I've been up in the Yorkshire Dales, walking in the hills and drinking Black Sheep Bitter. As we were beyond the reach of the internet, you have been spared my foolish prattle.
However all good things must come to an end, so I will start ranting and moaning again. If however, I can make a few readers smile and perhaps momentarily brighten up a gloomy day, then my efforts will have been worthwhile.
The school term began yesterday with a training day for many and the first reports of madness have already arrived in my inbox. 'Independent Learning' seems to be the buzzword for 2011 which basically means telling the kids to go and look it up themselves on the internet and accept whatever they find as correct. Hopefully nobody will ask the obvious question: 'Why do we need teachers then?'
'Free Schools' (ie schools that are not run by the Local Authority) will also feature prominently this year. The National Union of Teachers says that parents do not want them, whereas groups of parents who would prefer their child not to have to attend a 2000 pupil War Zone are busy setting them up. I'm sure that some will fail and others will excel, but it's worth asking yourself: 'Just what is my Local Council good at running?'
It's still far too early to judge what effect the increase in university tuition fees from 2012 will have on applications. I suspect fewer 2011 A Level students will take a gap year holiday in order to squeeze in an extra year of University before the rise. There may also be an impact on the Mickey Mouse establishments with their degrees in vegetable painting, but overall who knows?
There's bound to be a few more protests so that Tristram and Cecilia can tell their friends how they 'took on the Police', (before tripping over and scratching their new IPad anyway.)