Why had Captain Chaos adopted his ‘please don’t’ position. Not being threatened with a walk. Not been shouted out. No need for a bath. Bizarre.


An item on the news caught my attention. Strangely it was not the ongoing brexit cockup. It wasn’t the story about some TV celebrity going out with somebody else I had never heard of. It wasn’t the recurring piece on the UK is about to have the best summer in 50 years – more chance of my football team winning something. Don’t start me on that one – 1969 for the last European trophy and 1955 for a domestic one.

No it was the story which got the least news time. ‘ School break times are becoming a thing of the past’. If you listened hard enough you could hear a few quickly presented facts.

  • 11 to 16 year olds now get 65 minutes per week less break time than they did 25 years ago
  • Just 1% of secondary schools now have an afternoon break time
  • 82% of secondary schools now have less than 55 minutes for lunch
  • 25% of schools have lunch breaks of less than 35 minutes
  • One in eight school children have a reported mental health problem (I suspect this only scratches the surface)
  • 22000 pupils in Year 6 are classed as severely obese but apparently this has nothing to do with the reduction in break times. Even though the Chief Medical Officer is calling for at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise per day – unlikely to happen when you are sat at a desk

A helpful person from the Government said it was nothing to do with them as it was up to schools to sort out the school day. Strangely he didn’t mention the strict targets his Government had placed on schools.

When our son returned from school today I found his uneaten lunch and unopened bottle of water. Apparently he didn’t get time to have them today. So no food or drink in 8 hours – that is clearly conducive to educational excellence.

His average school day seems to be a 10 to 15 minute morning break which is just enough time to get to the next class. A lunchtime of queuing to get into the canteen, then grabbing some food and making your way to the next lesson. Again in the afternoon a break just long enough to allow kids to get to the next lesson.

How can this be right. I can hear the howls about ‘kids are there to learn so that they can get good jobs’. But sorry kids do need to have fun. If they are enjoying school they will learn better. School is not just about feeding our warped society, it’s about preparing kids for life. It’s ups and downs. It’s work time and its leisure time.

Modern day schooling has become sadly dysfunctional.


Food in the kitchen finally moved the dog. All is revealed. It wasn’t his ‘please don’t’ position. It was in fact the ‘all the socks from the washing basket looked too tempting so I pinched them and needed somewhere quick to hide them and lying on them is the best I can think of’ position.

32 thoughts on “Break time

  1. Hello Single Dad. It is wrong to make school a hated grind. But I do love the dogs quick thinking. I will say I got a similar fake out today from my oldest cat. He wanted on my desk, and sat trying to get me to let him up. I refused. He then went to the empty treaty plate and stared at it, looked back at me, and then again at the plate. I got up took the bag of treaties and began to put some in the plate. It was at that point where he turned bounded into my desk chair and on to my desk and laid down in front of the keyboard. I was left standing there with a treaty bag in my hands amazed I got played so easily. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love it when a mystery is solved! 🙂

    ‘Cap’ has one of those faces that you could never stay mad at. 🐶 He makes for great photos. 🙂

    I’m seriously doubting that government school systems in Western Society are still fit for purpose, certainly in your son’s case (if they ever really were?)

    Fortunately, so far, your son’s education does not seem to have been adversely affected by this. His confidence however, and view of ‘authority’ are probably not quite as fortunate?

    I suspect he’s never going to quite fit into the ‘9 to 5’ mould though… and neither should he have to!

    Love your writing style here, by the way!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. These days things change faster than they ever used to! There is much more choice than in previous times also!
        (Which sadly also adds to our problems, in some cases)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You are so right about the state of the school system and the pressure of government monitoring. If I had my way I’d scrap OFSTED and monitoring tests and instead have a termly questionnaire for pupils and parents to fill in with their satisfaction and happiness with school. If the schools failed to have at least of 80% of parents or children being happy with their school experience then a mediator could be called in to help resolve the issues. With all the money saved schools could employ more teachers and get more equipment but what do I know? As if anyone ever listens to children or parents anyway! (Ps I love captain chaos, him and our Oatey would have such fun if they got together, I know that look so well!).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So sad that the world does not care about children any more. Here they dumb down and rewrite History and promote sex to 5 year olds. The smell is a stench to our God.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So true! Once when my son was acting up in school, they wanted to restrict his recess time. I straight-up told them he needed MORE exercise, not LESS.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha! Yes, the boys will take that position now and again to hide things, too. And schools NEED those breaks. Kids go whacko without those breaks. Sigh. But heaven forbid people see these connections…

    Liked by 1 person

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