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Harry Potter: 9 Things That Make Hogwarts The Worst School Ever
While Hogwarts is one of the most famous schools in fiction, there are several things that make it one of the worst schools.
Harry Potter: Snape, Trelawney, and the Basilisk in a split feature image
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is arguably the most famous fictional school in current media. Within the Potterverse, British wizarding kids wait with bated breath for September 1st, so they can go to school there. And ever since the Harry Potter books came out, fans have dreamt of getting their own Hogwarts letter, with that dream frequently recreated through gaming.
But realistically? As far as schools go, Hogwarts is atrocious. Even discounting the deadly tournaments or the tool of bigotry that is the Chamber of Secrets, there are several reasons why we wouldn’t want to go to Hogwarts. Harry Potter Doodle In Vintage Background Comforter Bedding Set
9
The Lack Of Competent Teachers
Gilderoy Lockhart and Harry Potter from Chamber of Secrets
There is only one teacher for every subject, and many of those teachers are actively terrible. Trelawney, the Divinations professor, is more interested in having students make catastrophic predictions over accurate ones; she herself has only made two accurate predictions, of which she is unaware. Hagrid is lovable, but he would be unqualified to teach Care of Magical Creatures even if he had not been expelled from Hogwarts at twelve. His primary interest is dangerous creatures, and he’s only taught his students about five of the beasts in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook.
Professor Snape is qualified for Potions, but he is an unfair bully toward his students, grading them with zeroes based on his dislike of them and affecting their performance in his class. Not to mention the yearly parade of awful Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers: three have been competent out of seven known professors, and Remus Lupin has been the only indisputably good one.
8
The Lack Of Student Guidance
Draco Malfoy holding Neville’s Remembrall from HP and the Sorceror’s Stone
It may be endemic to schools in the real world, but even by those standards, Hogwarts’ faculty has appallingly hands-off counseling or guiding of their students. Kids get indoctrinated into genocide cults under their noses.
Bullying between students goes entirely unchecked, whether it’s James Potter and Sirius Black ganging up on Snape in the courtyard with an onlooking crowd cheering; or over half the school wearing badges that mock Harry in full view of the teachers. Bullying from teachers goes entirely unchecked, as Snape bullies students from Gryffindor for years on end. There isn’t even a pretense of a Student Guidance Office at Hogwarts.
7
The Curriculum
Professor Flitwick’s Charms Class in Harry Potter
Sure, the subjects sound great: Transfiguration, Potions, Charms, etc. But wizarding kids aren’t taught any subjects that get people through basic life, such as math, logic, vocabulary, or grammar. There aren’t any structured health or biology classes, so students learn nothing about their own bodily systems or functions–even when going through puberty.
Muggleborn kids likely possess this knowledge up to fifth grade, and Hogwarts students write essays; they may pick up some vocabulary and grammar skills through that, but as for the rest? One has to assume they go through life fending for themselves. As Hermione Granger accurately put it in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, “A lot of the greatest wizards haven’t got an ounce of logic.”
6
The Encouragement Of Inter-House Rivalries
Slytherin’s Quidditch team vs Gryffindor’s, in Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets
Team rivalries at school can be good fun; however, coupled with a near-total lack of inter-House cooperation, things get ugly between the Houses’ students. Student clubs have existed at Hogwarts, but they’re optional and largely ignored. The only mandated effort that Hogwarts takes to promote inter-House cooperation is by occasionally scheduling the classes with two or more Houses (more commonly with the upper-year students).
On the other hand, the points-reward system pits kids against the other Houses from day one, and the Quidditch culture at Hogwarts is pervasive. Add in teachers who abuse the points system, and it very naturally leads to what we often see in the series: three-fourths of the school pitted against one House’s students because that House has been on a winning streak. That sucks for the first-year student going into that House.
5
The Sorting
Ron Weasley’s Sorting, with McGonagall holding the Sorting Hat
The problem with the wizarding world being so small and insular is that a Hogwarts student’s Sorting will follow them throughout their entire lives–as demonstrated by most Hogwarts teachers and many adults in the Harry Potter series–not just

through school. Imagine being Sorted and pegged for life based on the personality traits you had at eleven. Never mind that people grow and change through life and that values shift based on experience; the four Sorting trait categories are (essentially) bravery, intelligence, ambition, or everything else. That isn’t a lot of choices, certainly not enough to encompass the full range of personality types.
Also, people tend to generalize entire Houses full of students based on their knowledge of a few, so eleven-year-olds are automatically tarred with the same brush even if they’ve just arrived at Hogwarts.
4
The Danger In Going To The Bathroom Alone
Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter
Sometimes people need to duck into the nearest bathroom to cry a little and regain control of their emotions, especially after being picked on by other students. At Hogwarts, this can get a child killed. Moaning Myrtle had gone into the bathroom to cry after another girl mocked her glasses, and it happened to be the same bathroom that hid the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. Tom Riddle Jr. followed her in, released the deadly Basilisk from the Chamber, and killed Myrtle.
A similar thing nearly happened to Hermione in her first year, after Ron Weasley had made fun of her for not having friends. She was crying in the bathroom when a troll came in. The troll had been let into the castle by Professor Quirrell. If Ron and Harry hadn’t run to her rescue, she too might be haunting that bathroom as Moaning Myrtle does hers.

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3
The Lack Of Electronics
Empty Hogwarts DADA classroom with gramophone
According to Hermione (and the book Hogwarts, A History), the magic at Hogwarts interferes with electricity, making it impossible for electronic devices of any kind to work in the castle or on the grounds. And there’s not a lot of entertainment to be had in the 21st century without some form of electricity. Computers, phones, handheld games, televisions, portable music listening devices, and the Internet; none of these would be available there, which might be less of a problem if wizards had some magical substitute for these things. But Hogwarts–like much of the wizarding world–largely seems stuck in the past, and the closest thing to any of these electronics shown working at Hogwarts is a mechanical record player (last commonly used by Muggles in the 1950s).
Although the Floo Network may be available through fireplaces in the common rooms, assuming students wouldn’t mind their entire House listening in on their long-distance communications.
2
The Cruel And Unusual Punishments
Harry Potter & Draco Malfoy in Forbidden Forest detention from Sorcerer’s Stone
Detentions at Hogwarts are arbitrary; kids can be assigned detention just for tracking mud through the corridors. Some teachers at Hogwarts will give reasonable detentions: being made to clean the trophy room, answer fan mail, or write lines (discounting the ones that have students carve the lines into their own hands). Other detentions are way over the top: like being made to disembowel toads–a common student pet–or sort through rotten Flobberworms without protective gloves.
The worst is when students get detentions in the Forbidden Forest, which is full of horrifying and deadly monsters, hence the name. True, those detentions are usually assigned to be supervised by Hagrid, whose presence is supposedly enough to ward off the more frightening creatures in the Forest, but still.
1
The Erratic Reward System
Hogwarts House Cup feast, Gryffindor as the winners
The practice of handing out or removing House points is utterly random, with no structured guideline. Sometimes students are given points for answering questions or performing spells correctly in class, but not always. Points get removed for bad behavior, but that often depends on the authority doing the removing and what they consider misbehavior; teachers have awarded points for mischief if it’s thought to be for a good cause.
Quidditch teams get House points for winning matches, which is an unfair advantage when not everyone can play Quidditch and no other student groups seem to earn points. The system is rife with abuse, as shown through Snape, Dumbledore, and even more impartial professors like Sprout and Flitwick.

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