This week at The Dabbler I recommend the setting up of a free school with a curriculum devoted to the works of John Ruskin, and include two Tales Of Little Ruskin suitable for reading aloud to tinies. Incidentally, I could not help noticing the manner in which the Grauniad reported the official approval given to the setting up of sixteen such free schools. One idealistic teacher suggested that among the things deemed important in his planned school, in a deprived area, would be good manners and the basic civilised matter of sitting down together at mealtimes. The privately-educated well-brought-up Grauniad staff take these things for granted, of course, but the very idea that they should be inculcated in the lower orders is anathema. The front page headline sneerily misrepresented the plans as teaching “etiquette and fine dining”.
I fully approve of teaching good manners, and indeed etiquette and fine dining come to that.
Given that even having a first class degree is no guarantee of finding gainful employment these days, our dolescroungers may as well be polite dolescroungers.