An Education Minister and his personal secretary are talking

23rd March 2007 at 00:00

Graham Fowler eavesdrops

Secretary: Why did you say the diplomas will not be ready Minister?

Minister: We don't know when they will be delivered. They are coming together at different rates. Some employer groups have scarcely started.

There is a real danger the whole thing will turn into a fiasco.

Secretary: You can't say that either Minister! It will look as though they should have been better coordinated, as though you shouldn't have given them to employers to develop.

Minister: Why did I?

Secretary: No idea, Minister. You are not going to teach on the diplomas are you?

Minister: Of course not, there is no reason why I should.

Secretary: Precisely, Minister. And there is no reason why employers should teach on them either.

Minister: I didn't say they should.

Secretary: Yes you did, Minister. You said you wanted employers to be involved in developing the diplomas, and practitioners from the workplace to enter the classroom to teach potential recruits.

Minister: Did I? Well, we do want employers to have more say.

Secretary: Why is that, Minister?

Minister: It has been our policy. Employers are always saying they want more say.

Secretary: Perhaps so, Minister, but I have rarely heard them say they want to do more teaching!

Minister: I can now judge their willingness to be involved from the fact the diplomas are nowhere near ready.

Secretary: Indeed you can, Minister. Perhaps you should have stood more firmly against employer wishes. Then you could have put educators in charge and they would have co-ordinated the whole suite of diplomas, giving them a meaningful rationale.

Minister: It's too late for that.

Secretary: Not necessarily, Minister. Delay the diplomas for a year, as even employers want, and put educators in charge. You'll be surprised the difference it makes having someone running things who knows what they are doing.

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