The Week

17th June 2011 at 01:00

Think back to the beginning of the week. A long time ago, eh? Plans for next September seemed like they were shaping up nicely. OK, so that pesky EBac came along a bit late in the day and required a hasty rethink ("Sorry, RE department, that promised staff member is heading the way of history"), but all that's sorted.

Then up popped Michael Gove at the National College on Thursday and ruined everything by announcing that the floor target for all secondaries will soon be rocketing to 40 per cent and 50 per cent by 2015. Time to call an emergency SMT meeting - and perhaps think about bolstering RE provision?

The other issue to contend with before the end of term is the small matter of the Massive Strike over pensions. This week, we got the results from the NUT and ATL ballots, with both - unsurprisingly - reporting strong numbers in favour of a walkout (although the turnouts weren't earth-shattering). As a result, the point of no return seems to have been reached, and the staff can go dust down those braziers. One fascinating question is whether public school teachers are going to follow their state-school brethren, as the ballots suggest. Let's hope so - there are surely few more enticing prospects than Eton's collective staffroom jostling their enrobed colleagues as they cross the picketline.

If Gove's latest pronouncements and looming industrial action weren't enough to get headteacher blood pressures rocketing, almost the entire education world came close to an aneurysm upon hearing on Saturday that the ultimate teacher hate-figure, Chris Woodhead, is off to see Her Maj. Interesting, really, that it has taken this long for the political classes to reward their favourite edu-hitman with a knighthood. At least he didn't have to wait as long as Sir Brucey.

And all the while we sit and wait for any number of reviews to be published - there's the Bew review of testing, the national curriculum review, the teacher training review and more. But I bet you'd forgotten about Carol Vorderman's review of maths teaching. Well, the big news is that it seems the Vord at the Board's taskforce is about to pronounce. Don't all gasp with excitement at once.

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