Playground Duty

Teaching? A mugs game. The (mythical) long holidays, the (mythical) 3-30 finish, the (mythical) relaxed and friendly environment as you helped the enthusiastic next generation prepare for adult life…

Playground duty was the bane of my life when I was a teacher. Once a week you had to forgo the 15 minutes of peace in the staff room and that warm cup of coffee and patrol the school playground, breaking up fights, solving Rubik’s cubes and avoid being caught by those awful children’s jokes (If a bottle of medicine cures a cough what does half a bottle of medicine cure?).

So on a recent training session for schools in a northern council we talked to the delegates – mostly Headteachers – about the Publication scheme. We looked at the definition document listing the material the ICO recommended schools to pro-actively publish, we gave them the two common sense Act Now solutions (1. find all the relevant documents and put a paper copy of them in a ring binder in the school office then photocopy on demand or 2. turn them into PDFs and put them on the website so people can download what they want).

After considering all this and thinking for a moment or two one of the delegates (a headteacher no less) said  ” I don’t think we’ll bother with this. It’d take too long.”

What’s the punishment for forgetting to do playground duty?

Opprobium, embarrassment,  ridicule, double duty next week.

What’s the punishment for failing to carry out a duty under section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act for seven and a half years?

Over to you….

(The answer is 50% of a cough. Whatever you do don’t say half a cough).

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