Picture the scene. Ireland at the beginning of 2008. It was the height of the Celtic Tiger. The Fianna Fáil tent was dripping in champagne and helicopter fuel. The Builders were driving Mercs and laughing at teachers. And the following adorned the front pages of the newspapers: “The principals of about 1,700 primary schools are to get a 31.5% increase in their allowances, but are the only large group to gain from benchmarking in the education sector.” And then all of a sudden the bubble burst.