Brendan Leach, a school maths teacher for twenty-three years has finally worked out that, actually, it was his own time he'd been wasting.
'Teacher training consisted of three years learning when it was appropriate to touch a student - never - and to learn parrot-fashion how to conclude "it's your time you're wasting". There was a bit about Pythagoras, decimal multiplication and fractions, but nothing about the real tools for teaching, such as the "spoon of learning",' he said today.
'The "spoon of learning" is the only way to achieve grade A* results that allow the school to keep its funding and teachers their sanity,' he added. He demonstrated by pulling a spoon out of his tweed jacket's top pocket and inserting it in your reporter's mouth. 'That traditionally is how you get a C,' he said. Holding the spoon away from the reporter he added, 'and if you wanted to get a B, in the old days, students would have to walk towards the spoon, do some of the work'. Popping the spoon in his top pocket he declared that in a 'fair and just society, those who wanted an A grade would bring their own spoon'.
'But today they don't need their own spoon, don't need to walk towards yours and if the teacher doesn't ram it down their little gullets he or she gets the sack,' he said. 'So, they can waste all the time they like, and still end up with qualifications that would have been unbelievable twenty years ago and could get any high-flying job they fancied as long as they had the gift of the gab and friends in the right places' he added.
Eton School was unavailable for comment.