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English Education Chief: Every School Should Have A Bad Teacher

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From The Daily Mail July 11,2010:


" Every school should have a bad teacher: Schools chief in extraordinary outburst.


On her way out: Ofsted chair Zenna Atkins has said primary school children should have to deal with bad teachers.




Zenna Atkins


One of Britain's most senior education chiefs has made an extraordinary claim that all schools should have a bad teacher. Zenna Atkins, the chairman of the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) said that poor staff gave pupils experience of coping with incompetent people later in life.


Her foul-mouthed outburst also includes comments that the education system's credibility is 'shot to shreds' and that violent computer games like Call Of Duty should be used to teach children in class, according to The Sunday Times.


Atkins,44, emphasised that the opinions were her own, rather than those of Ofsted, but they will nonetheless cause huge embarrassment to the regulatory body. She said: 'It's about learning to identify good role models.

'One good thing about primary school is that every kid learns how to deal with a really s*** teacher'.


'In the private sector, as a rule, you need to performance manage 10 per cent of people out of the business. But I don't think that should be the case in schools. 'I would not remove every single useless teacher because every grown up in a workplace needs to learn to cope with the moron who sits four desks down without lamping them and to deal with authority that's useless.

'I'd like to keep the number low, but if every primary school has one pretty naff teacher, this helps kids realise that even if you know the quality of authority is not good, you have to learn how to play it.'


Atkins's comments are at odds with the opinion of Christine Gilbert, Ofsted's chief inspector of schools, who has previously attacked a 'stubborn core' of bad teachers in the British system.


The comments also follow a report last week which said that, although the General Teaching Council estimated two years ago that there could be as many as 17,000 sub-standard teachers circulating in Britain, just 18 had been struck off in the last ten years.


Ofsfted today distanced itself from Atkins' comments.

'Ms Atkins was being interviewed in a personal capacity about the private sector role she is taking up in a few weeks," said a spokesperson. 'Ofsted has an unshakeable commitment to ensuring children benefit from good teachers in every lesson.'


Atkins's views were described as 'appalling' by Rod MacKinnon, a former Ofsted inspector and headmaster of the independent Bristol Grammar School. 'I am amazed and horrified,' said Mr MacKinnon.

'We should be seeking to give children the best education possible.'


Atkins has always cut an incongruous figure in the world of education, having been a self-confessed failure at school. She revealed in an interview with The Times in 2007 that she was illiterate at the age of 11, was expelled from school and failed her English O level - with an unclassified U grade - three times.


Atkins has already announced that she will step-down from her position as Chairman of Ofsted as of August 31, 2010. She is set to take over as chief executive of the UK arm of Gems, a private education company, where she plans to launch state-funded 'free schools' under government reforms.

Her approach will be highly scrutinised as the government seeks to introduce more private sector control into state schooling, but Atkins sees her approach as revolutionary and reforming.


'We are stuck in an era of chalk and talk, a Victorian education model," she said.


The 44-year-old married mother of two children and two step children was appointed as the first Chairman of Ofsted in September 2006 with the remit to 'help ensure a better deal for children and adult learners in England'.

Atkins was seen as an ideal figure to do this having overcome her own chequered education to become an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Ms Atkins, who is dyslexic, was born in London but educated at St Clare's, a private school in Penzance that has since closed, and attended Cornwall College of Further Education.


Her father was an academic who spoke 17 languages while her mother was also dyslexic. Although the pair were happily married, they lived separately for many years in London and Cornwall.


Her godmother is Shirley Conran, former wife of Sir Terence Conran and author of Superwoman. Her aunt, Vera Atkins, is believed to have been Ian Fleming's inspiration for Miss Moneypenny. Vera Atkins was a member of 'Churchill's secret army' in World War II, training young women to spy behind enemy lines in France, and is Zenna Atkins' greatest role model.

It was Aunt Vera who stepped in when she was going off the rails at school, paying for her to go to St Clare's.


Atkins was expelled two years later, just before her O levels, and has previously described herself at that age as 'irritating'. After leaving school she made her name by co-founding a charity employment agency called Breadline at the age of 16, before going on to found and manage a Portsmouth youth homeless charity and a youth justice charity. Her career has also included a stint as a presenter on Channel 5, between 1999-2004, while she has also written articles for The Guardian.


Her first move into the world of education came in 2001 when she began a six-year spell as non-executive chairman of Portsmouth City Teaching Primary Care Trust. A fan of Portsmouth FC, she is also a trustee of the club's Respect Programme, one of the many roles listed on her personal website on which she is described as 'an acclaimed social entrepreneur'. Atkins is also a trustee of the Olympic Legacy Trust, on the Royal Navy fleet executive board, and chair of a property company."

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And every school cafeteria should have one woman with titties the size of a large throw pillow with a gut big enough for them to lay on.



Goes with out sayin

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