Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yellow is the Colour of my True Love's Hi Viz Jacket...

Whilst driving through town today I noticed a group of about 20 schoolchildren all about 11 or 12 years old, getting on a bus.

The sun was blazing, there was not a cloud in the sky and it was absolutely baking hot; but every one of them was wearing a luminous vest. I was so amazed that I almost ran over one of their teachers (who was looking utterly ridiculous in her own bright yellow high-viz jacket.)

I am well aware that there is a battle going on between the Health and Safety Officials who say that schools deliberately misinterpret their rules and the schools who put the blame on them.

So, can anyone tell me:

a) Why are kids wearing these crazy things?
b) Why do the teachers not have enough dignity not to?

Monday, June 22, 2009



I apologise for the interruption to your evening, but Fran from Oop North Somewhere has just informed me that from September, the Form Tutors at their school will be renamed 'Achievement Tutors'.

This leads us neatly round to Chalk's 9th Law of Teaching:

The grander the title given, the less able the person who gave it.

Your own examples are of course welcome.

Class of 2009

Over the next few weeks, almost 400 000 students will graduate from our Universities. Many of these will not find jobs at all, or end up working in jobs that they could have started at the age of 16.

My prediction is that this Summer at long last, schools will finally begin to question the accepted doctrine of encouraging every pupil who can spell their own name to rush blindly into taking on £20 000 worth of debts in order to gain a worthless degree from an institution that should never have been allowed to call itself a University in the first place.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


How exactly is it in the public interest to expose the identity of (and therefore make it impossible for him to continue) a man who publicises the numerous failings of modern Policing; which are, judging by the popularity of his Blog presumably of interest to the public?

By this logic, it would certainly be in the public interest for the Times to publish the identity of a man who has made the mistake of frequently criticising the shambles that passes for State Education.

Hang on I'll be right back, there's somebody at the door...

Monday, June 15, 2009

In Hot Water

Those of you who are struggling to raise money for a new minibus or buy enough textbooks will be delighted to hear that Head Greg Martin manages to get paid £85 000 for managing a spa and pool. (I'd just pay one of the Top Set kids £50 a week to do it)

Who paid for this facility in the first place and how hard is it to 'manage' a swimming pool? Mind you it is Lambeth Council so I suppose anything is possible. More importantly can Mrs C. get say, £55k for managing the 'Exercise Book Distribution Unit' at her school?

I've been asked to advertise vacancies in schools every so often, so here's the first one.

Position School Secretary
Requirements Would suit female with prominent chest
Apply to Al Islah Muslim Girls School, Blackburn. (Please enclose a photograph)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Burn My Money in front of me Please

Now that we are all heartily sick of hearing about MPs spending the taxpayers money on moats, duck islands and helipads why don't we look into Nonsense Agencies such as the GTCE and the Training Development for Schools (TDA)?

The Times alleges here that TDA boss Graham Holley managed to spend a few thousand on a nice trip to Melbourne for an 'education conference' and later went to Rome to learn about leadership, (like teaching, this is something you are either good at or not- if you aren't a natural leader then all the training in the World can only make you sound like one)

Isn't it strange that they always seem to go somewhere nice to learn about leadership. Have you ever heard of a conference in Hull, Tipton or Scunthorpe for example?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Show me the Money

The Government is proposing to pay about £3000 per year extra to entice people to take a job as a crowd controller in challenging (ie crap) schools. Have a look at the article before you ask me the obvious question:

Won't the staff who are already there get a bit upset about doing the same job for three grand less than those who've just arrived?

Regular readers will also be familiar with my cynical view of any sentence that starts with the words "Research shows..." I wonder how much of your money was spent discovering the astonishing fact that kids do better if they have a good teacher?

Mind you it's a good job they never offered me a bonus to work at St. Thickchilds- I would only have blown it on a Somali Cruise.

Friday, June 05, 2009

So That's Why They Call It Great Britain...

One man who clearly doesn't think that Britain is on its last legs is the latest Monday Books author, Steve Pope. When we first met last weekend, I naturally offered him the secret Monday Authors funny handshake; assuming that anyone writing a book of that title as the Government is collapsing, whilst we suffer the worst recession since 1930; could only be writing under a pseudonym like Copperfield, Gadget and myself. I assured him that I was fine about calling him by whatever name he wanted.

He no doubt decided on the spot that I was a complete loon, but was polite enough not to say anything to the effect. Anyway, I've now finished his book and have to admit that it is absolutely fascinating. There's loads and loads of stuff that I never knew about, mixed in with lots of funny stories about the various characters who have put the 'Great' in Britain. It's written alphabetically, which makes it good for people like me with short attention spans, because you can dip in and out of it when you have a spare minute, then later casually drop in a gem to friends in the Pub along the lines of; "Did you know that...."; making you appear very knowledgeable indeed.

It's available from Amazon here, or direct from Monday Books here.

Open a College

Have you had enough of gobby, pig ignorant pupils who know full well that they can do what they like in your lessons? Do you find yourself harbouring violent thoughts towards them and their wretched parents? Is the endless stream of new and ever more bizarre initiatives from the SLT getting you down to the point where you feel you can take no more?

Well here's the answer. Rather than worrying about Inspections, GCSE results and all that nonsense, just rent a room somewhere cheap and open up your very own College. There is no law to stop you, so the next step is to get an advertisement for your World Renowned Centre of Excellence up and running on the Internet. Before you know it, you will have hundreds of students from Pakistan begging to enrol in order to fulfill their lifelong ambition of studying hard in Britain. They will be only too happy to pay the Course fees in advance (in heroin if you like) in return for your college stamp on their student visa application.

No need to worry about hiring any staff though, and rest assured that nobody will dare accuse you of any wrongdoing for fear of being labelled racist.

The Dangers of Swimming Goggles

Whilst the Aussies seem to be trying to bring back Hanging in their schools, we are banning swimming goggles.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Those of you with children about to go into year 9 this September would be well advised to ask your school exactly what they are planning on teach in English, Maths and Science now that the SATS tests for their age group have been abolished.

If the recent emails I've been receiving are anything to go by; they are about to be replaced with a year of utter nonsense focusing on such gems as 'model making' 'creative thinking' and 'pupil driven unstructured work' That will certainly help us compete on a global stage, then.

There are two problems here:

1) The kids waste a year before the GCSE syllabus starts in Year 10.

2) The Government will conclude that teachers and schools can't be trusted to educate children unless they are told exactly what to teach and when to do it.