Last week in The Times it was reported that a so-called Government behaviour expert had completed a four-year review and had concluded that ‘satisfactory performance’ should no longer be considered good enough. The study suggests that “moral principles” might be a very good thing to help certain individuals recognise that “when certain boundaries are crossed they will have to bear the consequences.” It is also said to include warnings on the dangers of putting embarrassing personal material on social-networking sites and of posting insulting or defamatory material on the internet.
Rather astonishingly, though, this review has nothing whatsoever to do with the Government’s grubby practices regarding second homes, expenses or internet smear-campaigns; the report is on Britain’s schools and schooling and recommends that lessons should be made much more fun (think Bingo and Blockbusters) and that all pupils’ work should be written with a fountain pen. Doodling on schoolbooks is definitely a no-no.
Sir Alan Steer, a retired head teacher (and Government behaviour expert?) who undertook the study on behalf of Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, said “Schools should aim for the highest possible standards of pupil behaviour.”
I wonder whether anyone else has been tempted to replace the words ‘school’ and ‘pupils’ with ‘Government’ and ‘MPs’?