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."
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Khorasan: Muhsin al-Fadhli - the man leading a terror group more feared by US officials than Isis
'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
- 1 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...
£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...
£90 - £115 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently looking fo...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Job Share Year 3/4 Teacher...