YOU know you’re getting old when you start to agree with the Confederation of British Industry.
The big business body is having its annual chow-down in London this week, with various political leaders trooping in to tip their hats to the country’s “risk-takers” and “wealth-creators”.
A typical CBI conference is full of demands to dismantle planning regulations, repeal health and safety laws and rip up basic employment rights.
With all the social conscience of a Victorian mill-owner, at least you know where you stand with the confederation.
Or so I thought. But then the CBI went and confused me by saying a lot of things I agree with about schools.
The confederation’s thoughts on education were revealed this week, those thoughts being essentially: “I don’t care how many GCSEs they’ve got, these employees of the future that you’re churning out aren’t up to much.”
But – and here’s where Michael Gove could learn something – the bosses’ group does not then go on to blame those feckless, unionised, unsackable layabouts known as teachers.
Quite the opposite in fact.
“For too long, teachers have been constrained by an overly prescriptive curriculum,” according to a CBI report published this week.
“This has been coupled with political interference and what is experienced as constant criticism from politicians and the media.”
This, the report goes on to note, is one of the reasons why teachers’ morale is so low.
I couldn’t agree more. It’s something I’ve been saying on and off in this column for the last five years – no society achieves success by demonising its teachers.
Just this once, I wish the Government would listen to the CBI.