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On for a hiding

Schools use all sorts of tricks to fool the inspectors. Stern instruction or bribery are enough to get some classes to behave. Others only need coaching to look bright-eyed and give bright answers. But some hard cases are best removed from sight. How is this done? Next week's Dispatches, the Channel 4 programme which secretly filmed in schools, looks set to reveal some useful tips. For instance, one secondary allegedly sent more than 20 of its most difficult pupils on a day trip.

We are meant to be horrified. But creative schools will take inspiration and spot that this is also a good way to dispatch bad teachers when the inspectors call. But beware: the new short-notice inspections begin next term. Perhaps a future Dispatches will show us how to arrange such trips very quickly. An opportunity for lastminute.com?

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