2nd April 2010 at 01:00
The policy wonk whose heart isn't in it

MONDAY: To a conference on science teaching organised by online parenting forum Dadsnet. One major concern is homework, and how fathers often struggle to help their children. Conclusion: the Government should appoint child mentors to help the dads.

TUESDAY: Great piece about Ballsy in one of the papers: A Vision For Our Children's Future - And Why It Requires Special Glasses. Yeah, my "3D Education" idea is certainly getting traction. It helps that Britain has the laziest journalists in the world. Not one of them has twigged that 3D Education is, in fact, a load of made-up bollocks. Idiots. Even better, I get a phone call from Scary Paula, Shadow Education Head Of Intelligence. Apparently, The Gove is desperate to find out more about the Immersive Learning Revolution. I agree, reluctantly, to meet her for lunch. She reminds me tartly that she knows very well that 3D Education is an invention of mine. And that I'd better do as she says or there will be serious trouble. "Yeah? I'm freelance OK, bitch? If you think I'm scared of you, think again. Now I have important people to speak to, so if you could just SHIT OFF that would be great," I say - about two minutes after she's hung up.

WEDNESDAY: Ridiculous, all this moral panic about drugs. "Should teachers confiscate miaow miaow from pupils?" I mean, come on. At less than #163;20 a gram they can afford to get it off the internet like everyone else.

THURSDAY: Lunch with Scary Paula. I'd forgotten just how severe she is. Cold food only, and ice in her Merlot. The reason she's so interested in 3D Education is the same reason Ballsy's so keen: it's a welcome distraction from the actual condition of many classrooms. Now The Gove has convened a panel of experts, humorously known as the Bricks and Mortar Board, to advise on commissioning new school buildings. They've told him it'll be much cheaper to issue 3D glasses that make everything look a bit "oo-er" than spend billions on physical refurbishment. I tell her that Ballsy's specs won't actually DO anything, they're lens-less. The idea is that children are "encouraged to learn in 3D", that is, as normal, just with stupid glasses on. She calls for the bill, severely.

FRIDAY: Oh, Scary Paula's good. The newspapers are full of how Ballsy's rushing through 3D educational hardware "despite the software not being ready". The Tories are calling for a new generation of 3D teachers capable of presenting multi-faceted versions of themselves in the classroom and putting on a bit of weight for "extra depth". Hmm, I might suggest Quad Teaching to Ballsy: one in each corner talking simultaneously, for a Surround Sound Education ...

Inchworm has moved from his previous home in 'TES Magazine' and will now appear in 'The TES' every week. Please send your suggestions to

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