MAN IN GLASSES (for it is he): Good evening, viewers. Tonight, we are going to examine the impact of the government’s controversial new education policies ‘on the ground’, so to speak, at one of the first schools in the country to undergo forced academisation in the latest tranche of institutions deemed to be ‘failing’ or ‘coasting’ by Government ministers.
WHILE M.I.G. SPEAKS, BACKGROUND SHOTS OF A TYPICAL COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL BUILT IN THE 1970s APPEAR ON THE SCREEN.
WOMAN: Well, of course, the first we knew about the forced academisation was when the new management team from the SKARO Academy Chain arrived in their shiny new suits.
M.I.G.: And would you say that they’ve succeeded in driving up standards?
WOMAN: A little. The kids are a lot less scruffy since the Headteacher started exterminating anyone who had their top button undone. Or who didn’t know their target grades. Or didn’t make the expected level of progress. Or looked at SLT a bit funny. Mind you, they treated the staff in exactly the same way.
M.I.G: What? You mean that they held staff to the same exceptionally high standards as the children?
WOMAN: No, they exterminated them. Some of the older staff just couldn’t adjust to pushed around on castors with a sink plunger and an egg-whisk under their armpits whilst shouting “YOU WILL MAKE PROGRESS! OR! YOU! WILL! BE! EXTERMINATED!” in a loud, grating voice. But that’s part of the academy chain’s “corporate style” and one of the “non-negotiables”, as the Headteacher likes to call them. But the younger staff seem to be adapting well to new regime, especially those who entered on the SKARO Direct and EXTERMINATE First! routes. Actually, some of them seem to enjoy it . . .
THE CAMERA ZOOMS IN ON A SMALL Y7 CHILD STANDING ALONE IN THE PLAYGROUND. HE IS STANDING STIFFLY TO ATTENTION. EVERY FEW SECONDS, HE REFLEXIVELY AND REPETITIVELY CHECKS WHETHER HIS TOP BUTTON IS DONE UP. HIS EYES SWIVEL NERVOUSLY FROM SIDE TO SIDE. TUMBLEWEED BLOWS AROUND HIS FEET.
M.I.G.: Have the new leadership team exterminated many of the students?
WOMAN: A fair few. But as Mr Davros, the CEO of SKARO Academy, said in the newsletter, that we shouldn’t think of it as a form of ruthless mass murder, but rather as a “proactive measure to help ease the national pressure on school places”.
M.I.G.: I understand there was some unpleasantness involving a surprise Ofsted inspection?
WOMAN: Not really. I mean, the lead inspector was a bit suspicious when he found that the majority of the SLT were descended from an extraterrestrial race of humanoids know as the ‘Kaleds’. He said that sounded, well, a bit ‘un-British’ if you catch my drift.
M.I.G.: And what the leadership team do?
WOMAN: Well, two little doors opened up in the dome on top of Mr Davros’ head and two little union jack flags popped out and he started chanting “BRITSH VALUES! BRITSH VALUES! YOU MUST HAVE BRITISH VALUES!” before leading everyone in a rousing rendition of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.
M.I.G.: And what happened then?
WOMAN: Oh, they exterminated the Ofsted Lead Inspector.
WOMAN: Yeah. He undid his top button while they were singing.
M.I.G.: And how did the staff react to this?
WOMAN:To the Lead Inspector being reduced to a small pile of smoking ashes by an extraterrestrial death ray? Stunned, I think. Followed by some quiet smiles and handshakes and someone saying “I didn’t know we could do that…” Mind you, some of the inspection team didn’t look too displeased either…