Those bloody teachers, eh? Forever up to no good.
Such reprobates are they, that the GTC is forcing through a new code of conduct to dictate exactly what they can and can't do.
The code, drawn up by the profession's watchdog, the General Teaching Council for England (GTC), says teachers must "maintain reasonable standards in their own behaviour that enable them to uphold public trust and confidence in the profession".
You know what it's like, gangs of them harassing old ladies, prostituting themselves for their next fix, pissing in doorways, that sort of thing.
Yes, of course it's bollocks. From talking to the teachers I know, they are already shit scared of living a normal life as it is, many now make damn sure that they don't teach anywhere near where they call home, and certainly not where they socialise. Not surprising seeing as even exhibiting a sense of humour can make national news.
Their union, in my opinion, makes a very valid point.
But Chris Keates, general secretary of Nasuwt, said the code, which was last revised four years ago, "gave the impression that teachers could not be trusted, and that their regulatory body needed to pin down their every activity and tell them how to behave".
The GTC, in their rebuttal, appear to agree that there isn't much of a problem with the behaviour of teachers.
The GTC has heard only two cases which related entirely to a teachers lawful but unacceptable conduct outside school, and in both cases the teacher received and accepted a reprimand.
So, why the need for this new code? Isn't it fixing something that ain't broke? The current arrangements seem to be perfectly adequate.
The GTC insist that the code will not lead to an intrusion into the private lives of teachers, but 10,000 teachers who have signed a petition against it would tend to disagree. And call me old-fashioned here, but when my kids go to school, I fully sign up to the principle of in loco parentis, so if they think their role is more difficult with the spectre of more draconian measures being targeted at them, I'm on their side.
This has more than a faint whiff of taking action for the sole purpose of being seen to do something with their £18m income [pdf]. And, at worst, it could be seen as a means of increasing that paltry figure of just two teachers being taken to task over legal activities which have no bearing whatsoever with their daytime, contracted, job of attempting to hammer something useful into the many obstructive shits in our comprehensive system.
Are the teachers over-reacting? Well, we won't know that until the code is operational and by then it could be too late. The accusation from the Nasuwt is that the wording is vague and could be implemented in a catch-all manner. If that is the case, teachers like Natasha Gray could be in the firing line ... and I make no excuse whatsoever for reproducing this picture.
Natasha's 'crime' was to place alluring pictures of herself on a web-site for aspiring models. It was in her own time, did not affect her teaching in any way, but was somehow picked up on by parents and/or pupils in her school, and a big fuss made of it.
If she was a rampant swinger and liked spending her weekends being gang-banged by Polish dwarves (whatever happened to Chris Cyrnik, by the way) it is still no-one's business. Her private life is her own.
If the new code would mean she was up on a charge from the education 'beaks', which is eminently possible the way the code is currently couched, then it is wrong-headed and can only serve to diminish teaching standards further by scaring high performing teachers (as Natasha was described) away from the profession. And that doesn't really help anyone, does it, as I have mentioned before.
Teachers in England 'poorly trained'
Teachers are England are among the least-qualified in the developed world, according to research.
Not too surprising considering the fact that the pressures placed upon them, for a not too impressive wage, have increased with every target-driven, dogmatic diktat from Labour. As former inspector of schools, Chris Woodhead, confirms.he said teachers were now expected to be more focused on "the challenges of social diversity than the excitement of teaching an academic subject".
"These days student teachers and aspirant headteachers are lobotomised into an unthinking acceptance of the Government's plans," he said. "Who would want to be a member of this non-profession?"
Zackerley. And as the lustre of the profession wanes, and teachers leave as a result, so must the entry criteria be lowered to fill the places required for a pupilship which is increasing.
As ever under Labour, the new code appears to be more unnecessary regulation, vaguely worded therefore increasing the possibility of unjust and unhelpful judgements, the result of which can only possibly discourage those with talent from enthusing about a career in education - when our system badly requires the enthusiastic and talented to take up teaching if schools aren't to continue churning out fuckwits with no more ambition than getting to perform in front of Simon Cowell on X Factor.
* As Pink Floyd might say today