Monday, April 28, 2008

Blackboard bungle

In honour of Comrade Slaminsky's stint on the barricades, a consideration on some of the issues that get left behind if all you talk about is whether teachers are greedy or not:

There was a rare moment of unanimity on Radio 4's Any Questions on Friday night. Asked whether the NUT was right to take strike action, all four members of the panel said not.

But it was once they got beyond the matter of whether 2.45% was a reasonable offer that things got interesting. First, Tory Eric Pickles condemned the union for striking so close to GCSE's. Tim Razzall of the Liberal Democrats agreed: such action was most regrettable as exam season comes round. Surprisingly, Hazel Blears, devoted apparatchik of this exam-crazed government, didn't bring up the GCSE factor, but did express sympathy for parents who might have had to make alternative child care arrangements...

Full version written out in my best handwriting to be put up on the wall for parents' evening here.

PS: Think one or two commenters may have interpreted this as a teacher-bashing exercise. Obviously the type who didn't read the whole paper before they began writing...


Annie said...

Thank you, my love. Curiously, the shutting of schools on Polling Day is not at all disruptive to parents.

And the potential disruption caused by HUGE TEACHER SHORTAGES which will occur when people start leaving the profession in droves (as historically they did in the 90s when they couldn't afford to stay) doesn't seem to bother people either... I could go on, but I won't.

Ken Robinson in Do Schools Kill Creativity? agrees with you. He says something like 'schools are now just an extended university entrance exam...'

Tim F said...

I think it's time public service unions start using this pragmatic argument rather than any notion of fairness. You don't pay enough, nobody will want to educate your kids/put out your fires/arrest nonces/mop you off the tarmac when you crash your Mondeo. Your call, Great British Public.

After all, that's exactly the argument that non-dom bankers are deploying.