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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that makes you take a long hard look at education in the UK
Charlie Carroll is a nom de plume for an actual secondary school teacher who reached a crossroads in his career as an English teacher. Deputy head of English at a good secondary school in the South West he decided he wanted something a little different, not something as inane as a year out travelling the world, but something with more purpose than that. He chose to...
Published on 10 Jan 2011 by Wayne Chadburn

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Other similar books out there
The book begins with " I can't tell you how many times I have been told to f**k off"

So that gives a clue to the type of schools Charlie Carroll if referring to in this book.
Charlie Carroll is a successful teacher at a good school, he loves his job , but wants to see the other side. he decides to embark on an adventure as being a substitute at some of...
Published on 5 Aug 2011 by Amazon Customer


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that makes you take a long hard look at education in the UK, 10 Jan 2011
This review is from: On the Edge (Paperback)
Charlie Carroll is a nom de plume for an actual secondary school teacher who reached a crossroads in his career as an English teacher. Deputy head of English at a good secondary school in the South West he decided he wanted something a little different, not something as inane as a year out travelling the world, but something with more purpose than that. He chose to resign his job and become a supply teacher for a year. Now anyone with any experience of education in the UK knows that the role of a supply teacher is a thankless task. Even in good schools they are `targeted' by the pupils and very often don't get the support they should from the normal staff. However Charlie didn't choose to be any old supply teacher. Oh no. He decided to spend a whole academic year travelling in his camper van doing supply in not only the most challenging areas in England, but the most challenging schools in the most challenging areas of England. This book is his account of his experience over that year.

I approached this book with some caution. My initial impressions from reading the reviews already written, the summary on the back of the book and my own preconceptions was that this was going to be a book that was really negative about the whole English state education system. It was going to be an X-rated tour of the depths of England's education system. It was a tour of this sort of educational establishment, but it was so much more than this and my caution and preconceptions were wrong.

This is a stark book outlining Charlies experiences at the edge of comprehensive education in England. He outlines some horrendous behaviour and appalling stories. What comes out of the book though is the fact that yes, this does go on, but not in every school and the behaviour is down to a combination of parenting, centrally dictated targets and statutes and often poor leadership within the school. The heroes are the teachers who work in these places day in day out and occasionally some of the pupils who play a starring role in the book.

This is not a book aimed at taking a cheap hit at our education system, more a statement of fact of what actually does go on within some of our schools in some of our most deprived areas. For those who criticise teachers, read this and get an understanding of what teaching is like at times. For those teachers who work in good schools but don't think you do, read this and realise how lucky you are. For parents, read this and think about your children and the effect good and bad parenting has. For those who are just inquisitive, read this book because it is very well written and will inform you and improve you and make you realise that education really is the silver bullet - if only everyone realised this!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping from beginning to end..., 24 Jan 2011
This review is from: On the Edge (Paperback)
As many people have already mentioned, this book is a beautifully written insight into the state of schools in Britain today. Well balanced and full of good humour, Carroll never falls to cliche when describing what he sees and is also fully open about the occasions that surprise him positively as well as the negative. I would urge anybody to read this book, but especially hope that it finds its way into the hands of people in the department of education - soon.
I couldn't put it down and the description of the UK and observations of Charlie's travels in his vintage bus would merit a book all of their own.
I look forward with eager anticipation to the next journey and the next book...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 11 Jan 2011
This review is from: On the Edge (Paperback)
I thought this book was excellent. It provided a rounded view of the teaching profession and its problems whilst also showing many of the positives. The book was funny, intelligently written and as Peter, the agency worker would say, - "a real page turner"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 23 Jan 2011
This review is from: On the Edge (Paperback)
Not a teacher myself (thank god) so an amazing insight into some fairly grotty schools. But above all just a great read and travelogue from around our country - read it in 5 days which is about 15 times faster usual book reading speed! Charlie - every time I find myself staring at or patting someones dog when the conversation lulls I will think of you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sylvia,s thoughts, 11 Jan 2011
This review is from: On the Edge (Paperback)
I really did enjoy this book.
A peep into the hard life of a teacher, so well written, I could not put it down.
It must be read by all parents and teachers and the education minister.
I feel this man has a gift for making it all seem to come to life as you read it and we travel with him around the country.
All the ups and downs that he met on the way.
Well done Charlie Carroll.
Thank you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On The Edge, 10 Jan 2011
This review is from: On the Edge (Paperback)
I am very busy with work but when this book arrived in the post I started to read it and could not stop until the end.A fantastic read.I live in Spain,after leaving the UK 15 years ago,and what an eye opener it was.It made me realise how much things have changed in the UK since I left.I cannot wait for Charlies next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MP s please read!, 27 Sep 2011
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This review is from: ON THE EDGE: One Teacher, A Camper Van, Britain's Toughest Schools. (Kindle Edition)
This writer has got the flaws and upsides of the teaching profession down to a "T". I have been a teacher for thirty something years so consider myself something of an expert on teaching. I have seen ideas come around and go around and the level of respect for the teacher reach an all time low both from parents and pupils. The writer balances the highs and lows well and ensures that he emphasises that it is not just the "haves" that are easy to teach, A muist read for parents, pupils and MPs !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly Brilliant, 5 Feb 2011
This review is from: On the Edge (Paperback)
This journey around classrooms in England is both shocking and brilliant, worthy of applause from all sides of the education debate.
Being able to show the failings and glories of schooling, through the experience of diverse pupils and many staff-rooms.

It revealed to me a government wide lack of respect for Teachers, in the dis-empowerment of staff and lack of quality pay for "frontline" teachers of our future generations.

Personally I fail to see how we can spend £27000 a year per prisoner, yet our children are bereft with lack of funding, for both Parental care and Loco Parentis education.

Highly recommend this book to all, old and young alike, but particularly to those in Cabinet.

"Charlie Carroll For Education Minister"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On The Edge, 28 Jan 2011
This review is from: On the Edge (Paperback)
I read this book almost without drawing breath, it's stark and revealing insight into the education system that exists within some of our schools. I would be frightened to be a teacher in some of the schools mentioned. A book that all teachers should read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, 15 Jan 2011
This review is from: On the Edge (Paperback)
Could not put this one down! A discerning, sometimes shocking and most definately entertaining journey through the apparent dog ends of our education system, spiced with a perceptive and humorous view of our english culture. A +++
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