I started reading the Green Paper on teachers' pay in a mood of gloomy scepticism and finished it clapping my little hands in delight. Not just jam tomorrow, but Fortnum and Mason Black Cherry with a dollop of cream.
Ten minutes later, readers will be pleased to know my natural cynicism had re-asserted itself. While I am sure that teachers can learn to live with performance-related pay given a large enough incentive, will this scheme be fully and fairly funded?
Excellence points for classroom teachers have been available to governors for several years and we can also award annual increases to headteachers and deputies, but the money comes from the school's existing budget. This has only increased the anger and frustration of an overworked and underpaid profession as they see a favoured few rewarded at the expense of classroom resources, ancillary help and responsibility points.
If the Government provides funds to allow every eligible teacher to apply for assessment immediately the scheme is in operation, and pays for the army of external assessors needed to implement it, I may forgive them for Chris Woodhead and rejoin the Labour party. If they do not, the staffrooms of this country will need more than new kettles to appease their resentment.