Thank God it's Friday

16th April 2004 at 01:00
Monday Half-term. My holiday begins with the packing of 110 trial exam papers. Unsurprisingly, the suitcase weighs in several pounds heavier than BA's baggage limit. I consider ditching the scripts at the airport, but decide the bins aren't big enough.

tuesday I read in an English newspaper that the Government is proposing an end to study leave for Year 11. All my precious weeks, post-GCSE, to catch up with the backlog of work from the rest of the year vanish at a stroke.

Although, given the state of the trial exams I'm marking, I concede that the Government might have a point.

wednesday Somebody, somewhere in the hotel, says they've heard something about another new exam system in which everyone can take as many exams as they want, whenever they want and as many times as they want, before cashing in their grades for some kind of grand prize qualification. "What a good idea," my informant tells me. "I remember collecting cigarette cards as a boy. There was fierce competition andI" An urgent appointment with the hotel swimming pool (for me, rather than him) prevents further discussion.

thursday The Government announces plans to make teachers personally responsible for youth crime: they - rather than the offender - will be sentenced for crimes their pupils have committed. "This measure," announces the government spokesman, "will force teachers to face up to responsibilities they have for so long evaded, no doubt while on holiday sunning themselves by hotel swimming pools pretending to mark exam papers.

Teachers must teach young people to obey the law or face the consequences of their miserable failure." I wake up. It's 2am. I do more marking.

friday Am I dreaming? Are there really plans to introduce random drug tests, administered by teachers and published as part of school league tables? Overseen by the new Office for Local Organisation and Administration of Drugs, or Ofload? With drug rehab programmes run in lesson time? And with repeat offenders taken into care? Their teacher's care? Visions of exam papers floating in the hotel swimming pool as men in white coats arrive at reception. End of the holiday. Beginning of the nightmare.

Tim Atkinson

Tim Atkinson is assistant head of Boston grammar school, Lincs

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

Comments

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