How not to allocate scarce resources

A personalised timetable is one of those cunning euphemisms that education specialises in.

For the uninitiated, it gives a sense of a learning being carefully designed to meet the needs of students. In reality, it's a way of schools being able to keep on roll students who they haven't been able to expel.

Students who get personalised timetables are those who've proved themselves so disruptive that the school decides they can't be kept in normal lessons. A personalised timetable has fewer lessons than a normal one. The school is pretty pleased about this as it keeps these kids off-site for much of the time. Someone else's issue.

They are, however, entitled to tuition in all of the core subjects. Our English department is therefore obliged to provide every member of this dream team with 1-1 tuition for two days each week.

So whereas the brightest and most determined students struggle to get the help and support they patently deserve, we offer it to those who have shown zero interest in their education. It's unproductive and it's unfair.