Spice up your conference

20th November 1998 at 00:00
Last year in Harrogate at the AOC conference I tracked down a rare Spice Girls karaoke album for my daughter, Ruby.

And now to spice up this year's conference, I have prepared a motion and left plenty of room for amendments from the likes of the SPA (Socialist Principals Alliance), RF (Risk and Franchise) or WiM (Women into Mischief).

"The AOC conference resolves that all members, on the penalty of forfeiting the privilege of membership, collectively and institutionally commit themselves to:

* embrace widening participation

* repeat the mantra "funding, funding and funding" in harmony with Unison,NUS and NATFHE

* put students first but register that this means cherishing all staff

* abandon yoyo pedagogy - literacy through unaided keyboarding

* celebrate the fact that colleges are where students fall in love and learn about life

* see human beings as human becomings and only occasionally as human goings

* work with people's strengths rather than pouncing on their weaknesses

* promote mutually agreed continual staff development

* root out bullying, discrimination, harassment, elitism, pedantry, nepotism and cronyism

* create fair procedures for appointment and promotion

* carry people along by consultation, negotiation and inviting positive critical involvement

* appreciate that it is often the friend who brings the bad news

* avoid shooting the messengers even if they are from NATFHE

* realise that continuous improvement need not mean incessant pain

* recognise that workload safeguards enhance rather than limit creativity and performance

* agree maximum teaching hours which you would be happy for your offspring to work

* believe that national off-the-peg advice does not have to be off-the-wall

* observe that managers' presenteeism blurs both precision and compassion in decision-making

* adhere to the maxim that holidays are not just for wimps

* make redundancies as rare as snow-flakes in May

* develop new Government-backed schemes for voluntary early retirement

* renounce feline obesity

* contend with the temptation to hoover up every travel opportunity * abstain from reminiscing, seeking retribution or gourmandising Chez Roger's

* back the new chief executive when he is taking leaps of faith in darkened rooms with NATFHE.

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