Have you noticed?;Briefing;Governors

29th January 1999 at 00:00
Primary classrooms are being looted again, this time for numeracy consultants. As if it were not difficult enough for governors to find good staff. Headships and deputy headships are notoriously difficult to fill: all that extra responsibility for so little financial reward.

Men in primary education have become as rare as female captains of industry. We had one at my school for a couple of years, but he was lured away, and we are back to using the male staff loo to store the head's and deputy's bicycles.

Fewer people want to train as teachers and they took away all the best English specialists to be literacy consultants. Now the numeracy hour calls for its own experts.

As they do not already exist, it is necessary to recruit from schools. The local authorities advertising in The TES all want "excellent classroom practitioners". So do we, but the local authorities are offering more money with less stress. Curiously, Oldham also wants someone creative with an "irrepressible sense of humour". Perhaps that is just part of the standard job description for Oldham - but the situation really is not funny.

Information technology experts will be next for the consultancy drain. Soon all we will have left in school will be a few geographers.

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