Skip to main content

The week

The week started with a splash - the TES pre-election debate. What more could anyone want than Ed Balls, Michael Gove and David Laws on stage discussing and interrogating education policy? Nearly 400 audience members scrambled to central London to take in the fracas live, while thousands more watched it streamed on t'interweb. What this means is that throughout the country there was collective head scratching when the shadow secretary of state referenced "knuckle-dragging ramapithecans". What in God's name is a ramapithecan? Has the former Times man been spending too much time with fellow ex-journo Boris Johnson? If so, the teachers of England deserve to know - the impact on its education system could be felt for some time.

Talking of Bozza, oh to have been a fly on the wall last Wednesday when he gathered the capital's secondary heads to his City Hall bosom and held court on the benefits of re-introducing Latin to their curricula. Fun, certainly, but given that the mayor has no authority over pre-16 education, p'raps he ought to concentrate on something other than Catallus. Like roads, maybe.

Talking of posh, there can be no doubt that the heads of England's world-famous public schools are resurgent. One can hardly open a newspaper at the moment without coming across one headteacher or another passing judgment on some issue. Tuesday saw the turn of HMC chair (and St Albans School head) Andrew Grant. Speaking at the Independent Schools Council conference, he told private school parents that they should not be embarrassed by their education choices and then harangued the remaining rich families who chose the local comp. As a wind-up line it is second to none. Is that Chris Keates' head exploding with rage you can hear in the distance?

One thing that all headteachers must now agree on is upping the CCTV coverage in the school kitchens. News broke on Wednesday that will have struck fear into the hearts of everyone involved with school grub. According to reports a cook at Stowe, a boarding school in Buckinghamshire, was arrested for poisoning the carrot and coriander soup. While you're tinkering with the CCTV sightlines you may as well train one of your other cameras on the useful supply of polonium-210 in the chemistry lab. Don't want that getting in the SMT tea.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you