The Teach First initiative, currently being documented in BBC3′ ‘Tough Young Teachers’, is now offering franchises in other disciplines including Flying Big Airplanes and Open-heart Surgery (beginners). The underpinning principle of Teach First is that top graduates can be fast-tracked into front-line teaching on the back of six weeks training. Michael Gove is a keen supporter of the scheme, reasoning that as his own career was built on a short ‘Teach Yourself Journalism’ correspondence course, learning how to teach children must be a doddle.
“A big advantage of this nice cheap set-up” says Gove “is that Trainees learn just enough to pick up some flashy headline-grabbing tricks – but not quite enough to realise how little they actually know. It’s a very fine line for our Trainers to walk and of course they’ve had lengthy training for their role”.
Gove rejects any criticism of ‘Tough Young Teachers’ that is based simply on the show’s high proportion of public-school graduates. “Utter nonsense!” whined the Secretary of State “As soon as I heard that kind of sniping, I dismissed it as left-wing rubbish. My own opinion is usually good enough for me but I also checked with my wife, who writes words at the Daily Mail for a job, and she agreed with me”.
“I’m a man of great integrity, just ask my wife,” he continued “so, to be certain, I did more detailed research on my own; a straw poll at the following Cabinet meeting. Extrapolation from the data I collected showed there are more public schoolboys in the population than you might suppose. If anything, they’re statistically under-represented in Tough Young Teachers.”
With the first franchisee in each new discipline guaranteed their own reality TV series on BBC3, filming of ‘Tough Young Checkouts’ has already been completed. “I’ve been on a six week intensive robot course” said Ben Jeffrey from Harold’s Tesco Express “but I still find it hard being told ‘just sod off and scan my shopping’ when I ask how a customer’s day has been. I’m worried I may now be over-qualified”.
In contrast, Gove accepts that one or two trainee Pilots have found themselves a teensie-weensie bit under-prepared for their full-on 747 duties. Episode 1 of ‘Tough Young Pilots’ ends with newbie Dan Brooks looking a little concerned. “Well, we’re up here somehow, so I’ve obviously got the take-off nailed,” says Brooks to camera, adding “If I get the broadband hooked up and the ‘Now Try to Land It’ module downloaded before we get to JFK, there’s a good chance of me getting this bugger down in one lump”.