That special little something...;Last Word;News and opinion

10th December 1999 at 00:00
It's the last Christmas of the 20th century so make it memorable by giving some really special presents. Here are a few ideas from my exclusive Teachers' Millennium Gift catalogue.


* Power-dressing outfit

HELP your favourite teacher get her performance-related pay award with this irresistible combination, consisting of sharp charcoal pin-striped two-piece suit and steel toe-capped black shoes, plus vamp make-up kit (pillar box lipstick and "who are you looking at, sunshine?" eyeliner). Big cash bonus guaranteed, as head and governors wilt. Hardbastard Makeovers Inc: pound;199.99.

* Spoof Curriculum 2000

SHE'LL LOVE these two fat 500-page books. Give her the first volume, with "Curriculum 2000" on the cover, and watch her face light up. Every page is blank! On the last page it simply says "Teach what the hell you like, who cares." Wonderful therapy.

Just when she's celebrating, slip her the second volume which is densely packed with a science hour, music hour, knitting hour, burping hour and a hundred other ludicrous prescriptions. Marquis de Sade Jokes Ltd: pound;29.99.


* Owzat!

Is your man a cricketing fanatic? He will love this England cricket kit, complete with four-foot wide stainless steel bat, hand-grenade disguised as cricket ball, and enormous fishing net to catch the ball when fielding. Sure to win him a place in the national side for the next test series against Lundy Island. Lords Helpus plc: pound;99.99.


* Carry on Privatising

Another hilarious send-up from the Carry On team. Hattie Jacques is the gullible headteacher conned by Sid James and Kenneth Williams into letting them run the school for profit. All the usual double entendre humour, like "We use the Private Finance Initiative and we're very proud of our private parts, aren't we Sid?" and "Cor, look at the performance-related bonus on that."

Cast: Miss Demeanour, Hattie Jacques; Sid Spiv, Sid James; Fred Fastbuck, Kenneth Williams; Reggie Ofsted, Ivor Checklist.

* Be a TTA millionaire

Special Christmas edition for students and experienced teachers organised by the Teacher Training Agency. Amiable host Chris Tarrant offers boxes for contestants to tick.

Trainees can only go up to 850 personal competencies, but experienced teachers can win up to a million tickboxes.

Sample "millionaire" question: "How should you hold a stick of chalk? Is it:

(A) in your fingers

(B) behind your ear

(C) in your mouth

(D) between your bum cheeks" The correct answer, according to the TTA, is (D), but then it never did know its fundamental orifice from its elbow.

FOR THE KIDS: * Generally sound maths

Are your children a complete Woodhead when it comes to doing sums? Buy them this magnificent OFSTED maths course and you'll always get top grades. Goes all the way up to fractions in a "generally sound" manner. Well above the national average. OFSTED Executive Toys Ltd: special discount price for teachers - half of pound;75 (that's pound;500, according to the chief inspector).

* National Learning Grid

This deluxe computer is just right for your class, complete with free connection to the Government's intergalactic knowledge network (at present just the multiplication tables up to 5 x 5, but more to come). There is an extra aid for teachers who lack confidence with ICT (a big plastic arrow stating "press this blue button to switch on, dummy!"). Ripoff Gizmos Ltd: pound;999.99.

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