Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Why Is This News?

Apparently a private school in Brighton is teaching pupils basic etiquette and table manners.

Which is fine. But I don't understand why it is news!

I'm pretty sure that by the time I was, oh, 5 years old I knew that the knife went on the right, the fork on the left and the spoon at the top, because we ate meals at home and we used cutlery to eat it. We didn't have servants, or tablecloths (not every day), nor grand 8-course dinners, but you don't need that to learn how to lay a table, do you?

OK, nowadays lots of people eat convenience foods and TV dinners and take-aways, but surely not so many that even in a posh school for spoiled brats whose parents are rolling in it need teaching about cutlery?

When I was at school, admittedly over 25 years ago now, Home Economics was a mandatory subject at age 12 or 13, or so. In that class we learned how to make simple cooked meals, how to wash-up, how to iron shirts, etc, etc. Just in case our families were total slobs who didn't care about bringing up their kids properly. My school was a very run-of-the-mill, suburban comprehensive, not a stuck-up school for the kids of stockbrokers and bankers, yet it appears to have provided me, free and gratis, with an education to rival that of a modern, fee-paying educational giant.

Either the parents of kids at Brighton College are being ripped-off, or the rest of the country's schools really are bloody awful if they don't bother teaching such basic skills.

God. I've just read this back and it looks like it belongs in the Daily Mail...


jomoore said...

What are your views on immigration and speed cameras?

Chris said...

As you don't like to generalise about immigrants, Pete, I think you should accept that not ALL pupils at 'posh' fee-paying schools are spoiled brats whose parents are rolling in it. From what I've seen there are an awful lot of spoiled brats who go to the local comprehensives!