What we'll do on our holidays...The last word

Ted Wragg

Fed up with all those "What to do in the summer" features in newspapers and magazines? Do not despair. Here is one specially for teachers.

Play "Spot the schoolie". Pick out the holidaymakers who are connected with schools. Tell-tale signs are: Teachers:

* have elbow patches on their wetsuits;

* do crossword puzzles in red pen;

* count people on and off buses, twice;

* shout at children who walk too near the edge of the kerb;

* organise a football match between the waiters and the porters, giving everyone a bib;

* divide each hour into 15-15-20-10-minute activities (primary only).


* pick up litter on the beach;

* stop people walking on grassy banks when it's raining;

* sstand up at breakfast and say: "I've received a complaint from a member of the public about poor behaviour outside the hotel";

* make people in queues stand in a straight line, no pushing;

* explain "PANDAS" and "the autumn package" to bewildered foreigners.


* always carry a sheaf of A4 papers under their arm, even at dinner;

* ask whether the tour bus was booked by competitive tender;

* go round soliciting the opinions of parents about the holiday;

* walk up and down the beach giving out newsletters on fundraising.

Food to eat abroad if you're homesick for British education:

* cock-up au vin;

* tripe ... la mode de Caen pig's ear;

* scrambled brains;

* cold turkey;

* fool's pudding;

* SATsumas;

* Hard cheese.

Simple cures for teachers' holiday problems:

* constipation - tell them the Office for Standards in Education is coming the second week in September;

* stomach upset - look at a pile of unmarked books, acts as an emetic;

* plane delayed - take 60 random numbers and calculate value-added between first 30 and second 30;

* hotel poor - rate everything as "below the national average", then put hotel under special measures and demand an action plan;

* lousy waiter asks for a tip - either say "Don't back horses", or demand written information under five headings and then write on it "Standards not yet met, so you're not going through the pay threshold".

Summer vacation professional development courses: Smarm Training offers the following one-week courses in El Dorado Hotel Benidorm (pound;499) or the Internazionale Skegness (pound;999):

* August 1 - Crawling to the top; bootlicking, obsequiousness, flattery and a host of other topics covered on this useful course for career advancement;

* August 8 - Managing a school in the 21st century; aimed at headteachers; topics include climbing the wall, tearing out hair, throwing a fit and buttock clenching;

* August 15 - Cordon bleu courses in France; learn how to cook the books, grill inspectors, roast miscreants;

* August 22 - What to do if parents complain their children aren't stretched; course covers the "medieval technique" (using a rack) and the "gravity method" (swinging from beam with weights attached to feet).

Finally, if you're getting bored, plan your own "eating hour" (15 minutes hors d'oeuvres, 15 minutes main course etc), work out how many valium tablets you can buy with your pound;2,000 threshold pay, or write a limerick about Ofsted (There was an inspector called Rick...).

Have a good summer.

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Ted Wragg

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