Monday: The Gove has been having lunch with teachers again, I can tell. They're clearly briefing him on how to deal with troublemakers in the middle class. Inciting him to be hardass at the start of term, then nicer later on. So now this newly enthused Gove The Merciless has ordered an Audit Of Homework Excuses. Why? Because, frankly, he doesn't believe a dog ate any of them. He's hardening his image as the Coalition's sensitive tough guy. We've even thought of a slogan for him at Conference: "No more slacking - let's get cracking!" According to his regular driver, "Mr Michael" is now trying out different slogan deliveries. The funniest apparently is his mockney Alan Sugar Voice. After "get cracking" he points and barks: "You're INSPIRED!"
Tuesday: We're still backpedalling on special needs. Those Disability Review bastards really served up a double bollocking. The term "special needs" is used too widely; poor teaching is often the problem. Our response is twofold. (1) biting, anonymous comments on the Guardian website calling the authors of the review "special nerds". (2) go to lunch.
Wednesday: A tsunami of shit hit the Department when people found out that Rupert Murdoch was planning to sponsor an academy. Honestly, you'd think we were trying to take education downmarket. It's not as if we expect bustier members of staff to get their tits out. We're not asking for the curriculum to be crammed with sport. But try telling that to the bloggers. Especially the fat ones in glasses. They think a Murdoch Academy would be one short step from a Hitler Youth Club. FACT: News International's school will be like any other. The same rich mix of information and opinion. The same human interest, and content. Though obviously paywalled.
Thursday: Headline: "Young Harmed By Unsuitable TV". Pff, so what? Our Toby has to decide whether he wants to be a poster boy for the free school movement, or a celebrity contestant on Come Dine With Me.
Friday: The homework excuse audit is in. "Eaten by dog" is actually way down the list. The top five are:
l "On the advice of my lawyers I have taken out a superinjunction forbidding me from telling you why I could not do the homework. The matter is sub judice."
l "Skating disaster. I just steezed out that landing TOO sick, boing, it fell out me pocket."
l "I done it on special biodegradable paper that biodegraded too quick, it was mental."
l "It was robbed off me by plagiarists."
l "My productivity inevitably suffered a slump, ahead of fears that you might lose your job in The Cuts, Miss."
As intercepted by Ian Martin.