Posted 11th February 2013
I wish to formally apply to open my own free school and I need some signatures. No commitment required, a flighty interest in the concept will suffice. I will receive up to £333,000 to set up a secondary free school.
Mr Gove has abolished the restriction on schools having to be housed in buildings appropriate for education. Abolish the red tape so that we can get on with the business of raising standards, he said. We can open in shops, factories and other places.
My free school will bring us close to the 1950s style of living so missed by our nostalgic government education secretary. I am in advanced talks with a local Allotment Keepers Association to open a new school in their sheds. The government says you aren't entitled to ask where this may be. However, these allotment sheds are used mainly at weekends so it will be incredibly cost effective for us to use them as classrooms during daylight hours Monday to Friday. Clear blue, outside the box, entrepreneurial, innovative thinking, innit?
I met this strange old man on the allotments and he is happy to be our Earth Sciences teacher in my free school Kids will grow things, and, of course, save the planet from environmental oblivion. I understand Rosie, Jenny and Derek are also available.
We will not select children by ability but they will need to know Latin as we will be using up to date 1950s friendly Latin for all plants: Solanum tuberosum , exempli gratia, will be grown. Children will wear expensive striped blazers and “teachers” will wear gowns. This has worked for Toby Young – a lordly free school flagship all on his own – whose free school manages to attract very, very few low income families in South London.
We will return to 1950s schoolroom discipline minus the random beatings. The masters will shout a lot. This will, ipso facto, create the notion of obedience to rules, and end Mr Cameron’s broken society.
1950s rationing taught Mr Gove, many things about self-reliance and root vegetables and I know he will value an education based largely on this. Toilet facilities were outside in the 50s and we will return to that. And if you are wondering about showers, have you been outside this week?
Using my demagogic rights as self-selected school owner and Master of the Blazers and Digging Free School I will harangue the council to ensure that our earthy produce can be sold in the old Clintons Cards shop in Ware High Street – obliterating high street blight. We will promote capitalism in an eco-friendly manner.
Mr Gove will no doubt salivate at such inculcation of business sense. Students will not be paid but will consider Saturday opening of the shop as community service, voluntary work and work experience. Naturally we will support family life by closing on Sundays. Children will be allowed to grow some flowers to give to their mums on Mothers’ Day ending, obviously, family breakup.
Students will walk between the two sites and this exercise will be known as “PE lessons.” I have asked a retired colleague, Bertie, to get on his bike and design a cross country route to toughen them up.
The man responsible for the efficient delivery of education says free school sponsors can make a profit and I intend to do so. He says we can learn from private enterprise and I have done so – as you will see in the price of our turnips (Brassica rapa to our students)
Of course, there is a surplus of secondary places in Hertford & Ware and my proposal will merely make uneconomic sense and take resources away from the children in the five local schools. Serves them right, they don't sell potatoes, do they? Same for farmers undercut by my unpaid child labour; be more economic and compete, farmers! A recent survey showed we were lagging behind in international league tables of turnip production, behind even Russia, and it is on such tables that Mr Gove’s primeministerial aspirations depend.
Mr Gove set up the free school initiative appointing, without the mandatory advert or interview or any of that other left wing transparency ideology, the person most qualified: the 25 year old assistant to himself, Rachel Wolfe. Her one year old organization, The New Schools Network, was given £500,000 per year to support the creation of free schools. I will appoint staff in the same way.
Obviously I will be looking for staff to teach things but remember, Mr Gove wants the free school movement to utilize the best non-trained teachers (and squaddies) . If you can recite the Royal Line of Succession you could be my man. I may pay staff very little; the minimum wage appeals and will stop the lazy beggars from watching daytime TV. They will receive some food as well, especially turnips.
School, dinners? You need to ask?
When asked, Mr Gove, like that blonde woman, Chantelle Houghton (don’t ask how I remember, please) who won Big Brother a few years ago, said that he was , “Living the dream.” When asked how many kids attend free schools, his department declined to answer. When asked how much this programme is costing, his department declined to answer. Many, many millions so far and if you add the academy bribes to the free school nonsense you get around £10,000,000,000 (ten billion and counting.)
I’d love a chance to live my dream of how we could use £10,000,000,000 to educate our children, restart the economy, save the NHS, end child poverty and still have enough for a new striker at Tottenham.
PS The Free School concept is based on Miss Wolfe and Mr Gove’s reading of the Charter Schools in Sweden. An old season carrot to the first person to correctly guess which Scandinavian government says Charter Schools don’t work.
PPS I'd like to open a primary school as well; anyone know of a disused factory with chimneys kids could fit in?