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Overheard in the staffroom

The TES online forums are a hotbed of debate. Here is a taste of what users are saying. Join the discussion at: www.tes.co.ukstaffroom

BIRD FLU MEASURES

Duke1: I am concerned, in view of an article in The Times this week, that Britain has no plans to shut schools (in the event of a bird flu epidemic), given that children, especially primary ones, are the main transmitters of air-bound viruses. The US and some European countries have apparently decided that schools will need to close.

eduws: It has all been blown out of proportion by media scaremongering. I know of one school where parents are keeping children at home because a child in Year 6 has a bad cold and they are convinced this will turn into bird flu!

Andy_91: Schools should definitely close for the sake of the children.

Cinderella1: Well if bird flu hits our schools, there is no way that I would be working, for health and safety reasons.

Does anyone feel they can defend the White Paper on education?

21269: I'm here to be convinced, but frankly listening to Blair go on about how it's a good thing and saying "Trussst in meeee" just doesn't cut it.

Burdenpark: It will empower parents who will get to choose between the large number of local schools with lots of available capacity. Schools will be able to take over less successful schools. Parents and all sorts of fringe groups will be able to found new schools if the ex-local education authorities don't cater for their needs... Oh, if all else fails there are a lot of pages and it's probably more absorbent than Izal.

Middlemarch: As a head, I've been trying really hard to see the point of this paper. I think I've got it: it's designed to makemiddle-class parents (particularly in London) think the Government is doing something about their poor children's inability to get into the over-subscribed "good"

schools (ie those already full to capacity with other middle-class children).

UNHEALTHY SCHOOLS

Grouch: Now schools have spent tens of millions on wireless networks, studies show that the emissions may be quite harmful. In 20 years will there be adverts in papers similar to those aimed at people who worked in coal mines, encouraging those who worked in education to seek compensation for occupational injuries. Teachers' eye? Teachers' infertility syndrome?

These comments are personal opinions of contributors

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