Chalk Talk: What a carry on over a new state boarding school
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Wednesday 01 May 2013
Controversy over the proposal to open a state boarding school for inner-city teenagers in the heart of the West Sussex countryside appears to have reached fever pitch.So much so that elements of the controversy have a distinct feeling of Carry On films about them.
Take, for instance, the decision by the local parish council serving the village of Stedham, where the school is to be sited, to hire a coach to drive round the leafy lanes around the school site to prove that the roads were unsuitable for such traffic. (Six coaches will deliver the pupils from Stockwell in south London every Monday morning and take them away again on Friday afternoon.)
According to Anne Reynolds, who chairs the parish council, the coach was constantly stumbling across tractors and the like in areas where it was impossible for two vehicles to pass. It would not have taken too much of a stretch of the imagination to see the coach with its load of pupils ended up in a ditch, she added.
Not to be outdone, Greg Martin, the headteacher of Durand primary academy in Stockwell, who is masterminding the project, insisted his side should take to the leafy lanes as well.
A coach was duly despatched and not only found that the route was used by other buses – 360 of them a week, according to Mr Martin – but also discovered a couple of alternative routes to use to get to the school.
You can imagine Hattie Jacques at the wheel of one coach and Charles Hawtrey at the other (for younger readers, these were stars of the Carry On films).
The whole saga begs the question, though: what would have happened if the two coaches had stumbled upon each other going in opposite directions? Which one would have given way?
Overheard from a teacher in an inner city school where reading standards had been dire but a substantial improvement has now taken place: "We knew we were succeeding when they started stealing the books."
Russell Brand accuses Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of a crying Orlando Bloom after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Air Algerie AH5017 crash: Jet fell 30,000 feet in three minutes ‘due to violent storm’
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- 1 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- < Previous
- Next >
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Supply teaching - A great w...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...
£111 - £163 per day + £111 - £163 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: The posi...
£64 - £69 per day + Competitive London rates of pay : Randstad Education Group...