Pay Up Pay Up and Pay The Game

Education, or the lack thereof continues to be big news in the papers at the moment.

This week we have had the news that Mr. Gove is going to clamp down on school dinners. Schools will no longer be allowed to have tuck shops etc, sweet food will be strictly rationed, as will fatty food, pastry based food, food with salt in etc. Eventually schools will serve a feast of raw turnips in the shape of various parts of the anatomy and be damned.

I’ve often found that the best way to stop people eating unhealthy food is to simply take it away from them, offering instead, bland, tasteless food with little to no nutritional value because it will have been cooked to death for hours before it’s served, and bought on a shoe string budget for less money per day than offenders in prison are given for their nutritional needs. I do not see the need at all to reinstate proper cookery classes in schools, nor to try to educate people about food in an interesting way rather than showing them diagrams of what five portions of fruit a day look like and shouting at them.

Here we can see the influence of Mr Gove’s favoured 19th Century novel, written by an English author, of course. I believe he is modelling his school dinners policy on the classic Oliver Twist.

Last week he was making headlines for suggesting that the parents of children who misbehave should be punished until they make their children behave themselves. The punishment, of course, will begin with people having their benefit stopped, and fines for everyone else who isn’t on benefits. It is interesting that having your benefit cut was the first thing mentioned, implying that pretty much all the children who misbehave will naturally be coming from the lower echelons of society, because when do rich people ever misbehave themselves?

Politicians, for instance, who have in the main had top notch educations and who have enormous incomes, independent wealth and the trust of the people who vote for them, would never misappropriate money that doesn’t belong to them to spend on things they don’t need. Nor would they, for example, only bother to turn up for work when it serves their own interests, preferring to spend the rest of the time they should be in parliament, swimming in pools paid for by the public. They would never do that. They would never misbehave at all.

Ahem…

Yesterday the head of OFSTED hit the headlines for suggesting that parents who do not listen to their children read, should be fined.

Because, of course, money or the lack thereof is the answer to every educational problem we have. By the time parents have been fined for their child’s misdemeanours, fined for their child’s failure to read, and fined for wanting to take their children out of school for the day for any reason other than the violent death of a parent, all the educational problems that hamper our nation will be solved.

It does not matter that parents, many of whom are already struggling financially will not be able to feed or clothe their children, or pay their bills. The main thing is that by the time the child gets to school they will be too weak to misbehave and too hungry not to eat the lovely gruel that the kitchen staff will serve up to them. On their death beds they will be able to read an affecting speech about their demise with fluency and comprehension, which is a mercy, and will be reported verbatim in The Daily Mail.

A further up side of all this policy making is that burgeoning infant death rates will mean coffins will be nice and light, because starving has always been a marvellous cure for obesity. The job market will shape up, because there will be far fewer people in it. It’s all marvellous.

The only thing I worry about is the swelling number of funeral directors which these laws are bound to bring about.

But I’m sure Gove will find a way to break the unions when he’s finished breaking the education system.

8 responses to “Pay Up Pay Up and Pay The Game

  1. Depressingly true, and, by the looks of things, likely to get worse the longer the coalition remains in power. Still, it’s nice to know that the rich are getting richer, house prices are still rising and all’s well for the politicians and banking fraternity. Fair warms the cockles of your heart!

  2. Similar crap is happening to education here in BC, Canada. We teachers are currently on strike, fighting not only for our first (minimal) wage increase in four or five years, but for kids’ learning conditions which are also our working conditions. Our contract had been stripped of those hard-won items – twice – so our union took the government to court – twice – and won the case – twice. Still, the government is appealing the judgment. They say they have no money for any of our current contract demands. I wonder why?! After 15 or so years of this BS, we now have a woefully underfunded system here as well, with many overcrowded classrooms, little to no support for struggling learners and special-needs kids due to cutbacks in teaching and support staff positions, dirty schools because of cutbacks in custodial time, few supplies due to more cutbacks, schools without any librarians or counsellors at all due to even more cutbacks … I could go on, but it’s too upsetting. Besides, my picket shift starts soon. 😦

  3. All too depressingly true. The pittance that’s spent on school meals is horrifying, and one that particularly resonates. I was a cook on many excavations and had £5 per person per day as a budget – that was 10 – 15 years ago! Mind, the pittance that’s spent on educational supplies is equally horrifying – Pesk’s infants class ran out of money to buy felt-tip pens one year, in February, having dared to spend their budget on books for the children to read. The following year the teachers brought in books from their homes in an attempt to make the money last longer. We are bloody lucky to have such wonderful teachers and someone should force Gove to acknowledge that and celebrate (and pay) them accordingly rather than coming up with more ill-thought out methods to try and coerce teachers and parents to conform to his narrow minded, educationally barren and just plain nasty point of view.
    ‘k. Getting off my soap box now, but I mean to say, really!

    • It is horrifying that there is not enough money for books, or stationery or anything really. Where does it all go to?

  4. beautifully put, depressingly accurate.

  5. I wish it weren’t so accurate but I fear it is.

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