Gordon Cairns

Too many euphemisms make a mockery of reports

It’s time to drop the clichés in school reports and focus on conveying the real issues as clearly as possible, writes one English teacher

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If a teacher had been given the task of writing the report on the Iraq war, we wouldn’t have waited more than five years for the findings to be published. This is not because of any brevity in a teacher’s writing style or ability to complete a task to a timetable.

The delay to the Chilcot Inquiry was caused by giving everyone who was criticised a right to reply. But with a teacher in charge, all of the participants in this chaotic conflict would have received a positive report, glossing over the catastrophic errors in order to save everyone’s feelings from being hurt, such is the blandly ...

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