In my view, education in those days was satisfactory but the methods of teaching were very bad. An example of this is shown when Mr Sugden unfairly asks to re-take a penalty after the first attempt at it had failed because the pupil in the goal saved it. There are very good teachers in the school. Mr Farthing, one of them, understands his students and listens to what the student has to say. You can tell Mr Farthing understands his students because when Billy had a fight he rectified the matter in favour of Billy because of the problems Billy has to deal with.
He didn’t send them both them both to Mr Gryce as some teachers would have so both students get the stick. After the fight Mr Farthing gives Billy a real chance to shine he lets him tell the entire class how he trained his hawk. This speech gave Billy confidence because at the start of the speech Billy had a slight reluctance to share his feeling with the rest of the class. The whole class was interested in the speech about Falconry and several students asked him questions on it at the end. This was one of the high points in the book as no one cussed him or laughed at him.
This alone proves that Billy is very bright and has a lot of confidence because he stole the falconry book from a store just to train a hawk (not normal). Billy can express what ever he has to say aloud brilliantly but using hand gestures and speaking verbally. Mr Farthing is extremely sympathetic to Billy as oppose to teachers that bully students like Mr Sugden. Mr Sugden has a very abdomen personality. A good teacher would never let Billy suffer in the cold showers without letting him out on purpose.
In assembly Mr Gryce’s personality is also show because he gives Billy the stick for sleeping. In my view a good teacher would have told him off severely by mouth not by physical actions and then he would be given a chance before getting the stick. Also Mr Gryce doesn’t listen to anything the pupils have to say because when the messenger came bringing a message from another teacher Mr Gryce didn’t listen to what the boy had to say he just gave him the stick for having cigarettes etc which were not even his.
Billy was very keen to learn about falconry and to get that hawk because he trained the hawk without making any mistakes. Compared to modern days one goes and buys a big office table from Argos / MFI one gets the instructions but one are bound to make a mistake hear or there. One can never get it perfect first time round. So Billy must have had several obstacles in his way but with his inner spirit it kept him going. Overall the environment of the school was under satisfactory as there were lumps of coke for the boiler lying around the playground. That is a safety risk.
Also some of the teachers didn’t want to teach they were just there to get paid. This point is emphasised further from the video the teachers kept looking at their watches. Also the discipline of the school is far to high in terms of getting the stick for the first little thing you do. Billy is on the receiving end for all of the punishments etc. This is true at home and at school. At home Jud bullies him and blames him for everything. At school the teachers tell him off, everyone overall bullies him. Billy doesn’t care about anything (Education, work etc) except his hawk.
He even admits it to Mr Farthing when he was talking to him. At the end of the novel it is very upsetting because it was like his life is over. “He buried the hawk and went to bed”. In this sentence the atmosphere changes so much. All Billy wants it to get along and he wants to do what is asked of him. BUT in no means is Billy perfect because he was part of the lot that bullied the messenger to keep the cigarettes etc. I think Barry Hines has taken part of this from personnel experience as he expresses the bulling and violence scenes ever so strongly.