Chalk Talk by Richard Garner: Two behaviour tsars – on their very best behaviour
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Thursday 05 July 2012
What happens if you put two behaviour tsars in the same room? Presumably, even if they disagreed, it wouldn't be fisticuffs at dawn because they are supposed to be showing exemplary standards of behaviour to the nation's children.
The question was posed by Graham Stuart, chairman of the Commons Select Committee on Education, as his MPs grilled the Government's current behaviour tsar, Charlie Taylor, over what would happen if he was placed in a room with the last Government's behaviour tsar, Sir Alan Steer.
Not a lot, thought Mr Taylor. The two, both being former headteachers, would agree with each other on a lot of things, he argued. The main difference, he added, was that he would be more concise in summing up what he thought for a report. Sir Alan, by comparison, did produce the odd blockbuster 150-page report.
Ouch! Over to you, Sir Alan.
Meanwhile, an interesting spat between Mr Stuart and Schools Minister Nick Gibb at the same evidence session. Mr Stuart was annoyed because his members had only been given a copy of a letter from Mr Taylor to Education Secretary Michael Gove summing up what action had been taken to implement reforms he had suggested the evening before the hearing. It was not enough time to analyse what was in the document, he said.
Also, in its response to a select committee report on discipline, it failed to mention it was conducting a questionnaire among teachers on their disciplinary practices – something the MPs themselves recommended.
How can we carry on if we cannot trust government responses to our deliberations? Mr Stuart continued.
I can sympathise wholeheartedly with Mr Stuart's plight. He should try being a journalist, though. Sometimes you don't get the necessary documents until after whatever event it is has taken place. Sometimes you don't get them at all.
We still do analysis, though.
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Russia has made 'big miscalculation' over Ukraine warns Hague
- 5 Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education is the largest ed...
£120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Experienced English Teacher in Gr...
£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Group: Year 5 and KS2 Teachers wanted ...
£120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: SEN English Teacher - Southend-On...