On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

14th December 2012 at 00:00

This week: independent schools

The Christmas holidays are the light at the end of the tunnel that is the autumn term. A tunnel that can, at times, seem longer and darker than your average Scandinavian crime drama.

But one awkward fact, never to be discussed should teachers in the state and independent sectors convene, is that this long tunnel is, well, a bit longer for some than for others.

Yes, we're talking about the amount of time that those on either side of the private-state divide get to put their feet up. Specifically the fact that teachers at Anytown Independent will be calling it a day for 2012 at the end of this week, while their colleagues just down the road are likely to be slaving away at the chalk face for another week before they get a break.

Are teachers in fee-paying schools really any more tired than their colleagues in the state sector? Have they had to put up with more late nights of marking, more meddling from parents, more coughs and colds this term than teachers in comps?

Regardless, independent school teachers will be enjoying a week of gingerbread lattes, ice-skating and Christmas shopping, while their comprehensive counterparts will be clinging to sanity, desperately trying to ensure that the school carol concert isn't a flop. It just doesn't seem fair. And so for that reason, independent schools, we banish you to the Christmas naughty step.

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