Be wary of 'can you start on Monday?'

Be wary of 'can you start on Monday?'

I remember being a 16 year old in Scotland looking for work during the summer. I walked past a building site and asked if they needed any labourers. The guy looked me up and down and asked me if I was reliable...... I got the job.

"Can you start on Monday?" is what I'd expect someone looking for a labourer or kitchen hand to say. There are zero qualifications needed and you can't really do much damage. If you're crap, you're out on your ear by the end of the day, but there's no real risk taken by the employer.

"Can you start on Monday?" isn't something you should be hearing from a school, or any place, where your job is to take care of 'children'. If you have someone start off so quickly without doing at least some basic checks, you're putting those children's safety at risk. If my Thai wife knew that we were sending our daughter to a school who weren't doing a police-check on their teachers, our daughter would be pulled out quicker than you can say, "gross negligence". Yes, we can afford to send our kid to a good school, but that still doesn't make it okay or justifiable for others to be doing this.

If schools here don't mind employing any Tom, Dick or Harry who applies, that's up to them. I won't actively protest it. But dear God, don't celebrate it. It's up to schools how to run and manage themselves, but if you're employing random people without due diligence, you are putting children's safety and well-being at risk. That's a fact.

Celebrating (please note that this word has more than more definition) someone's right to put a child at risk because, "that's how they do it" isn't being open-minded and adaptable. It's actually looking down your nose at the local culture. Or to articulate it better, "it's the soft bigotry of low expectation".

John


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