John Walsh: 'If bouncers stand in for teachers, what on earth will the children learn?'

Share
Related Topics

The life of a supply teacher in the Armageddon of the classroom was never a bed of roses. Called in as a pale substitute for a respected teacher who'd gone off to have a baby, had fallen ill or been sent on some "refresher course," stand-in teachers were like koalas introduced to a bear-baiting pit.

They were seldom drawn from the top drawer of the teaching profession (had they been, they'd have been employed at Winchester or Charterhouse) and they were often weird compendia of vocal tics and behavioural mannerisms. I remember one called Mr Boggis who had wild staring eyes, theatrical hand gestures and seemed determined to elongate Russian place names into "Petrograaaard" and "Vlaaaardivostock." He was a gift to the pubescent satirists and pimply assassins of Syntax II class, and he lasted two sessions before retiring in tears to the staffroom and tendering his resignation.

I can understand, therefore, what has prompted schools in the Midlands to sign up professional bouncers, club doormen and ex-military personnel to go into the killing fields that men call state secondary schools, and become "cover supervisors" – that's cover as in "Cover me, men, rapid fire, I'm going in."

It's true. The National Union of Teachers, at its annual get-together in Cardiff, has said it's alarmed to find that many school heads now hire untrained staff from the more, ah, robust professions to take classes whose teachers have gone Awol.

A Midlands employment agency called Aspire People Ltd is urging ex-Marines, firemen, stunt men and other examples of paid muscle to consider taking jobs in schools as "hardcore cover," earning £70 a day to control the kids and "get involved in a school environment."

Does this mean the bouncers will do the actual teaching as well? Surely not. Things may not be perfect in the public sector, but I don't think we're ready to have our children taught by unqualified classroom pedagogues wearing shades and Hugo Boss suits and carrying clipboards. But if the new brand of bouncer-teachers were to be accepted in schools, what would the kids learn? About history, for instance?



Origins of the Russian Revolution.

Right. The revolution in 1917 got started because a bunch of Russian peasants wanted to get into the Winter Palace to join the nobs dancing a polka inside, right, but they weren't allowed in. They weren't on the list so no way. I'm not saying they were wrong, I'm just doing my job. Then this guy Lenin gets all mouthy, and insists the poor should all be treated same as the rich, with no red rope or nothing. The owner of the club, Sar Nicholas, says, "you poor people can't come in 'ere dressed like that, this is Smart Casual, can't you read?" But then the army only goes and mutinies and it all kicks off...



Origins of the Indian Mutiny

In 1857, right, India was like this huge Bombay nightclub, with lots of English guys behaving like they owned the place, and lots of Indians being told they were too lower -class to run the place. Everyone kept asking the Indians for ID, and talking about caste, and then they went and insisted that these religious people ate bullets covered in pork fat. Well, that's a situation waiting to happen. I don't hold with waving firearms about, someone could get hurt, I'm a bit of a diplomat, me. As for the pork fat, they could have offered some vol-au-vents or some nice club pretzels, I've seen that defuse a situation, but they wouldn't let it lie and then after the Cawnpore Massacre, it all kicked off...



Invasion of the Falkland Islands

Okay, the Falklands were like a backstreet club that everyone's forgotten and no-one knows who owns it, until this bunch of Latino ponces move in, do it up and start up the banging music until 3am. So the British say, "oi, you got some nerve, that's our club." But the Latino doormen say, "you're not coming in,'ere, it's too late, it's members- only, you're in the wrong uniform, sling your hook". We weren't 'aving that so we got this fleet of lads together, all tooled up, and hung around outside giving them a lot of eyeball. We were polite but firm, and we asked them to vacate the premises before there was any unpleasantness...

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Shanghai  

Is Russia and China’s ‘Nato of the East’ more than a Potemkin alliance?

Nigel Morris
A petition calling for Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party, to be included has been signed by nearly 200,000 people  

Let me list the reasons that the Green Party should definitely not be allowed into the TV election debates...

Mark Steel
US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines