Byline: MELANIE PHILLIPS
YOU REALLY don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Tristram Jones-Parry is headmaster of Westminster, one of this country's most formidable independent schools and where Euan and Nicky Blair received private coaching.
As Mr Jones-Parry is retiring next year, he decided to offer his unrivalled expertise to the state sector as a maths teacher. To his astonishment, he was told that he was not suitably qualified because he hadn't completed a one-year postgraduate certificate in education.
This small but startling vignette sums up the terrible malaise that grips our education system. Britain is so desperately short of maths teachers that maths graduates are being offered [pounds sterling]5,000 'golden hellos' to induce them into teaching.
Yet we've turned away a man who, before he became headmaster, taught maths at Westminster for 21 years. For the boxticking bureaucrats who control the system, the proven excellence of Mr Jones-Parry counts for nothing next to a paper qualification designed for graduates who are wet behind the ears.
And yet at the very same time, the Government is not only asking the …