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October 12, 2014


Dave Timoney

The original Hippocratic oath was mainly concerned with caste loyalty and demarcation, rather than ethics. The "virtuous" reading is a later, nineteenth-century interpretation, meant to distinguish a growing middle-class profession from the "selfish" oath-taking of trades unionists and Chartists. I'm sure Hunt is well aware of this background.

An Alien Visitor

Maybe asking pupils to take an oath would be a better way forward.

R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy)

A pupil oath is indeed a far more intelligent proposal - can we could also get them all to wear red scarves and teach them how to field-strip an AK47?


Surely Hunt and his ilk are the cause of the problem, they speak different messages out of the two corners of their collective mouth. On the one side 'better standards and commitment to excellence' and out of the other side 'keep down costs, never provide support'. The managerialists hear loud and clear the second message, the first message is reduced to a publicity puff. The usual kiss-up, kick-down management structure.

If I were a young person looking to take up teaching or medicine I think the idea of having some smarmy type with a clipboard and a dishonest agenda breathing down my neck would put me off.

An improvement might be more professionalism at the top, starting with a compulsory WikiCV (up-to-date, complete and truthful) for all senior public offices would make a good start.


It also misses the issue that the professional values teachers support are not homogenous. So whose values will the oath support. Old fashioned didactics or faddy "progressive" types. As a large proportion of teachers have managerial responsibilities will the oath encompass both the aims of managerialism/efficiency and the 'virtues of excellence'

Chris Purnell

*Easy fame* The popularity of the 'Educating...' series has teachers learning how to play to the camera and become *stars*. Worse: these are then used as showpiece acts as a type of *How to do it* where *it* is 'teaching'.


I fear you are being as uncharitable to Mr Hunt as he is being to teachers.

He is as constrained by systematic forces that prevent good policy making as teachers are constrained by forces out of their control.

Politician's failings are more often systematic than individual. (Let's except the Rt. Hon. Mr. Newmark from that last sentence.)

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