DAVID Blunkett may have failed to raise their morale (it's his "challenge for the coming year" he ruefully told Radio 5 Live) but teachers can take comfort in one bit of news that shows how much they're valued.
This year's Teachers' Oscars will be handed out at a glittering event at London's most prestigious venue: yes, the Millennium Dome.
Winners will be in the best of company - only a few months ago, the wonder tent playd host to Miss World.
Next month's beauty contest might have been jeopardised had dome secretary Lord Charlie Falconer decided to pull the plug on the oddly unpopular attraction. Instead, he threw untold millions at it to keep it open a few more weeks.
We can only assume that Lord Puttnam, whose baby the Oscars are, persuaded Charlie just how important they are.
Oh, and nominees - don't forget your swimwear.