Our think tank convenes at 10-ish, and is usually "thought out" well before 5. This week though we're in mental overdrive: 9am and everyone's ready with notebooks, fruit pots, muffins and cappuccini. Scary Paula's coming next week to do individual assessments, and we've got a daunting backlog. Including 67 surveys waiting for creative feedback. Panic. Then Owen - genius - says, why don't we put them all in a pile marked "Transitional"? We can advise the Department to commission a survey of all current surveys, "to get a clearer picture of where we are in terms of survey aspirations and objectives". Brilliant. As we blue-sky thinkers say, the next best thing to analysis is paralysis. We have a little break.
ITEM 2: GAY LEVELS
Guidance sought from Equal Opps: when do we think people are old enough to learn about same-sex relationships? They're talking about teachers of course; these days most of them need ID to get served in a pub. No sense of history. Who now remembers the 80s, and the fuss over Clause 28? Sandra pipes up: "I do. Weren't they that electro-pop group with the weird hair?" Idiot. Ah, lunch. Bit late today: catering layoffs, apparently. Better get a move on, it won't eat itself. Starters, main, pudding, cheeseboard. That's a lot of coursework.
ITEM 3: SPORTS
The Great PE Makeover is playing well in the media ("pupils love non-traditional school sports such as skateboarding and street dance"). Now we've been asked to "developmentalise the brand". Nobody knows what street dance is, and anyway, shouldn't they be in school? Oh well, you can't stop progress. The war against Hitler may have been won on school playing fields but the war against Obesity will be won on the Wii. After a lot of thought, we come up with a slogan. Fit For Purpose: Plugging PE Into A Life-Sport System. We also suggest that, while the insurers clearly aren't paying attention, schools may as well expand PhysEd 2.0 with hip-hop trampolining, cage fighting and BMX jousting.
ITEM 4: UNRULY PARENTS
The Department needs to issue a position paper, but has discovered it doesn't have a clear methodology for dealing with aggressive and violent parents. We discard ankle-sweeps (too risky) and Mace (possible collateral damage) and suggest all teachers be issued with tranquilliser guns. If it works, perhaps this anger management solution could be extended to unruly pupils. We put a smiley face at the end of our note to allow for irony, if required.
ITEM 5: TIDY-UP TIME
After tea and biscuits - ominously there are only two kinds today and no garibaldi - we make sure everything's ready for Scary Paula. We divide up the urgent stuff to "work on at home". Sandra's busy chucking papers into a bin bag marked "Transitional".
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