Sympathy zone

25th February 2000 at 00:00
TEACHERS ought to share some sympathy with the management of the Millennium Dome. Neither, it seems, can get it right whatever they do. There is a parallel between the way headlines about low attendances at the Thames-side tumescence gave way this week to tear-jerking stories about children turned away and the way anxiety about standards in schools turns into doubts about the reliability of exams whenever results improve.

Any celebration, it seems, brings out the curmudgeon in the national character.

Are we destined never to be happy unless we have something to be miserable about? Anyone surprised thatthis would be a sell-out week had clearly never been near Madame Tussaud's, The Natural History Musem or any of the dozens of other attractions at half-term.

Teachers, of course, have little option but to go at such times. And, though it may be unfashionable to say so, those who have ventured to the Dome are generally delighted with what it offers. The provident professionals from Hull who chartered their own train for the purpose took the simple precaution of booking in advance. But others turned away need not despair: the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich provides an excellent alternative.

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