May 21, 2003
Today's big story – I don't know the story

Today's big British National Education Story is about a school in Croydon which sent its pupils home early because it couldn't afford to teach them, this being because it couldn't afford substitute teachers.

My problem is that when I see a nationalised industry resisting "cuts" by this time honoured technique, which is basically to treat the exact people for whom it all is supposedly being done with maximum and very public neglect, I smell technique rather than reality. If your job is seeing to widows and orphans and you want more money, the standard procedure is to round up a few of your saddest looking widows and most appealingly photogenic orphans, and some newspaper photographers, and chuck the widows and orphans in the gutter in front of the newspaper photographers, and stand next to it all wailing "Look what you made me do!"

Lacking detailed inside knowledge of this particular school, I have no idea whether this is grandstanding or a genuine cry for help.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 10:32 AM
Category: Politics