On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

29th November 2013 at 00:00

This week: Boris Johnson

He was a star student at Eton College and studied at the University of Oxford but Boris Johnson was guilty of not doing his homework before one of his own conferences last week.

London's bumbling blond mayor was hosting an international summit on education when he was asked about the "worrying" fall in the number of students studying design and technology.

About 200,000 fewer young people had opted to take the subject at GCSE than the previous year, he was told by a member of the audience, before being asked what he could do to arrest the decline.

London's mayor said he was "shocked" to hear that such an important subject was failing to attract students, particularly as the capital needed more young people with these skills. Might it be, he pondered, because schools were compelled to steer their students to take some subjects over others?

Of course, it could have something to do with his own party's education policies, a fact the mayor seemed oblivious to. Had he swotted up before taking the stage, he might have been aware that schools are now judged on whether students achieve top marks in the English Baccalaureate group of "traditional" academic subjects - and that design and technology is not included.

So to the naughty step with Boris Johnson, where he can write a 1,000-word essay on the Conservatives' education reforms.

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