11th April 2008 at 01:00
"We used to live in one room, all 26 of us, no furniture, 'alf the floor was missing, and we were all 'uddled together in one corner for fear of falling," recalls one character in the famous 1970s Monty Python "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch.

"You were lucky to have a room! We used to have to live in a corridor!" replies another.

Recent comments by Kevin Brennan (below), the children's minister, could have been plucked straight from the script, as he evoked the "bad old days" of his former teaching career.

Speaking in an interview with The TES, he mused: "If you could go back 15 years in Tardis (from Dr Who), to when I was teaching, to the leaky Portakabin in Radyr Comprehensive, to my Year 8 and 9 history class, I think most teachers would walk out," he said.

"They'd take one look and walk out, or say 'Where's my teaching assistant support?'"

The Cardiff West MP's dreary scene was supposed to make modern day teachers feel grateful for their lot. Teachers didn't really realise how much better life was under Labour, he suggested.

Taking an even more intergalactic angle on the old "you don't even know you were born" line, he added: "I think there's been a dramatic change, which I think you only see if you've been into outer space, as I have for several years. Not literally, but you know what I'm saying."

Do we?

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now