Peace from all new initiatives

23rd December 2005 at 00:00
Dear Reader

All organised? Let's try a little Christmas quiz.

1. Is your turkey: a) Soaking in a baby bath full of brine? b) Collected from the butcher, ready to cook? c) In a Tesco freezer? d) Turkey? You mean it's Christmas already?

2. Are your presents: a) Wrapped and delivered? b)In the carrier bags? c) In the shops? d) Presents? My family and friends all left me this term...

Answers: mostly a) You're either fast track or food technology, then? b) Bang on schedule - have another Bailey's and get wrapping; c) NQT, are you? d) Time to stop writing the staff planself-evaluation form, headteacher: there's a non-school deadline looming and it's time to remind your family and friends who you are.

But seriously, reader, we're really touched that you've found a couple of minutes to flick through The TES, whether you're doing it in the middle of wrapping presents, during the Queen's Speech, or to avoid hitting the sales. And we know thousands of you will be sharing opinions on our online staffroom, even on Christmas Day. Frankly, you deserve a medal for getting through the term in one piece, let alone retaining some professional interest in matters educational. Goodness knows what the Government was thinking, but it piled on the agony from September. Anyone who has been anywhere near a school knows the autumn term is always a killer: so what did the politicians do? Demand wholesale staff restructuring, to be done at breakneck pace, thus setting teacher against management and delaying some much-needed new appointments.

And just to make sure there was no peace till Christmas, some joker threw in the new Ofsted format, so that even schools which did not get the impromptu inspection had to complete self-evaluation forms, just in case.

If we could grant a Christmas wish, it would be for the time to restore peace and goodwill in schools next term, with no new initiatives.

Politicians' revolts may mean you get just that. But for now, it's time to switch off from education and have a very happy holiday. We'll be back in January: see you then.

Best wishes, The TES

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