If Sixth Form Treat Us Like Children, We Should Flaming Act Like Children

November 07, 2014

My name is Olivia and I'm supposedly a seventeen year old cup-a-soup obsessive from Yorkshire. I'm currently studying four A Levels at a school which I have attended since I was eleven years old. I am currently filling out a UCAS application form which details which university I wish to spend the next three years at. I have just had the pleasure of a rain sodden walk home to change one pair of jeans for another pair which are not emblazoned with a two small insignificant studs placed on the waist. Let me repeat my age. I am seventeen years old and are currently making one of the biggest yet scariest decisions of my life. No, these decisions do not involve the shade of trouser I chose to wrap around my thighs, but they involve a future full of laughter or a future sat on a till. It's safe to say that a pair of jeans is not very high up on my caring list.

Except it is. According to my badly run prehistoric school in the middle of nowhere, the things that cover my nakedness on a day to day basis is so much more important than my education. Google describes the not so important noun as 'the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction' and 'an enlightening experience.' Enlightening experience my arse. (excuse my French.) 

The place I visit every day has become a breeding ground for hatred and anger, there is talk of a petition which may or may not help us enjoy our time sat in the 'study room' (because the canteen has been renamed so we no longer have a social area) and the amount of threats flying about about quitting has increased tenfold. Once the television was turned off (according to the head of my sixth form this was mysteriously broken) and the promise of music was disallowed, the complete mentality and ethos of actual feelings just dropped of the face of the Earth as if it had never existed. Last year there was at least some atmosphere which wasn't likened to the feelings in a morgue, now the only thing that keeps us going is bitching about the school, if you think we like it you're rather mistaken.

I can't seem to fathom how the school that I actually enjoyed last year has gone so far down in my estimations within practically weeks, but then I can't think about last year as the same school at all. Not one thing is the same. Last year, aged sixteen, I was responsible for turning up to my own lessons and working in my own free periods. This year, I'm a year older but obviously not a year wiser. We've been assigned certain times where we have to sit in the library all huddled up like four year olds, and God forbid if you don't turn up. Detentions baby! I thought detentions had gone out of the window once I'd left compulsory education. At other times where you aren't ordered upstairs by the library lady, you have to sit in the goldfish bowl of the canteen - no study room I mean, sorry! while the heads of the school look into the room from their offices while judging your every move and come and tell you that you'll regret not working in a couple of months and read our target grades out in a monotone voice which makes me want to sleep. I know my target grades thanks, you don't need to remind me. 

The sad thing is that you wouldn't be subjected to all of these fun activities if you're not wearing the correct dress code. Last year, I wore skaker skirts and nice shirts, and if I do say so myself I never once looked downright disgusting and off putting to visitors, nor did I think that what I was wearing was affecting my education. This year, I probably look worse than I did last year - for that matter I know I look worse this year. Wearing skin tight midi skirts do nothing for my figure nor do they look flattering to the many new students who are coming up, but school think they are very suitable for me to wear even though I look more of a slut in them than I do in my skater skirts, which skim over my arse rather than accentuating it. This dress code used the great definitions of 'necklines should be above the armpit' and 'your skirts should touch the back of the calf when your leg is bent at a ninety degree angle' and though in theory this may sound smart, if you either can't afford to look good or have ridiculously bad fashion sense it can make you look like a nightmare. 

The school seem to think that by wearing a pair of jeans which featured a slight stud that was covered by my smart top was affecting my education so much that I had to be sent home and miss a lesson in the process, but I don't. I changed into a second pair of jeans without a tiny stud but with a zip and that supposedly follows the rules as they were cotton material. The other pair were flaming cotton material! (I even emailed H&M directly and they clarified that the pair with studs on were acceptable work wear and were cotton trousers rather than jeans, it said trousers on the receipt.)

So here's my rant about how I feel my school are treating me and the rest of the 200 or so pupils like babies and expecting us to react like adults. I would love some feedback on what you think I should do.     

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  1. I love this post. I went to a sixth form college rather than sixth-form attached to a school, and can whole heartedly say I made the best choice imaginable, for me at least. You don't seem like someone who needs a constant pushing and babying like some more immature students would: you seem like a girl who has her head screwed on and knows what she needs to do in order to achieve goals etc. Schools baffle me in the way that they think dress codes affect work ethic. If anything, pupils get annoyed at being told what they can and can't wear, which makes them not want to comply with what the school wants them do. I used to turn up to college in joggers and a hoody, a dress and tights or jeans and a jumper, solely depending on how I felt that day. I can quite confidently say that what I wore didn't have an effect on how I studied: if anything, it improved it because I was comfortable and I was being myself. I came out with ABB in my A-Levels and I'm now at a respected university studying a course I love. These days, places of education are being run like corporations. It's all about money, and grades = money, and in their head, a dress code = better grades. They're wrong, and they don't understand the pupils that they should be nurturing and educating. Sorry that this was such a long post, but it's something I really feel strongly about and I agree with everything you said x


  2. Some teachers are so obsessed with getting people to follow the rules that they forget the reason school is there in the first place!
    Steph x

  3. I couldn't agree more! The number of times I've been told over the past few weeks to take my 'outdoor coat' off in my sixth form recently is ridiculous - apparently it sets a bad example for the rest of the school and we're 'no different' - yet we obviously are when we're wearing our own suits/ clothes. Schools really need to get their priorities right. I understand looking smart is needed (or god knows what people would turn up in) but it isn't really the most important thing, is it? That being said, I do love my sixth form... it's just some of the teachers who need to get their priorities straight!! xx

    Pillarbox Post

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  5. Yes! I'm 21 now but HATED sixth form. We're told that we'll be adults, but no way. They treat you like absolute children. I was pretty much forced by all my teachers to go to uni, even when I had really great valid points as to why I didn't want to go, but no, I was clearly wrong. I'd have much rather gone elsewhere to a college. Keep fighting though, love the friends you have and enjoy it while it lasts! x

    (Sorry for the multiple posts haha it kept signing me out) x

  6. Anonymous21.6.15

    Oh yes, SIXTH FORM!!! Adults my arse....I ended up litterpicking for being late one time (it wasn't my fault I said, but teachers never listen, do they?) and being consistently harassed about playing guitar too much when I should be revising (and might I point out the teacher who said that only ever sees me carrying my guitar around, so there's no evidence how long I actually get to PLAY the guitar). A new rule is about to be introduced preventing sixth formers from leaving school during free lessons. I have 3 lessons off on a Wednesday! A terrible waste if you ask me. Overall sixth form is a lie, a total lie, not to mention a source of inexcusable power struggle for teachers.


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