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on 27 May 2015
Fantastic. Every teacher in the UK state system will read this saying out loud, "That happened to me!" Sadly, there was nothing here that took me by surprise - which is why I no longer teach in the UK state system after 18 years. Charlie Carroll is strikingly honest and his passion for the job and the heart he has for the children, failed by our education system and society, leap from every word. Every politician should read this and Gove should be made to learn it by heart and be tested on it. An honest and heartbreaking account of the reality of working in schools where poverty,funding and lack of hope thwart the teacher at every turn.
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on 21 September 2015
A good read. Any teacher in a Bog Standard Comp will recognise much of what was seen in the schools visited. It's fun sometimes to wallow with others in the desperate situation in many schools; the dreadful behaviour of a small number of students, which destroys the learning of many, despite the denials by the Eton Boys in Government. I'm not sure exactly how much of the year was spent slumming it in the campervan, though - the author seemed to be spending a lot of time in borrowed rooms and couches in comfy houses but nevertheless, an enjoyable read. Recommended.
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on 17 December 2010
This is the book for all Government ministers who are hoping to achieve improvements in education. If such politicians cannot or will not go under cover as a supply teacher in state comps., then this is the next best thing to find out what it is really like. It is EXACTLY what I experienced over 4 years in 29 different comprehensive secondary schools - and whereas the permanent staff suffer very bad behaviour for a lot of the time, supply teachers frequently are on a loser from the minute they enter a school and the kids scream in glee that they've got " a supply". As a very temporary teacher you don't know their names or anything about them. They often won't even tell you their names and they are quick to exchange exercise books etc. so you've no hope of identifying them. The list of obstacles is endless! Well done Charlie for highlighting all that does go on in state schools; it is only in the really good schools that supply teachers have any hope of teaching a lesson, or presenting the work that has been set. Previously I spent 15 years in an independent school and the difference is amazing - as Charlie describes.
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on 27 September 2011
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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on 23 September 2012
I've been kinda hooked on police/paramedic/teacher stories for a little while now and this stands out amongst the best of them. I really felt involved in the journey and spent my time between shocked and surprised at what was encountered along the way.

It's also nice to read about the motivations to enter the teaching career and whilst a lot of the usual frustrations are mentioned they do not take over and get repeated again and again.

All in all a great read, I do wish it was a little longer though.
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on 17 June 2013
I read this book on the recommendation of my daughter. I retired from mainstream teaching many years ago and noticed the beginnings of the types of behaviour spoken of in this book before I left the classroom. I have watched that develop over the years and even so was horrified by what I read has now become the norm in many of our schools. This is a well written, articulate and well researched book. It should be required reading for all PGCE students and certainly for all those involved in educational policy making.Well done and bonne chance to the author. May he continue to develop his craft. He has begun his writing career very creditably.
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on 11 February 2014
What a great book and what an experience Charlie has travelling round the UK to the worst schools in Britain. Also living in a camper van for the majority of winter can't have been such a great experience; but he did it.
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on 2 April 2013
...anyone who is thinking of teaching in secondary school, anyone who is part of a school senior management team, any supply teachers, and most of all for anyone who has the even the faintest power in local or national government to influence the future of education in this country.
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on 24 June 2011
An eyeopener, and a great read to boot. Touching and funny. A must read for every education pundit and dinner party education expert.
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on 20 July 2015
Good read
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