Finishing the Job
Old Etonians rule
8.55 am Knuckles Morgan is walking the corridors of the DFE singing 'I'm so happy'. She can't believe she's kept her job now that 'the head boy', my affectionate nickname for the PM, and his chums have been triumphantly re-elected. She's not the only one. Most people think it shows the government have written off education altogether, leaving a nonentity in charge. Not so sure. On the way to a meeting with a new high-powered special adviser parachuted in by Downing Street. I'm sure he'll know what's going on.
10.45 am Well now we know. Giles has filled us in. Not unusual to have an Old Etonian running things, but not one straight from the sixth form. Still I suppose they can do what they like now the people have actually embraced Toff Rule. What is astonishing, though, is the way that this remarkable young man, someone without any experience of the world, totally ignorant of the way that the great majority of people live, still has a complete and total belief in his right to rule, that he knows best about everything. He is a stunning endorsement of public school education at its best. As a nation we are truly blessed to be governed by such paragons. No wonder we are the envy of the world. Just wish he had at least a bit of a chin though.
Giles tells us that the government are very pleased with the way things are going. State education has been effectively privatised by stealth on the railway franchise model. Schools are already to all intents and purposes in 'private' hands and all that remains to be done is to introduce profit-making and it is mission accomplished. Of course, there are all sorts of covert ways that sponsors are lining their pockets but the government are planning at some point to actually allow for profit providers to operate openly. This is what we have to get ready for. He reckons his chum Tristram ('a very good chap, one of us really') is up for it, so there'll be no real opposition from Labour, but public opinion has to be put to sleep and the moment carefully chosen. Must give this some thought. I've a few ideas.
The other priority is to push forward as soon as possible with an Academy sponsored by News International. Once again Tristram is up for it but the moment has to be carefully chosen. Some people still regard Rupert Murdoch as the political equivalent of syphilis. And this is after he's been the right hand of every Prime Minister since Thatcher. Britain has been remade in his image which would mean that the whole country was syphilitic which is obviously not true.
One problem that he tells us about in complete confidence is the PM's worries about sending his sons to Eton or not. He was prepared to sacrifice his daughter to the state system, but his sons have just got to go to Eton. Apparently, he is thinking of retiring in a few years just so the boys can go to the best school in the world without it causing the government any political embarrassment. What a man! Prepared to sacrifice everything for the sake of his children - well, the boys at least. If only more parents were like that.
Giles promises us that the next few years are going to be an exciting time. The meeting ends when his nanny tells him its time for his morning nap. 'I'll tell the Morgan woman what government policy is later', he yawns.
12.00 am Bit of a problem with at the Anne Summers Free School where the head has been operating an escort agency and mail order business from the premises. Some raised liberal eyebrows about whether this is acceptable. Political correctness gone mad in my opinion. It's good to see a head showing some entrepreneurial initiative for a change. Sounds like a potential superhead to me. We had the same moaning about the Peter Stringfellow Free School. You would not believe the fuss made about pole-dancing being part of the curriculum! What these do-gooders don't realise is that 'Free' means sponsors are free to do what they like as long as it isn't anything progressive, radical, democratic or egalitarian. Give it the all clear
2.00 pm Visit the Dark Wood Academy where the students are colour-coded according to ability. This is the future surely. A truly dystopic vision that one can only hope catches on. The school is organised into houses according to ability at age 11, students wear different coloured uniforms and ability groups never mix. Different lunch-times and play areas. Have a look around Morlock House which is completely underground and where the students wear a grey overall style uniform. Really like the way the students touch their forelock to teachers and visitors. Very impressive. I suggest that some interaction between houses would be a good idea. Perhaps a fagging system where students from Morlock House work as servants for the more able and better-off. Could be tied in with work experience. The head promises to look at the idea. He tells me that he regards Dark Wood as 'the epitome of market-driven education'. Good man. Only criticism is that the Design Centre is named after that commie bastard William Morris, but he assures me that as far as the Academy is concerned Morris was an up-market wallpaper designer and his political ideas are just News from Nowhere.
There is some great work going on unheralded and unrewarded in our schools. Well not exactly unrewarded, the head is on over £200,000 with benefits, but still, he is worth every pound and more. Amazed he hasn't been knighted yet.
3.00 pm Have a quick look at the latest Teacher Dissatisfaction and Despair Survey. They are totally demoralised with growing numbers desperate to get out. Pay freezes, inspections, worsening conditions and workload are all doing their bit. The situation in London is particularly good with hardly any teachers able to get on the housing ladder. All very satisfactory. What is particularly amusing is that so many of them voted Toff in the general election! Wait until they get a taste of zero hours contracts! Disgraceful we still pay the bastards during the holidays! Still, give us time.
4.30 pm Think I might have come up with the way to slip for-profit education into the system. What about getting Tony Blair Associates to sponsor a for-profit Academy? This would have support right across the political spectrum. The great man started the privatisation of state education along with the privatisation of the NHS, after all, so it would be fitting to honour him when we finish the job. And of course he doesn't do anything unless it makes him shitloads of money. He's at a bit of a loose end since he sorted out the Middle East so he might welcome the opportunity to make a contribution back home. Looks a winner to me. We can call it The Brave New World Academy. The houses can all be named after his triumphs: Iraq House, WMD House, Afghanistan House, Privatisation House. We could even have an Alistair Campbell House. Yes, I'll do some more work on this before I show it to Giles. Wonder where Morgan has got to.