Futures Delivery Taskforce - Worm, Inch

1st May 2009 at 01:00

ITEM 1: OUTREACH. Ever since the departmental intranet announced that our taskforce was going on Eggheads we've been bombarded with snippy notes from the Public Perception Unit. Make sure you're prepared. Get a general knowledge coach. Oh, please. We don't wish to sound arrogant but we ARE a top-level think tank. It's our job to be across EVERYTHING, how much cleverer do they imagine we could be? Literally nothing can go wrong.

ITEM 2: ASTRONOMY. The Committee for Physics Renewal wants suggestions for Astronomy Day. "What about a wallchart with famous footballers as Signs of the Zodiac?" says Sandra. "Football's always popular, isn't it?" Idiot. "There are 12 star signs but only 11 people in a football team," says Max, on behalf of us all. "But suppose the referee's in that team's half," says Caz. "He could be Scorpio, say." We're all thinking the same thing - hope Sport doesn't come up on Eggheads. Short of acquiring an astronomical crystal ball or something, there's no way of knowing.

ITEM 3: BEHAVIOUR. The Department has asked us to look at ways of addressing this difficult and disruptive problem. It only takes a few wilful individuals to spoil things for the rest of the teaching community. So the plan is to adopt a zero-tolerance policy. Everything from low-level bad behaviour - sarcastic remarks in the staffroom about how Ed Balls has a face like a balloon, say - to seriously bad behaviour: boycotting Sats, going on strike over the National Challenge, wearing trainers to work. "Maybe there should be Behaviour Ladders for teachers!" suggests Owen. Nobody knows what they are. Sandra has a guess. "Perhaps it's like a Naughty Step, but the badder you've been, the higher the rung you have to sit on ... ". Hmm. We put Behaviour in the "Still Thinking" pile.

ITEM 4: ACCOMMODATION. Memo from Estates. "The school buildings crisis is worsening. We need new ideas fast. Please don't say 'more temporary cabins'. We're looking for thinking outside the box." By afternoon tea we've brainpanned some 24-carat strategy gold. In the London area, they could use all those bendy buses being decommissioned. The seating might encourage classroom order and insurers should love the no-stairs aspect. Or, why not organise a whole-school history project to recreate a Viking mead hall or a WW2 air raid shelter, then teach in it?

ITEM 5: LEARNERS. The popularity of Jim Knight, Minister for Schools and Learners, is in freefall. We're helping with the relaunch. Initial thoughts: get him to use spellcheck when blogging so he seems less of a pillock. And split his brief, leaving Jim with schools but hiving off learners to DVLA where, let's face it, they belong. Inchworm.

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