, contracts, interests etc. that leave our system failing to cater adequately for many pupils, including those with a range of disabilities.

To me what sums that up is where I came across a teacher going public with the reality that for SATs at age 7, she had pupils who could recognise a prefronted adverbial clause without understanding what the sentence was about.
Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 29 Oct 2021 06:45PM
I find it really interesting seeing different perspectives on this.

I'd seen separate boys & girls schools as an argument for, bluntly, charging more fees for boys' private schools, since in my day they came higher up the exam rankings; and I'd seen it as an argument for appropriateness in boarding schools and religious schools.  I hadn't seen it as being an argument for protecting girls.

I think at some point I'm going to rummage around on what statistics I can find for assaults on females by males in school and out of it.

It prompts many questions about how education should and could be improved.

Title: Re: Does Starmer mean what he says?! (plus debate on inclusion)
Post by: On the edge on 01 Nov 2021 10:32AM
I find it really interesting seeing different perspectives on this.

I'd seen separate boys & girls schools as an argument for, bluntly, charging more fees for boys' private schools, since in my day they came higher up the exam rankings; and I'd seen it as an argument for appropriateness in boarding schools and religious schools.  I hadn't seen it as being an argument for protecting girls.

I think at some point I'm going to rummage around on what statistics I can find for assaults on females by males in school and out of it.

It prompts many questions about how education should and could be improved.


People miss the point, schools are not the parents and are not there primarily to educate children on how to behave and act, that is a parent's job.  My parents didn't neglect their part, and my local community all knew where the lines were drawn and any one of them could take you to task if you ignored the rules too.  There was a collective responsibility by the community, and most parents to ensure chaos didn't run riot.


Schools and teachers ensured you behaved or else!  As regards to should girls boys or whatever else is now supposed to be a norm, wear whatever they want I'd say no to the hat.  Not least because children/teens can be bullied or abused by peers for not wearing current trendy clothing or girls and boys wearing totally unsuitable fashionable wear to test how much they can get away with, then it becomes a competition and free for all. If they all wear the same clothing to school then one-upmanship and abuses are lessened.


Phone-envy and all sorts exist today.  Not issues in our time, you could not speak without first being spoken to, let alone play and text on your phone and ignore what the teacher is doing.  Children will always push limits, always see how much they can get away with, it's a right of passage.  But today, it is a very dangerous game to keep playing that.  No amount of 'education' on behaviours and relationships at school do a thing if outside the school gates all hell is let loose on a regular basis.


Again it is not the school's job to be parents.  It is not the right of governments to dictate what children must accept and how they act with others, that can only happen to a limited extent in a school environment, and there are plenty of signs that doesn't happen anyway. In short, you need to educate parents first, re-establishing a community helps too, because then everyone understands what is right and what isn't. 


It was the aspect of communal shaming, which was later attacked as a wrong approach.  I don't think it was. It gave carte blanche to then do whatever you want regardless of how that affected others.  There are those who suggest its too late now, we have empowered those who can freely abuse it.  The children decide themselves what they learn, and how they behave.  My old tutor would have ensured they never thought that way again!