John Major once famously tried to curry favour with teachers by promising a world "where the man in the woolly sweater and battered sedan ... is not the local teacher". Has the dream come to pass?
Regular readers will know that dodgy jumpers are proving difficult to budge in some staffrooms (Diary, March 14) but what of battered sedans? Chat on the TES website forum about the "ideal car for a teacher" suggests they too are putting up stiff resistance to the modernisers.
In answer to a teacher asking what should replace her "trusty, rusty Austin Mini", one old hand advised an "eight-year-old diesel Clio with a dent in every door panel. No self-respecting yob would ever nick it." Another admitted that pupils had refused to get in her "tatty old banger", preferring her head of department's car because it was 'less embarrassing".
One gnarled contributor recommended a tank, while another thought a Bradley armoured fighting vehicle more appropriate, because it combined protection from riotous youth with space for boxes of marking.
There is, however, hope for the "street cred" of the profession. In an effortless example of one-upmanship, one contributor casually inquired:
"I've got a BMW 3-Series, do you think that will put across the wrong impression as a PGCE student teacher?"