Dear Mr. Cameron,
In common with many Labour MPs, I have been dismayed, shocked and angered, sexually aroused and then filled with self-loathing by your intervention yesterday (18/01/2010) on teaching.
I must say, your appeal to the baser instincts of parents who selfishly, without solidarity and collegiality seek a high standard of education for their children was breathtaking, and marks a dark day in the history of British politics.
As you may know, my background is in education. In the great constituency of Sickle and Hammer East, I was the Assistant Principal of Leon Trotsky High School (incorporating Bevan Primary, Prescott Nursery and Michael Foot Memorial SureStart), a school proud to be a comprehensive, and proud to serve the alternatively gifted children of the town of Sicklethwaite.
Our school delivered education and empowerment to children based on the principle that the excellence of others should not impede the mediocrity of the class. We developed special classes designed to ensure that the more ‘gifted’ and ‘intellectual’ students were kept at the same learning rate as the rest of the class, in order to ensure that children who couldn’t tell the difference between a compass and compasses and needed occasional surgery to remove pencil eraser tips from their nostrils would not feel enfeebled by show-offs and children of tories who disrupted the class by finishing basic comprehension before the rest.
As a result, I am proud to say that Sickle and Hammer East, and my school in particular, stood up to the pressures of league tables throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s with a resolute determination to remain in solidarity with the less naturally gifted in the bottom quartile of the tables. Any allegations that we failed inspections because I couldn’t understand the inspectorate questionnaires are entirely unfounded.
Your intervention today, suggesting that people with third class degrees should not be able to pursue a career in teaching is deeply disrespectful of the teachers at Leon Trotsky High, many of whom came into teaching because of a deeply held belief in education. Many of my former colleagues who hold BEd Passes and Thirds will be deeply hurt that you feel they shouldn’t teach our nation’s youth simply because they could not aspire to actually gaining a graduated degree.
You seemed to take pleasure today in turning teaching into something to which only the intelligent could aspire, when you said it would be a ‘blatantly elitist’ profession under the hated conservatives. Watching you on television I shed a tear for the thousands of future aimless graduates who could until today have seen teaching as a potential career, and I prayed that something really messed up happens and Gordon inexplicably wins a third term.
Yours in huffing, arms-folded disrespect,
Geraldine Dreadful MP BA (Oxon) BEd
Member for Sickle and Hammer East