Zoinks! A ghost story that's all too believable

8th April 2011 at 01:00

The Mystery Machine drives in the children's centre car park. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby climb out of the van.

Fred: This is the place, everyone. And we're here to solve a mystery.

Shaggy: But, like, where are we?

Daphne: It's a children's centre offering services for families with children under five.

Velma: It unofficially opened less than a year ago. And with the enthusiasm of its staff it quickly developed a packed timetable of activities for the local community.

Daphne: Like parent and toddler groups, soft play sessions and a childminders' cafe.

Shaggy: Cafe? Hear that Scoob?

Scooby: Scoobysnacks?

Fred: But before Christmas, in a bid to cut costs, the council earmarked it for possible closure. The staff were issued with "risk of redundancy" notices.

Shaggy: Yikes!

Velma: By January, it hadn't yet had its "designation" - the council assessment that signs it off as an official children's centre.

Daphne: So a date was set for the end of the month. The staff slogged to get all the documentation in order, despite the possibility of redundancy.

Fred: Then a fleet of builders' trucks and diggers arrived in the car park.

Velma: So we did some digging of our own. Turns out it was the start of a #163;250,000 extension with a health clinic and a parenting room ... for a children's centre under threat of closure.

Shaggy: Zoinks! That's one crazy idea.

Fred: That's right. And with the diggers in full swing, the day arrived for designation.

Daphne: But the assessor refused to do the appraisal because of the building work, leaving the demoralised staff even more deflated.

(Scooby trots off to the children's centre.)

Fred: It's now April, and the centre is closing.

Shaggy: But like, the building work is still going on, dudes.

Daphne: That's right Shaggy. It will finish two weeks after the centre has shut.

Velma: Which means the health clinic will then be ready for baby check-ups that will never take place.

Fred: There's one more twist. The council has rescheduled the designation. So the centre will be officially recognised for all the support it won't be giving the community.

Daphne: And it'll just be one empty centre full of ghosts.

Shaggy: But there's no such ... GHOSTS! (Scooby races out, chased by a scary figure in white. Fred puts out his foot and trips him up.)

Fred: Nice work, Scooby.

Velma: That's no ghost. It's just someone hiding their shame under a white sheet.

(Velma lifts the sheet, revealing a sheepish man. The gang gasp in unison.)

Fred: Why, it's the member of the council responsible for closing down the centre.

Council member: And I've gotten away with it too, despite you meddling kids.

The details of this story are true. Colin Dowland is headteacher of a junior school in north London.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now