Words don't come easy

2nd March 2001 at 00:00
Research fellow in education policy - Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR)

This week's job involves four walls, a thesaurus and some heavy duty full-frontal action.

No. Wrong paper. That's frontal lobe as in brain and thesaurus as in big book with lots of words, not dinosaur. Need more clues? Imagine moving in and out of Downing Street carrying policy papers full of phrases like "The teacher's role has been diminished by fundamental social and technological forces" - and you thought it was all down to Sharon's mum coming into school with a rolling pin.

Those still struggling for an answer will probably not be applying for the researcher's job at the IPPR, which my layperson's guide to policy wonks describes as a centre-left think tank. The IPPR is looking for someonewith a broad knowledge of education issues who can carry out independent research, organise events and has excellent admin skills - as well as the ability to write in polysyllables.

For around pound;20,000 a year you will co-lead a project looking into the future of teaching. The capacity to relate to senior figures in the policy world is highly desirable, so you will need to be up-to-date with Daily Mail leader columns.

But just as the words 'focus group' in the research briefing paper evoke cynicism, our eyes drift to the quote at the top.

"In a truly rational society, the best of us would be teachers, and the rest of us would have to settle for something less." Perhaps they mean well after all.

Contact Sophie Atkinson: s.atkinson@ippr.org.uk

Phil Revell

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