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There is so much talk and a load of hype around children’s education and how schools are run. There are many issues arising from government intervention, which disrupt a teacher’s programme of lessons and cause irritation, to say the least. There is a curriculum to be delivered, results counted and schools rated. What is missing is passion about learning, and teaching young people how to think.

Prince Charles was quoted recently saying he wondering why immigrant children have no feelings of being British. He also talked about the radicalisation and recruitment of young Muslims to fight with ISIS, but was unable to make any comments as to how this may be solved.

I have talked this through with my partner, he is pretty much same age as me and from a very similar background; we do ‘feel’ British because of our shared identity and schooling. We both had Assembly every day at school; the only people able to ‘opt out’ in my school were Jewish children, as the meeting would have had a definite Christian bias. But they came back to the hall after prayers and joined in singing The Queen, Land of Hope and Glory and our school anthem.

That set the tone for the day, all of us together being proud of our school, our country and each other. That was in the 1950’s and up until I left school in 1960 and sounds old fashioned now, but it worked then. I had no more interest in education until my children were in school, from 1970 onwards and now they have children of their own I see the system is dramatically different.

Some of these changes are related to access to the internet, but that does not excuse parents and teachers from expecting respect from young people. Self-respect comes from being given respect, and that feeling of belonging that we all need, in our family and our wider circles of school and friendships.

We are all tribes and in the UK our tribe has been responsible for many bad deeds as well as good ones. The way our history is taught tends to play down the bad ones for obvious reasons, but if we teach our children how to think for themselves, they may get to the truth and understand good behaviour from bad, not repeating the mistakes of our forefathers. Even now, current issues with money grabbing, sheer greed, lying and cheating that fill the news media, leave a sour taste in the mouths of fair minded people everywhere.

It’s sad that we have so few role models today, people with values of integrity and honesty, to show the way and make our next generation one in which we can be proud.

We, the fair minded people with moral values, can be the role models if we dare to stand up and be counted.

Diane – smile and look after our young people !