We have ways of making you walk

25th September 1998 at 01:00
BREAK out the shovels. Forge those passports. Dust down the trousers with the false pockets and hidden sandbags - the escape committee is back.

Inactive for almost a decade, the unit has reformed to help inmates tunnel out of Stalag Education.

If Kommandant Blunkett thought his charges would find the new regime any better than the ruthless old one, he was sadly mistaken. The years of hard labour at the chalkface, the relentless red tape torture and Herr Woodhead's propaganda have taken their toll.

But teachers are a plucky breed and refuse to be ground down. And on the windswept clifftops of Cornwall, with buzzards circling overhead, the plotting begins ... or it will come half-term.

John Wilson, himself an escapee from adult education in Kent, is resurrecting the course he ran in the 1980s to help desperate teachers plot a new life.

Teachers have begun contacting him again after finding old leaflets about the course. "We thought perhaps there's a need for this again," he said.

Based in the hamlet of Zennor near Land's End, the course will help teachers recharge their batteries, re-examine their lives, fantasise about their ambitions, and then evaluate their skills and their options to leave.

Mr Wilson said:"We listen to their gripes and groans about teaching and let them get out their frustration as the first step. Then we think positive. "

Thousands contacted Mr Wilson first-time round, "some on the verge of nervous breakdown". They escaped to new lives - in business management or travelling around the world.

But would-be Steve McQueens must dash - there are only 15 places at half-term (Pounds 325 including accommodation and meals). Don't get tangled in the barbed wire. Nicolas Barnard

Details from John Wilson on 01736 797061.

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