Inchworm

9th April 2010 at 01:00
The policy wonk whose heart isn't in it

Monday Now more details are emerging of The Gove's plan to have schools open on Saturdays for struggling pupils, it's starting to make sense. Not only will special "weekend teachers" be available for academic subjects, older pupils will be able to pursue vocational aims, for example, Janitor Studies.

Tuesday An exploratory meeting with James Havelock from NUDGE, the social engineering think tank. It gets off to an ominous start with his invitation to "call me Jimbo". In my exprience, Jimbos are either adulterers, or mental. Or both. "What do you know about the Gay Solution?" he says, apparently looking in three directions at once. "I ask because a certain amount of research funding might be coming our way from ... up there." He seems to be partially indicating the ceiling, or possibly Heaven. Obviously, I don't wish to appear ill-briefed, so I pretend to know all about the Gay Solution. "Excellent. Would you be interested in feeding us a few ideas from the world of education?" I hesitate, but not beyond the offer of remuneration.

Wednesday Oh bloody hell. Half an hour paddling in the shallow Conspiracy Theory end of the internet tells me all I need to know. The Gay Solution is a social engineering policy for "long-term community stability" based on the Blairite model for higher education. Only instead of getting 50 per cent of young people into university, Gay Solutionists want 50 per cent of young people to be OUT by key stage 2. Not only would this boost general levels of intelligence in children, it would substantially diminish crime, violence and many other social problems. Including teenage pregnancy. NUDGE's website even has a QA section. "Q: If we are to reduce the supply of young people, who will look after all our old people? A: Goodbye youth, hello euthanasia! ROFL. Although, NB: we're actually serious."

Thursday Oh dear. A survey of schoolchildren has revealed that fewer than 5 per cent of secondary pupils know who the secretary of state for education is. When asked "who is 'Ballsy'?" a staggering 62 per cent ticked "not sure, probably a graffiti artist or whatever".

Friday Send my "edugation" proposals to Call Me Jimbo:

Gay Stage 0: State nurseries to abandon principle of "learning can be fun" in favour of "glad to be Glee".

Gay Stage 1: All expressive arts to reference Lady Gaga.

Gay Stage 2: RE phased out and replaced with Gay Citizenship Studies.

Gay Stage 3: Jamie Oliver's Gay School Dinners Initiative.

Gay Stage 4: Pupils prepare for either GCSE, or LGBT level with same-sex cash bonus.

There. It's all harmless posturing, as there's no way NUDGE will ever find support for this. Easy money, and what possible trouble could it land me in?

Inchworm has moved from his previous home in 'TES Magazine' and will now appear in 'The TES' every week. Please send your suggestions to inchworm@tes.co.uk.

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