Friday, August 04, 2006

Vicky Pollard in the nursery

This story was in all the papers a couple of days ago. Here is the Guardian's telling of it:

Nursery nurses with few qualifications and poor social skills risk creating a generation of Vicky Pollards, teachers' leaders warned yesterday.

Too many illiterate students were starting childcare courses as an easy way to get government grants paid to encourage students to stay in education, the Professional Association of Teachers warned.

Many young nursery staff dressed inappropriately and often discussed their drinking exploits in front of toddlers.

A couple of points...

The first (with my work hat on) is that if you can introduce the name of a well-known TV comedy character into your press release then journalists will lap it up. Basil Fawlty, Victor Meldrew, Kevin the teenager... they don't even need to be terribly recent as long as they were very popular in their day.

The second is that, whether it is fair or not, this story reminds us of one of the contradictions of New Labour's ideology. Working-class girls are seen as incapable of bringing up their own children, but give them a little training and they become skilled professionals who know better than any parent.

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