Nobody expects a British Education

Pupil: Trouble at school.

Teacher: Oh no – what kind of trouble?

Pupil: One on’t cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.

Teacher: Pardon?

Pupil: One on’t cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.

Teacher: I don’t understand what you’re saying.

Pupil: [slightly irritatedly and with exaggeratedly clear accent] One of the cross beams has gone out askew on the treadle.

Teacher: Well what on earth does that mean?

Pupil: *I* don’t know – Mr Wentworth just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the school, that’s all – I didn’t expect a kind of British Education.

[JARRING CHORD]

[The door flies open and Secretary of State for Education enters, flanked by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector and a SpAd]

EdSec: NOBODY expects the British Education! Our chief aim is literacy… literacy and numeracy… numeracy and literacy… Our two aims are numeracy and literacy… and creativity… Our *three* aims are numeracy, literacy, and creativity… and an almost fanatical devotion to British values… Our *four*… no… *Amongst* our aims… Amongst our chief aims… are such elements as numeracy, literacy… I’ll come in again.

[The British Education exits]

Pupil: I didn’t expect a kind of British Education.

[JARRING CHORD]

[The educationalists burst in]

EdSec: NOBODY expects the British Education! Amongst our aims are such diverse elements as: numeracy, literacy, creativity, an almost fanatical devotion to British values… and the forming of reflective independent collaborative problem solving self-managers – oh damn!

[To the HMCI] I can’t say it – you’ll have to say it.

HMCI: What?

EdSec: You’ll have to say the bit about ‘Our chief aims are …’

HMCI: [rather horrified] I couldn’t do that…

[The EdSec bundles the other two outside again]

Pupil: I didn’t expect a kind of British Education.

[JARRING CHORD]

[The educationalists enter]

HMCI: Er… Nobody… um….

EdSec: Expects…

HMCI: Expects… Nobody expects the… um… the British… um…

EdSec: Education.

HMCI: I know, I know! Nobody expects the British Education. In fact, those who do expect –

EdSec: Our chief aims are…

HMCI: Our chief aims are… um… er…

EdSec: Literacy…

HMCI: Literacy and –

EdSec: Okay, stop. Stop. Stop there – stop there. Stop. Phew! Ah! Our chief aims are literacy… blah blah blah. SpAd, read the charges.

SpAd: You are hereby charged that you did on diverse dates fail to meet the aims of a British Education. ‘We are preparing students for jobs that don’t even -‘

HMCI: That’s enough.

[To Teacher] Now, how do you plead?

Teacher: We’re innocent.

EdSec: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

[DIABOLICAL LAUGHTER]

HMCI: We’ll soon change your mind about that!


(For a better and more serious discussion of this problem, in the post that inspired this, see @michaelfordham‘s blog here.)


(This blog post was originally posted on Staffrm)

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Nobody expects a British Education”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s