Friday 8 February 2013


Michael Gove is quite right to backpedal a bit on his education reforms. While I would have preferred a full-scale reversion to rum, sodomy and the lash, like in my school days (Or was that the Royal Navy? All that grog tends to addle a chap's memory, what!) I can fully see how a child reared today on one of Britain's Socialist battery voter farms might not be able to handle a wholesale injection of harsh reality. That is not, I hasten to add, a reference to the sodomy bit (although I gather that may become a compulsory part of the curriculum if the damned Lefties get back in).

Up here in Yorkshire we will be introducing our own regional variation of the National Curriculum, tailored to the lifestyles and opportunities available to us Up North. Why? Because we bloody well want to, so think on. Concentrating on the essential Three Rs - Reading, 'Riting and Riving about - our students will be required to also undertake a number of vocational subjects, with practical assessments in fettling, furtling and ferret-fondling.

Following the decline of traditional industries like wheel-tapping & shunting, clog making, hatless moor roaming and going to t'foot of our stairs, pupils will be encouraged to attend after-school clubs in a variety of subjects, such as "IT", where fish & chips, sausage & chips, egg & chips, black pudding & chips or chips & chips will be prepared and served... at teatime.

We will also introduce a regular curriculum-widening programme of guest speakers.Of course, in t'good old days we'd have had access to such luminaries as Jake Thackray, Fred Truman and Thora Hird, but I expect we'll get by wi' Kiki Dee, Geoff Boycott and Alan Bennett. If, of course, they can be arsed. We may have to lay on a chippy tea to seal the deal - that's where the IT department comes in you see; joined-up thinking, tha knows.

So, together with enrichment activities such as signing on, staying signed-on and getting on the sick, the mobility scooter proficiency test and the shut-it-cos-nobody-likes-a-grass class, our students will enter the world of work leisure fully equipped to deal with the trials that life may throw at them. They'll know how to negotiate a better deal from Sky and how to set the timer to record Jeremy Kyle so they don't have to suffer the hardships their parents endured, getting out of bed before noon. And they'll have an arsenal of techniques for throwing their ATOS assessors off the scent.

Sports Day, up north

A-Levels will include, as well as traditional maths, a number of incentives funded by our community partners.  BetFred will be sponsoring classes in statistics, in particular the odds of your accumulator coming up. Greggs have generously provided the use of their premises on a pay-as-you-go basis for the study of Pi and we are especially grateful for the generous support of Mecca Bingo for our sports programme.

And finally, we will introduce an even higher set of qualifications the R-Levels. Available in social studies only, this unique exam series will concentrate on the challenges presented in getting along with R-mam, R-gran and R-Bryan in a digital world with, for the occasional gifted student, a module on locating the whereabouts of R-dad.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and sign on.

Editor's note: It has been drawn to my attention that readers of a southern persuasion may not have got the HILARIOUS pun in paragraph 3. The clue's in the chips. Ready? IT = High Tea. There. Now read it again and this time, laugh uproariously. (And yes, the happy congruence with micro-chips and 'bytes' was not accidental - there's a lot of thought goes into this stuff, you see; I don't just cobble it together you know!)


  1. You mention Yorkshire without mentioning Boycott! @fredboycott ? Education is doomed!!!!

  2. As a member of the People's Republic Of South Yorkshire, I must protest at your divisive plans for tests and exams. These only serve to separate the ones who can't and won't from those who have something about them. Ambition, desire, willingness to get on... those nasty things we frown on. Clearly as this is not acceptable we have a policy of awarding ASHP (All Shall Have Prizes) and non-competitive endeavours throughout our state. Thank you.

  3. IT...High Tea!!! I get it, I do. It only took me a while because down here in Sunny Sussex we call it DINNER!

    1. There IS a cure for southern softies,but it does involve enduring northern winters and watching rugby league. Not everybody survives it.

    2. "Dinner" is Lunch time oop North, "Teatime" is dinnertime dahn sarf. Batsby, ant forgot ar ter tek piss an' lake abaht, an' ant forgot 'is roots, sithee!