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Dr John Spencer began his teaching career in 1981 armed with a Sinclair ZX81, thereby demonstrating two things at once: Firstly he was in at the very start of ICT in the classroom and secondly he is a sucker for duff technology. Thereafter he taught joining a start-up open source company as their Head of Education in 2002. Now John is bringing his iconoclastic disposition and tendency to throw a spanner in the works to blogging.

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£20K incentive to teach computing... would you?

One of your students WILL BE the next Alan Turing or Berners Lee

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Among the highlights of last week’s press releases were two education initiatives. 

To whit: 

"High-flying graduates are to be given a £20,000 golden handshake to train as computer science teachers. Ministers have asked Facebook, Microsoft and IBM to help design the training for the new teachers. Education Secretary Michael Gove said current information and communications technology (ICT) teacher training courses would be axed from next year. The move 'could not be more welcome or more necessary'," said Prof Steve Furber of the Royal Society.

"Entry tests for people wanting to become teachers will be more rigorous to raise the quality and standing of their tests in English, mathematics and reasoning from next September."

But where are we going to get these new teachers from? 

In the light of the above here is an open letter that should have been written by the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP to all downtrodden IT professionals:

"Dear potential Computing Teacher,

Are you a young UK graduate working in a 24/7 IT support company on a £23k a year with two weeks off for good behaviour? Are you fed up with CRM and ‘team bonding’ away days with colleagues you will never see again? And maybe, if just one more client files a ticket along the lines of  ‘my computer is going slow but it was alright yesterday’, you will inform them what they can do with it?

Are you on the edge.. is this you? 

If so, how would you like £20,000, up front... simply to change jobs?  How about a third of a year’s holiday on full pay, an index-linked pension you can access from age 55 and a £30k salary for starters? 

Sound too good to be true? Well think again pal, honest Mike will give you not only all this, but also a free Raspberry Pi computer!

Fill in a simple form and soon you will celebrating with your fellow high-flying teachers, who will train the next generation of computing students. We are backed by Facebook, Microsoft and IBM, so you can be sure of the highest standards of ethics and probity.

You must have at least a B in maths and English at GCSE, placing you amongst the elite of teachers, most of whom can neither spell nor count, let alone use a spreadsheet without a calculator... think how rapidly you will be promoted!

All you have to do is to spend five hours a day with hormonally challenged adolescents and be accountable for their progress in all areas of their lives. When not teaching, you will carry out tasks directed by sociopathic management types with low IQs (but you will used to that already). One of your students WILL BE the next Alan Turing or Berners Lee.

You know it makes sense... sign up now, your country needs you.

Mad Mike."

Job done, what are you waiting for?
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