I don't deny that there are crappy teachers but at the same time if the teachers aren't supported at home by the parents then all the work by the teachers is an exercise in futility. I always find it funny when I hear people here from good family backgrounds assuming that their background is universally applicable to all students out there.
With that being said the way which kids learn needs to be examined; English should be taught right up until the end of 7th form - focusing on the fundamentals, if they want to learn about poetry, creative writing and so forth, they can take double major English. Talk to any university professor and they'll tell you about the sorry state of writing by students who come to university. Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals - I look at the crap that US schools teacher - what they hell have they got to do with fundamental skills?
Kids who aren't university inclined need to be told they aren't university material and they should go to a polytechnic - learn a trade, be a bricky, sparky, plumber or some other trade. Its time that parents pulled their head out of their ass and realise that their kids aren't vessels for them to fulfil their dreams which they failed to do in their own life - if their kid is not academically inclined then they should stop wasting tax payers money by continuing their education and get them learning a trade.