September 11, 2003
A done deal that can't be done

The regulations and the initiatives pile up. Teachers have to do bureaucracy. The teachers protest. So a "deal" is done that says the teachers can just teach. But the schools have to pay other people to do bureaucracy. The schools may have a bit more money, but that was supposed to be for teaching, not bureaucracy, and in any case to get the extra money, you have to do bureaucracy. So, the schools can't make the deal work.

It has been hailed as the magic bullet, the deal that will slay the beast of bureaucracy and put an end to years of complaints from teachers that their work is choked by endless administration. The first stage of the three-year workload agreement was introduced last week, with the start of new school year.

But already it looks to be unravelling, with hundreds of schools claiming they cannot afford to employ the extra staff they need to make it work. Classroom unions have threatened industrial action unless head teachers stick to the new contractual limits imposed by the deal, but, with schools gripped in financial crisis, thousands of teachers have found themselves agreeing to do just as much cutting, pasting, typing and photocopying as ever before.

Plus, once they do employ all those bureaucrats, there'll be an interest group in place to keep the idiot bureaucratic regulations and bizarre initiatives in place for ever and ever. Education will then become "inherently" more expensive.

Don't read the national press about anything. It will only depress you.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:32 AM
Category: Sovietisation