In defence of the Isle of Wight
We’re not a ‘poor, white, inbred ghetto’
Recently, David Hoare- the Chief of Ofsted, called the Isle of Wight a ‘poor, white inbred ghetto‘. He said we have a ‘mass of crime, drug problems, and huge unemployment’. He called our education system ‘terribly, pitifully low’. Well Mr Hoare, I’m sorry but you could not be further than the truth. People from ‘the mainland’ (The rest of England) don’t seem to understand the beauty of crossing the ferry, and going back in time, to one of the most beautiful places in the country.
Despite the fact that we didn’t have nightclubs, trains or Primark, the island was still the best place to grow up. When other teenagers were out at tragic, grotty nightclubs, Isle of Wight teens were having beach parties and taking camping trips.
Mr Hoare suggests that we were out getting into fights and stealing lipsticks from shopping centres (ha, as if we have those). He acts like Isle of Wight teens were all out tripping on MDMA at their local Wetherspoons instead of being in school sitting their GSCEs. In reality, if we weren’t at school, we were outside in the fresh air. At sixth form, we were in the park every lunchtime playing Frisbee and sunbathing- not smoking weed on some dodgy street corner, sorry to disappoint you Ofsted.
Every school may not have exceeded every Ofsted, and yes, some schools were in special measures- but in my opinion, we still had the best education. Not because we were forced to study every hour of every day, or because we had private tutors to teach us every subject.
We had the best education because at weekends we would go for days out to the beach and swim in the sea. When we were outside of school, we weren’t stuck inside watching TV. We were experiencing the true beauty of the Isle of Wight. When it’s a sunny evening, Islanders love nothing more than to go for a walk along the seaside, topped off by a Pimms overlooking the sea watching the sunset.
Not to mention, we have two of the best music festivals in the country. Musical legends like Jimi Hendrix, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madness have played, and tens of thousands of people come every year to be there. Where else could you be at a music festival when you go on a ride and as you’re doing loops at 200 feet, and you’re still overlooking the sea? We have other events too, like the biggest scooter rally and one of the best international sailing events in the world.
Living on the Isle of Wight is like permanently being on holiday. Maybe by ‘mass unemployment’, Hoare means that we have a thriving tourist industry, where some people only work half the year because they own popular seaside hotels or beach cafes. Maybe our education system is ‘pitiful’ because Islanders have a reputation for caring less about making millions of pounds in the city and more about surfing and enjoying their life by the sea. We live in a place where it’s permanently summer, because even at Christmas you’ll find us in the sea with an ice cream in our hand.
We’re old fashioned, we’re proud to be from a place where you still have to get a boat to go anywhere, and a place where buses stop at 11pm at night. We don’t need a bridge or a tunnel to the mainland, because we’re more than happy with our peaceful little island, where time seems to stop.
If you read the comments from the chief of Ofsted, you’d assume that all Islanders were drugged up, uneducated and unemployed thugs. But that’s not at all what the Isle of Wight is like. In fact, I’d say it’s literally my favourite place in the whole world.