Beyond our Ken – updated

The world of work is a strange one – perhaps stranger than many would like with redundancies and other job uncertainties on the increase – but often very straightforward.

Basically, you’re selling your time and your skills to someone prepared to pay you to work for them.

If you do a reasonable job you continue being employed (redundancy aside) and if you do better than expected you may even get some sort of bonus*, but, if you screw up, you may get demoted or possibly fired.

Either way it seems fair enough.

However, it doesn’t seem to be that way if you work for government departments in a high enough capacity.

So, Dr Ken Boston, the head of the QCA – the body that is responsible for curriculum testing – has resigned a few days before a report which details this summer’s fiasco is published.

He freely admits that he bollocksed things up and accepts full responsibility – very laudable.

However, by resigning he’s ensured that he can’t be sacked.

It seems to me that this evades accepting the consequences of screwing up and it’s not a course of action that the vast majority of people can afford to take.

If you resign, you don’t get benefits for several weeks but if you’re sacked you can start claiming straight away.

Some people might view his decision to resign to be an honourable one.

I view it as an unfairly privileged action that was taken by him so that ‘resigned’ can appear on his CV rather than ‘dismissed’.

It’s yet one more example of the lack of accountability that pervades the world of the highly-paid and ensures that they continue to fuck up over and over and over again.

* No bonuses here even though I’m pretty good at what I do – I’m self-employed. Mind you, I can sexually harrass myself with impunity and smoke at work when and where I want.

STOP PRESS: I’ve just read this on the BBC News site,

BBC education correspondent James Westhead said Mr Boston’s resignation on Saturday had not yet been accepted by the QCA, which could instead choose to sack him depending on the report’s findings.

Looks like someone at the QCA thinks a firing might be in order…


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