Last week I wrote this to Any Answers

Paddy Ashdown's story was touching but meaningless, and his idea that: "for God's sake, why can't you reward good teachers," like the ones that inspired him when he was at school? Well, on whose say so? How would you work it out? 

I well remember my inspirational teachers, and I myself often get emails etc from grateful ex-students. But it has to be said that several of these were gay pupils who "came out" to me and whom I looked after, icluding on occasion advising Nick and Dereck not to come out to all of Year 11, certainly not in Seacroft, Leeds in the 80s!  [They won't mind being named. They're well out now].

But I don't think there's a box to tick for that, and anyway, my reward was always job satisfaction; which was what we mostly go into education for: not just to teach them stuff, but to look after them at their moments of vulnerability, and make sure they're in a fit state to take it all in. And if not, while they are at school, but a later date when they are ready.

And maybe teachers' pay is not directly related to exam results, but whole schools stand or fall by them, and face closure or academisation because the traumatised asylum-seekers and poverty-stricken inner-city children just won't present their school with nice bouquets of A-Cs. 

And, let me tell you, children struggling with their sexuality, or with domestic violence aren't going to disclose anything to the new teachers; people they or their family have no history with, and then how they can their poor heads take in anything educational at all?

PS Please have Christine Blower on every week. She knows her stuff; she has read all of the documents; she presents her points in terms that anybody can understand; and she's polite, and doesn't try to score points for the sake of it. 

Unfortunately they asked if I would like to speak on the show, and I agreed to go for the make-a-fool-of-yourself-on-national-radio routine. 

I ended up discussing anything but the points that I wanted to make. Here's just two:

1. The threshold payment that both Hilary Benn and Jonathan Dimbleby mentioned, in my opinion, was just a distraction. The unions campaigned against it when it was introduced a few years back. Basically, if you thought you were a good teacher you filled in a very very complicated form, collected evidence to prove how good you were, your headteacher approved it, then you got an extra £2000 a year. On principle I did not apply for it, then watched all my colleagues earn shedloads more than me until a benign headteacher held my hand as I went through it. 

2. School governors, as I often write, are untrained amateurs. They might be experts in their own fields, but they are not trained nor paid to be governors. And, mostly, not elected. And not trained for the unarmed combat that is the governors' meeting. More on governors anon.