Thursday, 15 May 2008

Scruffy McDuffy

"Who do we want? We want Scruffy. When do we want him? NOW!" Ah, a seminal moment of my childhood where 'Scruffy McDuffy' a Grange Hill teacher is fired for....being scruffy (dressing like Lofty Holloway in Eastenders.)

It seems that it also had a deep impact on Michael Gove, the Tory Education Spokesman. OK, a bit of respect, the Shadow Education Secretary. His latest eye-catching and profound policy is to support schools that crack down on scruffy teachers. Well done Michael, keep getting your homework in on time.

As it happens, a few days after the 'Scruffy Mcduffy' episode aired, I found myself caught up in a march to restore football to the school playground after it was banned slightly over-zealously by a dinner lady. 'What do we want? Football. When do we want it? NOW!" The march included all the girls who had the chance of liberation from macho 8 to 11-year olds taking over their entire play space but gallantly marched with us because they had a broader understanding that if you deny one kid of their liberty, you deny all.

The Headmaster soon had the entire march in the school. Put it this way, it was dealt with (quite brilliantly as it happens.) I'm sure that Michael Gove would have sat the whole thing out, maybe grassing up one or two ring-leaders. But it's quite clear that the march happened because of the scruffiness of the teachers of the school. I hope they were all disciplined.

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