Once upon a time, two secondary school teachers thought it would be a good idea to create a fun summer school during the long holidays of July and August.
They organised a range of activities at their school over two weeks. Attendance was voluntary. Children could choose whatever activity they liked.
The teachers did this because that was the kind of people they were. Their motivation was to see children enjoy themselves, to see them develop.
Other teachers, similarly motivated, joined in. They too were happy to give up several days of their holiday for the privilege of joining in with the children, strengthening bonds in an informal and fun setting.
Soon, the summer school was thriving. Children, parents and teachers were all benefiting from the summer school.
The Head Teacher was keen to keep the summer school going, After all, it helped his school stand out above the others in the area who might be competing for children.
But he had a slight anxiety. Because it was run on a purely voluntary and informal basis there was a danger that it could disappear as easily as it had appeared.
To assuage his anxiety, he decided to pay the teachers a nominal amount to reward them for their contribution and to ensure the continuation of the summer school.
The summer school continued to grow and flourish.
Then the Head Teacher retired and was replaced by another.
The new Head Teacher did not really understand the summer school. All he saw was an amount of money leaving the school’s coffers to pay for it. And what did it contribute to the school’s performance in league tables or Ofsted inspections?
He could have abolished the summer school, but he didn’t want to make himself too unpopular.
So he asked all the teachers to fill in a form to justify the money they receive from summer school. He did this because he thought the teachers were doing summer school for the extra money. He did not know they were doing summer school because that was just the kind of people they were.
So far no forms have been returned to his office. The summer school is unlikely take place in 2015.