Wednesday, June 03, 2009

School days are the happiest days ...

Back in 1991, the secondary school of which I was a governor gave a concert, called 'Music Galore', performed by staff, parents and ex-students. Some talented person adorned the programme with this lively cartoon - it was not, however, captioned in the original.

When I got it home the temptation proved too much for me, and I set about identifying each of the characters performing before the curtain here. You will note that I have committed a serious error of political correctness, in that I have named the feet of the fallen character in the middle 'headmaster', when I should of course have written 'headteacher'.

At that time PC was regularly taking me by surprise, perhaps most on the occasion when a staff member said to me: "Oh no, don't ring then, because the phone won't be personned". It took me a double take to realise he meant "manned", and I was on the edge of laughing in his face and causing great offense, when I realised he was serious. He could have said "staffed", which would have worked much better.

I should explain that the DEO was the Divisional Education Officer; our Local Education Authority was divided into divisions, and at the time that I became a governor in the late 1980s, the DEO, on behalf of the Chief Education Officer, took the role of Clerk to all the Governing Bodies in his Division. He more or less ruled the roost where the governing body was concerned, but things were changing.

The government had passed new education acts in 1980 and 1986, governing bodies were becoming more powerful, with much heavier responsibilities, and they were beginning to demand their own individual clerks to help them cope with the extra work. In 1990 our Education Department appointed new Deputy Clerks for the purpose, together with a small budget to enable them to be paid. The DEO was still the top man, but didn't get his own way so often. So the Deputy Clerk in my picture was a very welcome novelty to the school at that time.
[I think that I was actually Chairman of Governors when I made this scurrilous addition to the drawing, but I'm not sure I ever had the courage to show it to anyone else!]

1 comment:

Pam said...

Interesting article, and funny cartoon!

In my humble opinion, if the head teacher at that time was a man, then there's nothing wrong with calling him a headmaster - and those feet on the floor do look as if they belong to a man