Challenging behaviour, underachievement, stressed out teachers, nothing new! Written at the turn of the twenty first century (am I really that old?), Failing Teachers, Failing Children, is a largely autobiographical look back at teaching following the introduction of the National Curriculum and school league tables.

It traces the struggles of a ‘backwater’ school (and the teachers employed within) trying to re-invent itself. Having been branded as a failing school and with student numbers tumbling, the place was facing imminent closure. A new head-teacher was put in charge and the political infighting began.

The book takes a wry look at education from a struggling school’s perspective. The problems with behaviour, trying to raise achievement, P.R., just trying to get through the day! Amongst the mayhem, it emphasises how the system fails the very people it is trying to support, the pupils. Its resonance with present day issues is uncanny (well, not really!)

Is the hard graft of a small number of dedicated staff worth the effort? This book is most definitely not a Gervase Phinn lookalike. It is a witty, yet frank assessment of how modern-day education has lost its way, offering ideas of what is needed to get back to the real business of what teachers are paid for.


A real eyeopener to what the teaching profession has to endure, it brought back lots of memories good and bad. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it, it was written brilliantly, no tiptoeing around a frank account of what goes on behind the scenes. Highly recommended!!!! (Donna) *****

Fantastically written, laugh out loud moments and a great insight into the daily struggles teachers face, worth the read x (Ali) *****

This book brought back lots of good memories from my time at School, most definitely worth a read (nmay) *****