After a determined campaign by headline writers up and down the country, I'm glad to report that Andrea Charman is back at school, (no doubt planning to boil the school hamster even as we speak).
The 45th strongest teaching union, the ATL have complained about teachers being interviewed and rated by the kids. Whilst I'm just slightly sceptical about the teacher who claims that she didn't get a job because a child said that she wasn't as pretty as the other candidate, it does draw attention to something I moaned about at length in my book; ie 'the tail wagging the dog'. This is the growing practice of consulting the pupils on every decision made in the school, which was enthusiastically supported by naive teachers up and down the land. My own suggestion, for which I couldn't think of a suitable analogy; is that the pupils should sit still and keep quiet whilst the Senior Management makes a decision and then carries it through. (That last bit had to go in italics because it is a revolutionary concept in many schools.)
Another of the 476 teachers unions, the NASUWT; has declared that they are completely opposed to the idea of letting parents or companies set up their own taxpayer funded schools. Conservative Michael Grove has challenged them to run one themselves and show us all how it should be done. They didn't like that idea, which is fair enough I suppose; as they aren't really in the business of running schools; but bearing in mind that Mavis the dinner lady could do a better job than many heads, I don't think that the idea should be simply dismissed.