July 23rd, 2007 § 0 comments


A secondary school which has opened an on-site call centre where pupils can practise selling mobile phone contracts and answering customer complaints has been criticised for lowering children’s expectations.


The centre, at Hylton Red House school in Sunderland, was set up with the help of EDF Energy, which runs its own call centre a couple of miles away. Pupils taking the “preparation course” – worth half a GCSE – answer queries from computer-generated customers.

EDF Energy on a recruitment drive, then?

The assistant headteacher, Helen Elderkin, said the scheme gave 15- and 16-year-olds a wide range of skills that would help them to get a job or continue with their education.

Help them get a job in a call centre. What fucking education establishment asks for ‘grades A-C in English, History and Call Centre Wage Slaving’?

“Assistant head teacher says they’re geting a bucket load of cash out of some company to do they’re training as the company have outsourced it.” I’m paraphrasing here.

However, Howard Brown, secretary of the National Union of Teachers in Sunderland, said schools had a duty to educate pupils rather than turn out efficient, pliant workers. “We do have to equip our children for a variety of different jobs, but I think this is a step too far,” he said.

“It seems that this is going back to the old days when we told children round here that they had to go straight down the mines when they left. Now the mines have gone and we are saying they have to go and work in a call centre. We have an obligation to give them a bit more than that.”

Well fucking said. We need to give kids an education that can enable thme to do any job, not just working in a call centre or a McJob.

The school was deemed to be failing last year, although it has improved and was recently taken out of special measures. It has signed up to the government’s academy programme and will reopen in a new building in 2009

Ah! It’s a failing school, sell it off.

Ms Elderkin said that the call centre course, which is also open to adults in the area, was part of a wider attempt to support the community. “We are committed to raising pupils’ aspirations and offering adults, many of them former pupils, every opportunity to access training and employment that is going to be of real benefit,” she said.

Did you spot it too? “…every opprtunity to access training and employment…”
Not just about giving kids a taste of the real world, they can also get you a job!

Via Justin at Chicken Yoghurt, who has turned into a fortune teller!

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