Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday 23 April 2005

Does it matter what goes on in schools?

The usual kneejerk response from a union, in this case the National Union of Teachers (NUT). The union's General secretary Steve Sinnott, commenting on a forthcoming documentary to be broadcast on Five, about the secret filming carried out by a supply teacher to expose unruly pupil behaviour, said: "Low-level disruption is a significant problem in our schools. We do not need underhand methods for a cheap documentary to expose the problem." .

Now I would in most circumstances agree that illicit filming infringes a person's 'rights', but there are times when it is the only way to expose something that is either not known about, acknowledged or even imagined. How often does one hear the stock reply 'but you have no evidence' when some misdemeanour is being highlighted? Too often. Sometimes it is necessary to adopt devious tactics to expose bullies and cheats. Of course, such people (or in this case, perhaps the parents whose poor parenting skills will be exposed) cry 'it's not fair' when their wrongdoings are exposed.

I still can't quite work out, though, why a teachers' union representative should object to a light being shone upon a matter that must affect quite a lot of teachers, members of his union or other unions. Is it because the programme also exposes just how useless his union has been in this particular matter?

Read a synopsis of the programme to be broadcast next Wednesday at 8pm here.

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