we don’t need no education

March 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

You come in the morning and stand in a row

waiting to be told just where you must go.

Stillness and silence are the most precious virtue

without them the system will be forced to subdue.

Fingers on lips and arms folded tight

if everyone behaves nicely we really just might

… get to play a game

or sing a song.

Don’t try to engage or enjoy while you are able

when the bell rings it’s quick to the next on the timetable.

They give you gold stars, house points and the rest

but only when they judge that you’ve done your best.

They keep you in line with the promise and threat

if you don’t work your hardest you’ll forever regret.

… ‘Must try harder’

or ‘a good term’s work’.

They call it blue table but everyone knows

the thickies all sit there in the corner and doze.

And as they progress through the system it seems

that the teachers they meet will crush all their dreams.

They are steered on a course that keeps them in place,

dead end jobs with no prospects at the back of the rat race.

… or maybe hairdressing

and the army, of course.

Squash down your own passions, keep them inside,

nobody cares what you want, you’re just along for the ride.

Don’t try to be different or to do your own thing

learn to blend with the crowd, individualists won’t fit in.

And if you demand some freedom and kick up a stink

they’ll pile on the homework so you’ve no time to think.

(we don’t need

no thought control)

Just answer the questions and confound all the sceptics

so they can tick all the boxes for the government statistics.

The system works hard for society and state

that’s why it’s there, don’t try to escape.

And if you take some time alone to revive your soul

they will track you and hound you with the truancy patrol.

… Education Welfare Officer

then a PRU.

They dangle before you the promises of success

but what they ask in exchange must surely depress.

Twelve years of your life, shut up in a school,

(about as much fun as twelve years in a cesspool.)

So free your mind and your life, what would I advise?

why not try taking your education …otherwise.

(teachers leave

them kids alone)

(Notes: 1. PRU is a Pupil Referral Unit. 2. education otherwise refers to section 7 of the 1996 Education Act, where parents are responsible for providing education for their children “either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.”)

(Based very loosely on John Taylor Gatto‘s ‘Seven Lesson Schoolteacher‘ in Dumbing Us Down – The hidden curriculum of compulsory schooling)

(Linking back and arriving rather late for The Poetry Bus)



  1. TotalFeckinEEjit said,

    Like this CFM, in fact I lived it! I like the interweaving of the Pink Floyd lyrics and the little two liners. Nice work Crazy Field Mouse, glad you scrabbled aboard!

    • crazyfieldmouse said,

      Hi Eejit
      couldn’t resist the ‘cesspool’ when it came up as a rhyme suggestion for school:-)

  2. Pure Fiction said,

    I really liked this too – brave and clear and unusual. One of the saddest things about seeing really young kids in a playground is that you already know the ones who are/will be marginalised in that blue table way.

  3. Argent said,

    This had a real beat to it – I can imagine it as a rap. Excellent stuff

  4. karen said,

    As a school person, I recognize the truths in your poem and hate what happens to so many children in our care. I really liked this!

  5. Titus said,

    I liked this angry, and the taint of bitterness and bile was just right.
    Also can’t fault the message, so a big bravo all round.

  6. Spot the difference « crazy field mouse said,

    […] during her time in school brought me back to the day she was allowed to leave (you can pop back here to one of my early Poetry Bus efforts to see how angry). We had just got back from spending £42 at […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: