In your own time - Cuts, Pritt Sticks, royals and minging mascots

28th May 2010 at 01:00
Deficit fixes, new Olympic duo and bonding over teacher acquittals dominate forum chat

Few major problems exist that teachers in the online staffroom cannot solve, given enough time and caffeine. Take the multi-billion pound national deficit. Their innovative solutions for cutting public spending would put the Treasury's brainstorming sessions to shame.

The teachers' first suggestions were, perhaps, inevitable: cut quangos, private consultants and the General Teaching Council. Voodoochild suggested that the first institutions to be axed should be Ofsted and the extended royal family - perhaps including Fergie, below - though "not the Queen, she does a good job".

Other ideas included slimming down school management teams, reducing the number of MPs and merging the roles of education secretary and schools minister.

But after that the blue-sky thinking flew right out of the box. Lurk_much proposed scrapping the Army ("we are an island - a Navy is enough"), the fire brigade ("things don't burn down often and insurance is cheap) and - most controversially - secondary teachers ("once kids can read they can Google it"). Not to be outdone, cariadwch suggested abolishing primary education to "just let the kids play".

Bigteacher's proposal was the most aggressive: "Return the British Navy to its former glorious role as the world's finest pirates, thus bringing in some much needed readies."

No one suggested scrapping the 2012 Olympics. However, its newly unveiled mascots, a pair of silvery one-eyed aliens, gained a decidedly mixed reaction.

Cuteinpuce said she was excited to learn that children's author Michael Morpurgo has written a story to explain the creatures, and that she was looking forward to showing the accompanying video to her pupils.

Giraffe, like many others, noted the similarity between the blue alien and his yellow friend and our new Prime Minister and his Lib Dem deputy. Henriettawasp did not like the mascots at all: "They make me feel slightly nauseous. Are they meant to look like lampreys?"

The staffroom was jubilant after another teacher was acquitted for assaulting a misbehaving pupil. Lynda May, of South Wales, was cleared by Swansea Crown Court after she explained she had hit the boy on the hand with a tube of Pritt Stick by accident.

Most teachers were outraged that such an apparently trivial case had ever reached court. "They'll never make the charge stick," said Shifter.

Others were simply impressed by the school's stationery supplies. "Lucky teacher to have Pritt Sticks to assault someone with ... they are like gold dust in my school," wrote Sparky1985. For thebigonion, the incident brought back bad memories. "I was once injured by a Pritt Stick - although in all honesty it may have been another brand such as UHU.

"I'd lent it to a kid, and when he said he'd finished with it I asked him to toss it back. He threw it rather fiercely and I didn't make a good job of catching it, and it hit me just above my left eye."

Meanwhile dizziblonde felt Pritt Stick was "overrated as a method of child-persecution". "Sellotape is the true choice of the professional."

- Join the debates:; mascots; pritt


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