Predictions for 2018

Twelve months, twelve predictions. Not to be taken seriously.

January

After Storm Gertrude brings up to 50cm of snow across the country, all schools are told to stay open in order to showcase the great resilience of British children. Many parents rebel and keep their children at home, citing their children’s human rights. They all go off sledging instead.

February

In a government initiative designed to put Cabinet ministers more in touch with their briefs, Justine Greening spends a week teaching Year 3 in an East Anglian primary school. The pupils say afterwards, ‘She was really nice, but we didn’t quite understand what she was talking about.’

March

The State Council of the People’s Republic of China announces that all Chinese teachers must go and live in Finland for a year in order to become, innovative, progressive risk-takers.’ Shares in Finnair rise by 230% overnight.

April

A new set of PISA tables is published. The tables measure the extent to which 12-year-olds across the world understand their role as ‘global citizens’. Surprisingly, England’s students come second out of 62 participating nations. A rather baffled British press puts the success down to ‘our readiness for the post-Brexit global landscape.’ (N.B. North Korea comes first).

May

There is widespread unease after the Year 6 Maths SAT contains the following question. ‘If A is C and D is 5, what is the square root of x when it is drowned in hydrochloric acid?’ The DfE responds by saying, ‘Our pupils need to be able to reason better.’

June

The ‘after party’, which follows the traditional Year 11 prom, is taken to extremes at one Berkshire school. The entire group rush straight from the party to a five-day Mediterranean cruise. Parents gush with pride, one remarking that ‘they absolutely and literally get so much culture now in school. It’s amazing.’

July

The first school to have no human teachers whatsoever opens in California with 133 students on roll. It is an unprecedented success, according to the 43 students available for interview.

England win the World Cup.

August

64 schools across the country engage in a pilot scheme to keep pupils in school throughout the summer holiday. One pupil comments, ‘It was OK. Didn’t really learn much new, but we watched some films and I’m good at word searches now.

September

After a government report is published, exposing the spiralling number of children who are clinically obese, all schools are given extra funds to purchase free PE kits for targeted pupils. The Obesity Premium doesn’t go down well with many parents, who say their children are being stigmatised. After three weeks, the scheme is dropped and the PE kits are sent out to Africa.

October

After pressure from a headteacher pressure group, all acronyms are to be banned from educational literature and discourse. The Combined Association of Headteachers, School-Leaders and Principals Not to Mention Middle Leaders and Faculty Chairs and While We’re at it Teachers, pronounces itself delighted with the outcome.

November

In a controversial move, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Michael Gove, withdraws all state funding of British schools during his autumn statement to parliament. ‘We are finally setting schools free’, he explains.

December

The new Education Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, abolishes standardised testing for primary school children.

Well, we can but dream.

Feliz Año.

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