1 January 2011


Things they don't teach you in school:-
  1. How to change the fuse on an electric plug.
  2. Wallpapering.
  3. The functions of local councils and the responsibilities of councillors.
  4. How to compose good photographs.
  5. The struggle through history for workers' rights.
  6. The fact that 0.6 per cent of the British people own 69% of the land.
  7. How to successfully poach eggs.
  8. How to apply for a passport.
  9. Vegetable gardening.
  10. The Highway Code.
  11. Ley line theories.
  12. Astronomy.
  13. Making sense of social security red tape including how to apply for unemployment benefits.
  14. The history and geography of China.
  15. Worming pets.
  16. The difference between academic achievement and wisdom.
  17. Housing rights and responsibilities.
  18. Coarse fishing techniques.
  19. Britain's pagan history - pre-dating Christianity by many centuries
  20. That life is short
And many, many other things that matter.


  1. Too right! Especially the one about how life is short - - the school I went to behaved as though you were going to spend almost all of it doing homework: and in fact I spent most of my teenage years doing little else, grrrrr!

  2. Some of those things would have been far more interesting than the physics and chemistry that I struggled with - Soooo boring!

  3. Couldn't agree more..have always thought that we should be helping youngsters to function in the world of now....

  4. DAPHNE, JENNY, LIBBY I think the idea for this post came from the realisation that our clever daughter - at university in Birmingham - revealed that she had no idea how to change a fuse in an electric plug - but she can write a mean academic essay!

  5. add to the list

    How to unfasten a woman's bra
    in the dark!

  6. Happy New Year YP. Hope yours is full of fun and adventure.It has been fun visiting you and sharing the times- good and bad - with you this past year.

  7. Now, John Gray, would that class for you have been show-and-tell? You cad!

    Mr. Pudding, "what is ley line theories"?

    Nowadays, I think even less is being taught that is worth very much. But then, I also believe that parents need to take some responsibility in the education of their children in some of these basic tenets.

    But, not that thing that John said he would have liked to be taught. That we will leave up to older friends, eh?

  8. JOHN GRAY Such a skill could have easily been taught by simply bussing in girls from the local high school.
    HELEN HELSIE So sorry to hear about the terrible floods in Queensland. Proving once again that God moves in very, very mysterious ways!
    MOUNTAIN LADY Happy New Year! Ley lines are essentially invisible lines of connection between significant points on ancient landscapes. For example, Stonehenge is a veritable fulcrum for ley lines. Google it. Others can tell it better than me.

  9. My son went to a Waldorf school and he actually did learn some of those things, and quite a few other useful things that aren't taught in the public schools. The most wonderful thing he learned there was how to be a good friend.

  10. Good list. I would add: how to change a tire. (Tyre?) My father would not let me learn to drive until I could do that by myself. The ability has come in handy a few times.

  11. Great list, school would have been much more interesting. Mind you I did do Chinese history in the first year of secondary school, not sure what that year is in the new system.

  12. JAN Perhaps it was really you who taught Bob to be a good friend?
    PAT ARK. I would definitely have put changing a tyre on my list if I had thought of it. It seems amazing that people are allowed to drive cars without knowing how to do this.
    ELIZA - First year of secondary school is now Year 7 (in England and Wales). You were lucky to learn something about China. I learnt nothing about a country that is home to one third of this planet's population.


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.