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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 04:21 GMT 05:21 UK
'Edu-babble' jargon under attack
By Sean Coughlan
BBC News, at the ATL conference

Teacher writing
The ATL conference agenda is littered with confusing acronyms
The "total vacuity" of educational jargon is to be attacked at a teachers' conference later.

Delegates at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers' conference will hear a call for the end of "edu-babble".

Incomprehensible jargon is often used as a status symbol within the profession, teachers will argue.

They will also call on the union to name and shame the worst examples of such "artificial" language.


While parents might have long struggled to understand the blizzard of educational acronyms and jargon, the motion to be debated at the ATL conference suggests many teachers are also irritated by such language.

Two teachers from Essex, Robin Bevan and Jeff Fair, will call on the conference to admit that "edu-babble" had developed "to the point where words are blended to total vacuity".

And it accuses educationalists of using such "pointless, artificial and incomprehensible expressions" as a "badge of status within the profession".

As part of a remedy for this "affliction" the teachers are calling on the union to publicise the worst examples to "restore clarity and dignity to professional dialogue".

Financial small print and local government regulations have traditionally been accused of being entangled by baffling and incomprehensible language.

Acronym roll call

But now education experts have also been attacked for joining the ranks of those who use unnecessarily complicated language.

While parents might be able to make sense of SATs, key stages and Inset days, what about EBD, Senco and NQTs?

And what about those levels within key stages?

The ATL's conference agenda has more than a few examples itself.

It highlights a call to press the STRB on the TLR and for better ICT for CPD?

And the roll call continues with CRB, PFI, HLTAs and WAMG.

Confused? The conference will hear later during the day from Alan Johnson of the DfES. Presumably not about his plans to be the DPM.

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