Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Come School with Me

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Come School with Me

Article excerpt

Today I would like to address the crisis in the education system. For I know it is an issue that keeps New Statesman readers awake at night.

When you and your partner first set up house, life was simple. You were both in well-paid jobs - you were deputy head of human resources with a left-wing council; he/she was a regional organiser with a public-sector union. Naturally you bought half a Victorian house somewhere edgy and cool; the burglaries and carjackings just added to the vibrancy of the place.

Then you had children. Suddenly you were confronted with the challenge of educating them. "Edgy" is no longer so attractive when you send Che and Rosa off to school with your fingers crossed that you won't be collecting them from A&E.

If you were both in full-time work, you could move from your funky urban village to the sort of suburb you despise: dull places with grass verges, where the schools don't have metal detectors and five GCSEs are the minimum, rather than the maximum, expectation. You've even been having quiet conversations about the merits of private education. After all, it didn't do either of you much harm.

Luckily for you, I've noted the hole in the market, and I don't mean the empty doorway where your ganja dealer used to lurk. No, I've identified the desperate need for somewhere you sad, conflicted fools can send your children.

That is why today I am taking advantage of Michael Gove s radical project for destroying state education, to announce the setting up of the Alan B'Stard Academy. …

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