Further to His Satanic Majesty's post of yesterday on the subject of the teachers' strike, unfortunately one cannot resist adding a tuppenceworth.
Yesterday evening, while watching the Channel 4 News, my eyes were assailed by the sight of a fat old bearded clown posing as a teacher who I wouldn't want in front of my child until they had been de-loused, and a woman whinging about how she can't afford to buy a house. They were also assailed by a fat man called 'Bunting' mouthfarting about 'teaching' and by the sight of the 'Acting General Secretary' of the NUT, a pale female ideologue of a certain age with the kind of eyes one would expect to belong the Commissar of SMERSH.
The teaching professions in the United Kingdom are quite clearly an Augean Stables in serious need of a hosedown. They want their 4%, fine - this is the trade-off.
An end to the final salary pension scheme.
An end to the early retirement offers.
An end to the extended holidays - they can take 28 days and the statutories like everyone else, and use the time when the pupils are absent to refresh their memories about what it is they're actually supposed to be teaching.
Very much more fluid employment arrangements- if you're crap, you're out, same as in every other job.
The imposition of a no-strike policy.
And the introduction of personal liability for poor exam performance. You want to be paid like doctors and lawyers, fine - but you suffer the stresses that doctors and lawyers must work under. If you're incompetent, you should be capable of being sued as a result.
Teachers are overpaid for what they do. They have a cushy wee number, they enjoy better terms than virtually every other employment in the land and those engaged in it don't seem to realise it. The government, any government, should send out this very simple message to the teaching profession - shut up and get on with your work.