Imagine. That our noble cabinet were the staff at a fictional school, The Brexit Academy? And you, an experienced school inspector, landed in the school for a two-day inspection.
What would you find?
Well, here are the inspector’s bullet points after the first day.
- Context – the school appears still to be suffering from commitments made by the previous principal, a Mr Cameron. Having promised parents a vote on how the school should be run, he was forced to resign when results showed parents did not agree with his proposals.
- Interviewed the current principal, Mrs May. It seems she took two years to write a school development plan that she doesn’t actually believe in. Nor does anyone else by the sound of it.
- She told me that there is no current vice-principal. The previous one was asked to leave a year ago – allegedly, he’d made sexual advances to members of the support staff during a geography lesson.
- Teachers appear to be locked in a never-ending staff meeting. No-one has a clue what the children are doing in class.
- Staff discipline is non-existent. Today, I observed several senior teachers insulting each other whilst the MFL faculty head, Mr Johnson, was heard telling the parents to ‘go **** themselves’.
- Year 11 students tell me they’ve had a procession of different teachers throughout the year. ‘They all keep resigning,’ said one. The latest to take up post as head of sixth form is the school sports coach – he’s evidently good at karate.
- The business manager, Mr Hammond, has remained in post throughout the period since the last inspection, but appears to be hated by the rest of the staff. He also has no money. Classes are overcrowded and under-resourced. However, records show that last year he managed to offload £1m to the local faith school in order to keep Brexit Academy in the local teaching school alliance. This didn’t go down well in the community.
- The caretaker, Mr Grayling, has caused chaos outside the school gates, allowing some parents to park cars nearby, but banning others. It looks like a free for all, and is unsafe for pupils at the beginning and at the end of the day.
- All cultural trips, especially those abroad, were cancelled last year. Mr Johnson was sent out to do various risk assessments with partner schools, but they subsequently withdrew their partnership agreements.
- A lot of low-level, disruptive behaviour in lessons is reported by pupils and parents. Ms Rudd, who was in charge of behaviour management, managed to permanently exclude a group of entirely innocent pupils earlier this year. She was demoted as a result. The new teacher in charge, Mr Javid, has begun policing the corridors again to the bemusement of pupils.
- Parents are engaged in a constant war on Facebook. The whole community appears riddled with hatred, division and vitriol.
- The termly fire evacuation practices appear unfit for purpose. The numbers of pupils counted in don’t match Mrs May’s registers, leaving the office staff confused and demotivated.
- An internet search shows that a visiting headteacher from the USA caused mayhem in the local press. According to the paper, he criticised Mrs May’s school development plan, saying it was ‘not worth the paper it was printed on.’ A special assembly to honour him still went ahead.
- The company that was responsible for the construction of the new sports block went bust – only the foundations were completed. Diggers are still on site, getting in the way of Mr Grayling’s paths. The entire school estate appear to be unsafe.
- There appears to be next to no-one trained as a first aider. The teacher responsible, Mr Hunt, assured me that supplies were on their way and that a training day had been organised. Later in the day though, he came back to tell me he was taking on Mr Johnson’s job. Mr Johnson had been due to take Y9 French, but seems to have disappeared.
- Didn’t get chance to speak to a Mr Gove, Director of Studies. He was too busy climbing on and off the perimeter fence alongside aspirant principal Mr Corbyn.
However, on the plus side, Progress 8 scores appear quite good. So school may come out OK. Or is that fake news? Check(ers) tomorrow.