Monday, July 15, 2024
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Laura Perrins: Our schools do not need burnt-out bankers trading down to the chalkface


I want to give something back, not the money, but something ……

Praise the Lord. All is well in education as Lucy Kellaway, much-celebrated columnist at the Financial Times, has decided to become a teacher. She has done this quietly and through the usual route. Hah! Hardly – she has taken to The Times to signal her fabulous virtue that at the age of 57 she is giving ‘it’ all up.

‘Next year Kellaway starts training to be a maths teacher in a tough London state secondary. Kellaway is seeking the “higher-order” luxury of making a difference.’  You bet it’s a luxury! She is also setting up to inflict other burnt-out corporate types on poor unsuspecting teenagers. God help them.

This very, very wealthy woman who lives in an ‘architectural gem of a modern home in east London’ with absolutely nothing to lose has now decided she is going to bless the underlings with her talents as a teacher. Whether she would be any good at teaching we do not know, but I suspect that is beside the point.

I think this stinks. It is all about her. Pupils do not need exhausted ex-bankers who, having given the prime of their life to making money for themselves and others in the corporate world, now deign to slum it as a teacher.

I did a search on this piece and found the pronoun I a cool 41 times. Forty-one! Kellaway essentially admits it is all about her and her kind: “The sort of people who read the FT — bankers, managers, lawyers — by the time they’re 50 they’re completely burnt out. Some of them will want to play golf for the rest of their lives, but my hunch is that quite a few of them want to do something that is socially useful. Decades of corporate life will do that to you. Making rich people richer or endlessly firing people, it gets to you in the end.” I bet it does.

Kellaway also – and I am not kidding here – wants to re-shape the teaching working week to suit her type. “Kellaway will campaign for a three or four-day week for her recruits.” Well that is just spiffing. One does have to get to the golf course at least one day a week, don’t you know?

So excuse me if I do not salute Kellaway and all the other banking smurfs making their way to the local comprehensive. Instead I salute the teachers out there who dedicate the prime of their lives to teaching. They work long hours on low pay with wretched Ofsted breathing down their necks to teach our kids to read.

The teachers at my children’s school, at least, are awesome and are far more awesome then some ex-corporate chap wanting to save his soul and ‘give a little back.’ These teachers do not get to live in ‘architectural gems’ of houses, in fact they probably cannot afford their own modest family home on their pay. These teachers are the real deal and the real heroes of the education system.

(Image: adam w)

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