There was some grumbling in the café of the (apparently) posh supermarket today about school in-service days. In England, these are taken at the discretion of individual schools, for the in-service education or professional development of teachers. Basically the staff are working while the children have a holiday; it can admittedly be very difficult for parents when children are at different schools. This got Mrs Oblique and I thinking about some radical changes which are long overdue in education.
- Why not allow parents to send their children in for INSET days? They could play while the teachers are doing whatever teachers do.
- School staff ought to be grateful to have these short breaks; they should feel privileged to have electricity, water, gas, etc. provided for them. In fact, they should pay the school for all these facilities.
- On second thoughts, this ridiculous professional development idea ought to stop. If teachers aren’t good enough, they should either get out or learn how to do it properly in their own time.
- School holidays are clearly too long. Much, much too long. This is the grumble of all parents. Parents actually have to acquaint themselves with their children, which is clearly not a good idea. Instead, we propose that staff should run free holiday clubs on all holiday days. These could start nice and early in the mornings- say 6 a.m.- and end at around 9 p.m. Regardless of ability, these could make sure that all children achieve good progress. It would enable staff to keep themselves active. They must get bored during the holidays. They could also do the cleaning, which would widen their experience.
- In fact, let’s extend this idea to weekends.
- In fact, school should run 365 days a year from 6 in the morning to 9 in the evening. Whatever do teachers do all the time?
- We get the impression that some parents feel that teachers are being inconsiderate in having any time off at all; and some teachers will argue that they won’t have any time to get home. To allay their fears, we are prepared to allow teachers to camp on the school field overnight. We might even provide tents. In return, they can cut the grass every morning. With school scissors.
- We have heard ridiculous tales of parents buying £40 and £50 gift tokens for teachers. Ridiculous. (Do we repeat ourselves? Tough.) We feel that teachers ought to buy presents for teachers instead. £100 tokens for each child in the class should do it.
- While we’re about it, the standards in education are apalling. Penalty clauses for underperformance will fix this. Let’s say… £250 for every child who doesn’t hit their targets.
It sounded much funnier when we were coming up with the ideas. I wonder how many people would agree with at least 50% of it. Happy holidays, staff and students.