12th November 2010 at 00:00

Monday: Special interest groups are the bane of our lives here at the Department. I blame The Gove, wittering on about how education shouldn't be "one size fits all". It simply encourages the bastards. The free schoolUgg bootshalloumi lot, for instance. Size certainly matters to them. We've intimated to the pushy mother community that they could have just 16 to a classroom in their boutiquey bloody converted libraries and Methodist chapels. Not good enough: they refuse to have a class size above their own dress size. Parents of disadvantaged children are no easier. They are calling for a proportion of the so-called Fairness Premium to be ring-fenced for those with "minority issues". It's ridiculous. Nobody's going to agree to a Ginger Premium.

Tuesday: Brainstorming session. We have to invent a name for the cohort of young people emerging from the system between now and 2015. And it has to be positive, for political marketing purposes. Every bunch of clueless no-hopers since Generation X has been box-office poison. Plus, none of us can remember if we ever got to Generation Z or not. After some discussion, we decide the solution is to call them Generation A2 and assume that, as with license plates, we've gone through the alphabet and started again.

Wednesday: Road-test Generation A2 by getting a hapless junior minister to drop it into a dull speech during Prime Minister's Questions. "Let us hope, Mr Speaker, that like the ACTUAL A2, this so-called Generation A2 will go far in ... in both directions. And that they will, like the ACTUAL A2, prove an invaluable link between the United Kingdom and Europe. And that they, like the ACTUAL A2, may flow, er, smoothly and avoid congestion ... ". Idiot. Back to the drawing board.

Thursday: Decide to rebadge the emerging clump of young people Generation Zero, to reflect both a new beginning and the level of state assistance they should expect.

Friday: Oh-oh. There's trouble looming between The Gove and celebrity historian "Heavy Si" Schama. He was drafted in to help the Department rebuild Our Island Story from the historical ruins left by Labour. Years of faffing about with History's narrative had children leaving school convinced that Sir Walter Disraeli was a Nazi tobacconist. Now Schama's first draft of the Year 7 curriculum is in. He does indeed celebrate the glorious achievements of Britain on the world stage. Specifically, the 20th-century triumph of a welfare state. And a higher education system treasured for its nurturing of learning and enquiry, not for its value as "some ghastly economic nursery for corporate capitalism, accessible only to the rich". There's a war looming, and I don't think it will be very civil.

As intercepted by Ian Martin.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today