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What do they mean...

This sounds like the teacher's equivalent of a lifestyle makeover. Out of the blue, a couple of nauseatingly bubbly people from the Department for Education and Skills will turn up and completely transform your whole working life in half an hour, and then invite you in to have a look at it.

Or it might appear as an insert in your favourite education newspaper:

"Would you like to reduce your burden, improve your working conditions, increase your job satisfaction, and make you ideas and aspirations a reality? Yes? Then you need Workforce Remodelling!"

It sounds too good to be true. They really do have our best interests at heart. All right, it's enlightened self-interest: after all, a happy teacher is a good teacher. But it makes a nice change from being got at.

And it's all so wonderfully adaptable, ready to be shaped to our every need.

Needless to say, this being a bureaucratic initiative, behind the golden promises lurks a leaden sea of wet-blanket phrases (if you're going to mix your metaphors, do it properly, I say.). So look out for the joint advice, and on no account confuse it with the joint guidance. Peer cautiously around doorways lest you meet the Implementation Review Unit. And by the way there is a also a "dedicated network of trained LEA remodelling champions", which sounds horribly like where we came in. We at St Jude's have put together our own package of ideas and aspirations. We thought of asking for twice as much money for half the work, but that still left us underpaid and stressed out. So we have decided to halve the number of pupils as well. As we can't physically dispose of half of them (yet), we have introduced a lesson-sharing scheme instead. They have all been re-designated as half-pupils, and they come in on alternate days. As they only pay attention half the time anyway (if we're lucky) this doesn't make a lot of difference, but it means we can double all their marks and hit the top of the league tables at a stroke.

All we need now is a couple of nauseatingly bubbly people to come in and redecorate the place, and all our ideas and aspirations will be well and truly implemented.

timhomfray@aol.com

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