Inchworm

17th September 2010 at 01:00
The policy wonk rethinking your profession

Monday: The Gove's furious. There he was, guest speaker of Brighton Conservative Men's Alliance, bleating on about the need for strong male role models. "It is with some pride I can announce that, according to recent research carried out by my department, one in 25 young men now works as a nursery teacher. And that's in Big Society schools alone ..." Of course, Sandra (IDIOT) had been murmuring along to Andrew Lloyd-Webber on her iPhone as she typed it up. The real summary: there's only ONE under-25 male nursery teacher in the ENTIRE COUNTRY. Embarrassing for The Gove, that's the second time he's cocked up in Brighton this year. In March, as shadow education secretary, he urged a Tory education conference in Hove to "shame Balls". Sandra (IDIOT, Mamma Mia! on iPhone) sent a mistyped briefing paper out, headed "GOVE PLEDGES TO SHAVE BALLS". Conclusion: "Brighton and Gove" just doesn't work, somehow.

Tuesday: Brainstorm ways of boosting Academy Status Take-Up. Photo Op Suggestion: get humorous animal mascot to visit compliant schools, tip huge sack of cash over headteacher's desk. Celebrity Endorsement: get Gareth Malone to be Academy Tsar and bring everyone together in song.

Wednesday: To the Donmar Warehouse for the first night of Toby Young's Kitchen, "a gripping three-act comedy melodrama set in contemporary Ealing". We follow Young's struggle as leader of the Free Schools Movement, eerily echoing the rise of Lech Walesa in 1980s Poland. Young assembles a team of badass parents prepared to take on The System. From early discussions about Cowes Week and eugenics, through a period of consensus over olives and white wine, to the inevitable series on BBC4, we nod along as conversational brilliance blossoms into lasting educational reform. I'm just about to go into the theatre when I get an urgent pre-arranged call to go to the pub instead.

Thursday: Literacy bedwetters need to up their presence on Google. The top search result for Synthetic Phonics is: "Detroit-based indie band The Synthetic Phonics". Top result for Shakespeare is: "fun fridge magnets - create your own naughty sonnets". Top result for Gove is: "nonsense word, coined by Edward Lear; vb intr. 'to ooze, or creep' OED."

Friday: Meeting of the Local Authorities Monitoring Group, set up to determine the effect of Departmental policies on councils. Early indicators? Local authorities a) feel increasingly powerless, b) think Gove is their slightly mental nemesis, c) expect their responsibilities to be reduced to bins and cycleways and d) are really pissed off. An excellent start.

As intercepted by Ian Martin.

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