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Amused, in a despairingly cynical way, to see that the best the Tories can come up with as an educational policy is to give teachers the power to seize iPods. Tories would also “introduce a longer term plan to attract a higher grade of graduate into the teaching profession. [Shadow education secretary Michael] Gove is looking at Singapore, where only the top 30% of graduates are allowed to become teachers.”

The bit they’ve left out about the Singapore system is that the Ministry of Education in Singapore offers a bonded system (the MOE Teaching Scholarship), where they’ll fund the teacher’s entire degree, including maintenance and flights if you study abroad in return for a promise of at least 4-6 years service in the Singapore education. If you fail the degree, or don’t fulfil the bond, you are liable for liquidated damages.

One of Obama’s education advisors has been telling the new President similar good things about Singapore (Obama education advisor thinks U.S. schools could take a lesson from Finland and Singapore) but they seem to have a very different take on the story to the UK tories. How could such a generous scheme get turned into ‘We’ll only let the top 30% of graduates into teaching’, with no mention of funding or context? Or is the power to confiscate iPods the thing that is going to attract all those high-flying graduates?

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist