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The Book of Job's Comforter

6th March 2000

David Blunkett is definitely a man who knows a daft idea on the back of a cigarette packet when he sees one. His two latest, closing failing schools and replacing them with City Academies and a new working day from 8-5 in Secondaries are reviewed here, in the professional spirit they really deserve.

And it came to pass that Moseless came down from the mount with a breeze block (so much cheaper than tablets) from the Lord Blunkadder. And the first commandment was that all failing schools shall be closed and opened as New Academies.
So the failing schools were closed and put together in the shining New Academy. Yeah, was there verily a new promised land.
But when they looked it was not a new academy but the same old building with a new name. And the pupils were also the same even unto Amroth the terrible, son of Jebut (or maybe Isaac depending on who you believe).
And the new academy did not thrive since it inherited all the old problems multiplied to the power of 10. There was a plague of fire alarms and some of the Philistines did not enter into the New Academy. Even did some turn one upon another and smite each other verily.
And lo, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. The people were mightily feared and did say so. So Moseless established a committee of the chosen ones to advise on the way forward. And thus ended the second term.

8-5 School Day — Sounds Good to me. At long last David Blunkett has come up with a really good idea. More work for teachers. Hurrah, we needed that to fill the slot from 10pm to midnight.

Keeping schools open from 8 in the morning til 5 pm will keep the kids off the street (main priority) and ensure teachers don't have time to think.

Lots more breakfast activities and after school learning experiences, with A levels in any case scheduled to run until after 5pm. According to Blunkett it is nonsense 'having schools close mid afternoon'. Silly us, we thought that they actually were open, but for staff meetings, preparation, INSET etc.

Fortunately, staffing all this extra education will be no problem. True, there will be very few volunteers since staff work too hard already. But there will be the new breed of 'Fast Track' teachers, who have no contractual limits, who can be compelled to do it, then go home and prepare lessons and a project for their Saturday INSET.

Then there are those foolish enough to go for the threshold payments thinking there is no catch. Surprise!!! Mr Blunkett hasn't finished looking at conditions of service yet.

You've been warned. Read my lips: "No promotion without more work"


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