The Target Mafia strikes again. Closely following the booster class fiasco, another parcel of money has arrived in school with ludicrous instructions attached.
Now concentrate: pound;550 is to be spent on classroom support for literacy, one hour a day, three days a week for 18 weeks, for children in Years 3 and 4 who achieved 2C or less at key stage 1 English.
The fact that the Year 3 children are that fateful group who will sit key stage 2 national tests in 2002 and thereby seal the fate of one David Blunkett is purely coincidental. Apparently a weakness has been identified. By whom? No one asked us. Our Year 3 group is bright and will easily meet its targets.
We would like extra classroom support for our overcrowded reception classes, a part-time ICT technician, numeracy resources and more non-fiction books, but, sadly, there is no provision for us to trade our share of this money for things we really do need. If schools are to be run more like businesses, it is time the concept of the credit note was introduced.
Or we could try to sell our share to some other school. A notice in the newsagent's window, perhaps: "Unwanted gifts".