Saturday, October 21, 2006

MMGM

Time to start a new 'gone mad' category: micro-management. The latest candidate for MMGM is this latest wheeze from the DfES:

Schools in England are now having to log pupils' absences against a set of more than two dozen codes. These include different letters for family holidays - agreed, not agreed or extended - two types of lateness, and T for "traveller absence"...

The general secretary of the Association of School and College leaders, John Dunford, said: "This demonstrates how closely schools - and indeed pupils and parents - are now monitored by the government.

Indeed. The data goes on to the National Pupil Database, forming a detailed (and permanent) record of every child's dental appointments, religious observance and sporting tendencies. We can understand that a local authority might need to keep track of school attendance, but why does central government need to know that a child had a medical appointment?

The full list of codes is on the DfES website.

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