No jokers dealt from this pack of cards

28th September 2007 at 01:00
Wilson Blakey is headteacher of Drumchapel High in Glasgow (with apologies to Wink Martindale and Max Bygraves)

The executive director asked headteachers to bring their school improvement plan with them to the next heads' meeting . When they were asked to review what they had brought, one was seen to be playing with a pack of cards.

At the subsequent disciplinary hearing, which the headteacher was asked if he had any explanation to offer for this slur on the efficacy of improvement planning; on the key role of headteachers as officers of the council; and on the executive director as critical friend, before action was taken against him.

He said: "Sir, I would like to explain why a pack of cards helps me with the improvement agenda for education in this council.

"You see, when I look at the two, I think of the two sides that come together in a school under McCrone's collegiality.

"When I think of the three, I think of the three sides of the triangle in Assessment is for Learning. When I see the four, I think of the four capacities in A Curriculum for Excellence. And when I see the five, I think of the five national priorities.

"The six reminds me of the six-point scale used in quality assurance and the seven of the seven Scottish Executive outcomes for children and young people.

"When I think of the eight, it is the eight curricular themes in A Curriculum for Excellence. The nine tells me the nine action points to become a chartered teacher.

"And, of course, the 10 tells me of the 10 dimensions on a Journey to Excellence."

"And what of the rest of the pack?" the executive director asked.

"I have thought of that," he said: "The knave reminds me of the jacks of all trades who are the quality improvement officers.

"The queen reminds me of the education director, who provides a protecting cloak for all our responsibilities.

"The king reminds me of the one executive director, whose responsibilities include education, social work, lifelong learning, parks and recreation, cleansing operations, roads and cemeteries."

"And the ace?" he was asked.

The sapiental headteacher said: "That is what all of this is supposed to be about the poor bloody pupil who benefits from all this."

And the executive director said: "Now I know why I appointed you."

I know this happened, because I was that headteacher.

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