Mhmm, that is one of the reasons, of that I'm sure; hell, I bet the board of governors at the school was made up by parents too, so the school itself was caught between a rock and a hard place; Course, whether they were just the mountain in the middle is yet to be seen. Y'see, this is why parents should be more or less ignored in the school system. Despite wanting the best for little Jack and Jill, they often know absolutely nothing about how education should work. Please, leave that to the experts.
As a teacher and
a parent of sixteen year old girl, I think I have to take exception to this. Not all parents are clueless about the system and not all teachers are that knowledgeable about their students.
Having experienced school from all possible perspectives (except that of a school inspector) I've seen stupidity on a grand scale and it doesn't just come from parents. Teachers know the system very well, but at secondary level, they can't know the children anywhere near as well as the parents do. When you teach, as I do, ten classes of an average of thirty students each for about three hour each per week aged from 11 to 19, you simply don't spend enough time with them to get to know all of them that well. You get to know some students well, but by no means every student. As a result, sometimes decisions are made which adversely affect some students because the teachers don't realise the consequences. That happens almost as often as parents try and insist on something stupid too.
That's why school governors are made up with ex officio members from the school senior management, the local education authority, the local council and elected members from the parents, the teaching staff and the non-teaching staff as well as various co-opted members who can bring particular skills to the board. It ensures there is generally a good balance there. Of course, the really daft ideas come from the local councillors, who are politicians and therefore automatically likely to vacillate to the disctates of publicity.
I would like to pick out something Jude mentioned earlier about whether schools should have proms or not. In my experience, they are a major pain in the arse and it's marginal whether the social benefits of them outweigh the difficulties. Increasingly, I've observed a form of prom inflation going on, whereby each year wants to outdo the previous year's prom. So this year, the current crop are holding their prom on a barge in the Thames under Tower Bridge. Not so bad, you might think, until you realise that the school is almost two hours away from central London. It means that on top of the cost of the tickets (about £60 each) there is an additional £40 in train fair (I shudder to think what the cost of a limo to do the journey would be, but no doubt some will try and hire one) and then all of the suit hire/dress hire charges. Given that a lot of these kids are from poor families, this is incredibly socially divisive.
Worse, however, is the fact that these events are policed by teachers in their own unpaid time. That's not so much of a bad thing but then you have to look at all of the aggravation of trying to stop the underage drinking (inevitably someone tries to bring some booze in) and dealing with said underage drinking's consequences. I dislike clearing up vomit at the best of times. It's worse when you know that afterward you're going to have to deal with some irate parent complaining that you
let their pride and joy get drunk. Explaining that the apple of their eyes brought the booze themselves and made sure it was hidden when we checked them for it is not easy. Adding the fact that this is going to happen on a barge in the deep water part of the Thames, there is then the whole possible horror of one of them drowning accidentally.
As I said, bloody stupid, the whole thing. I'm not a killjoy here, but sometimes, I really hanker after the simplicity of the late seventies and early eighties school disco (on school premises) in which the worse that was likely to happen was a somewhat uncoordinated fumble behind the bike sheds.