The week

14th January 2011 at 00:00

Stand by your seats. Ready for action. Here we go. Yup, you've guessed it; It's league table time again. You lucky little campers, you. Are you up or are you down? How will it affect your local reputation and what will the local paper say?

Adding to these pressures, the old charmer Michael Gove threw another spanner in the works this week. Actually, scrap that. Mr Gove threw an enormous great tool kit in and then tipped his chair back in a nonchalant fashion while he waited to see what would happen. He has, after all, included details of school accounts in one of the biggest data releases about secondaries in recent memory. If, as head of Nosuch Comprehensive, you have a harem of secretarial lovelies (male and female, of course) chattering away on the other side of your office door, you can be fairly certain that some snotty-nosed reporter from The Nosuch Advertiser will be in touch. He (or she) will be about to slap details of your spending on the front page ...

In all seriousness, do watch out. There's likely to be a lot of school and teacher bashing (and a wee bit of praising) about. Not only is there the traditional floor target of five good GCSEs (including English and maths) to use as an assault weapon on the profession, now there's the all-singing and all-dancing English Baccalaureate. So even if your school has made the grade with the old one, it's very likely critics and hacks will turn to the new one - your pupils need English, Maths, two sciences, a humanity and a modern foreign language to qualify - to use that as a handy missile. It was particularly supportive of the Coalition to unveil the details of this league table measure after pupils had been entered for this year's exams, eh?

On a brighter note, it's interesting to see that former schools minister David Miliband is taking up a post at his old school Haverstock Comprehensive, where he's going to teach politics in an unpaid capacity for 12 hours a week. Interesting, too, to dig out a TES cutting from 2003 when the then Blairite golden child first revisited his alma mater, describing himself as a "total square". I wouldn't expect pupils to be turning to you for advice in the school council elections, David ...

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