Am I the only dispirited educationist facing another bleak year ahead? Am I alone in wondering why it is that we have now reached the education "Noddy-land" pinpointed by Melanie Phillips in her book All Must Have Prizes?
I am referring, of course, to the 2004 New Year education honours list (TES, January 2).
In all my years of teaching and researching I have never read such a monstrous and insulting classification of the so-called great and good of education-service personnel (mind you, the yearly fiasco of the national Teaching Awards runs a close second in the dire "let's give all-and-sundry some brownie-points" stakes).
In the list we find a plethora of school caretakers (now called "site managers" or the Americanised "school janitor"), classroom assistants, volunteer classroom assistants and school-crossing wardens ("lollipop ladies") - all worthy people of course, but getting MBEs?
Education researchers and policy-makers (barely half-a-dozen make an appearance in the list), school secretaries, heads' PAs and school finance managers all seemed to have been overlooked for their prizes. As have the 400,000-plus schoolteachers.
Just who is it who adjudicates these annual awards?
Dr Christopher Knight
90 Crescent Drive