On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

2nd December 2011 at 00:00

This week: Kelvin MacKenzie

At a time when journalistic ethics are in the headlines, it might seem unwise to take a fellow hack to task. But when it's former Sun editor Kelvin "Hillsborough, The Truth" MacKenzie, we must tuck in.

Mr MacKenzie, you see, has been leaked a memo apparently sent by Tess Walker, head of Ormiston Park Academy in Essex, to her staff ahead of this week's strike. At least, he thinks he has, but he can't be bothered to check, so he tells readers of his Daily Mail column that he "assumes it is genuine". Standards, Kelvin, standards.

According to the columnist, Ms Walker uses the memo to tell her staff that, contrary to rumours, she does not object to strike action and that they should "follow their conscience".

Kelvin, curiously, extrapolates from this that there's "no structured learning or formal discipline" at Ms Walker's school. However, the speediest of intercourse with Google reveals the school's latest inspection report: students "learn well" both alone and in groups, and behaviour is good.

Mr MacKenzie goes on to tell his reader that heads' union the ASCL is "massively in favour of headteachers striking". Um, no it isn't, Kelvin. Not at all. ASCL is against industrial action and has never voted on the issue.

Rarely has a place on the naughty step been more richly deserved.

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