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Working the System: How to Get the Very Best State Education for Your Child Paperback – 3 Sep 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Short Books Ltd (3 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906021759
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906021757
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Francis Gilbert has taught for over twenty years in various English state schools, but has also worked at certain points as a journalist, novelist and social commentator both in the UK and international media. He is the author of 'I'm A Teacher, Get Me Out Of Here!' 'Yob Nation', 'Parent Power', 'Working The System -- How To Get The Very Best State Education for Your Child', and a racy novel about school, 'The Last Day Of Term'. His first book, 'I'm A Teacher...' was a big hit, becoming a bestseller and being serialised on Radio 4.

In his role as an English teacher, he has taught many classic texts over the years and has developed a great many resources to assist readers with understanding, appreciating and responding to them both analytically and creatively. As a result, he has written and published his own on Amazon.

He is the co-founder, with Melissa Benn and Fiona Millar, of The Local Schools Network, www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk, a blog that celebrates non-selective state schools, and also has his own website, www.francisgilbert.co.uk and a Mumsnet blog, www.talesbehindtheclassroomdoor.co.uk. He is currently experimenting with setting up specific blogs connected with the subjects and texts he is teaching or is interested in; links for these can be found on francisgilbert.co.uk.

He has appeared numerous times on radio and TV and is known for his robust defence of his ideas. He currently teaches part-time in a comprehensive in outer London and is completing a PhD in Creative Writing and Education at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Product Description

About the Author

Francis Gilbert has taught in a variety of comprehensives in London, and currently teaches English part-time at a comprehensive. His previous books have included bestselling I'm A Teacher, Get Me Out Of Here (2004), Teacher On The Run (2005), Yob Nation (2006), and Parent Power (2008). He lives in east London with his wife and son. All his pupils think his coolest appearance was on the Russell Brand show.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Katharine C on 6 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a really insightful and well-researched - I would definitely recommend this book to all parents worrying and stressing about the state eduction today.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Avid reader on 28 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
If like me you have been totally confused by the state system and getting the right school for your child, read this book! I saw the author on BBC Breakfast and went straight out to get it. I am a supporter of the state system, but having just failed to get my son into our first choice of school - all I can say if that I've read the first three chapters of this book and its a real eye-opener. A must for all parents of school-age children.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Clare on 3 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
Time and time again people tell me they saw, heard or read Francis in todays media. Radio, TV or newspapers. Continually parents find themselves nodding in agreement realising that he understands what it is like to be; a parent, a real teacher. Someone who has had real experiences of both the state and private sector as a pupil, as a teacher and as a father. He is inspiring and to hear his truths is a breath of fresh air. This is the sort of book you owe your friends and family copies of. If there is anyone that understands how to get the best out of education for our children, Francis does. Truth speakers are few and far between, understanding the state school facts enables us to support our children fully in their schooling choices. May your child also get their first choice school. Thank you Francis.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By H. Price on 28 May 2011
Format: Paperback
Although there were some interesting and helpful thoughts on the state system and how to play it, I found myself becoming more and more irritated with the blatent political bias the author showed throughout the book. I have no political affiliation and I do not vote for any one party, but the constant attacking of the Government of the time became tedious.

To read this book, you'd think that all the serious education problems we face in schools today started on that night in 1997 when the electorate voted in a Labour Government. Of course, they didn't. The kind of problems we see today took many decades of deterioration to produce. Those league tables, SATS and constantly changing education initiatives he deplores actually predated the Labour Government.
The author even manages to get in a few snide comments about some of the Labour Government.

I have news for the author. I was educated in the 1980s. Violence was alive and well in our comprehensives, I do assure him. Children were expelled and suspended for physically threatening and assaulting teachers, severe bullying, vandalism - all those things he mentions in his book.

If he is going to write a factual guide to the State system, then he needs to KEEP it factual and to suspend his own political agenda.
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