I agree with what most people are saying here it all comes from a massively divided society in the UK. In Japan for example, nearly all kids are driven and want to succeed at school. We have a historic problem in the UK of an underclass of perhaps 5% of the population are pretty much opposed to education. Plus we have a strong working class, who might make up another 40% - their parents are probably hardworking, but have never really valued education and take up manual jobs etc. Now throw into the mix a very high level of immigration in recent decades. I was at a school the other day where a high contingent of Slovakian kids with hardly any English skills were mixed in with bottom set indigenous kids. And they were set the task of looking at a Macbeth soliloquy; it was a complete non-starter. Until we can fix all of these entrenched social issues that detract from the 50% or so who really want to learn, and have no language barriers etc, a lot of teaching in these "rough" academies is about behaviour management window dressing, such as tarting up exercise books with lots of different coloured pens and stickers to make it "appear" that the kids are really learning. sorry if this post is judgemental and based on stereotypes etc, but that's how I see it. The politcians are never going to fix the social issues, as they basically don't give a toss.