Chance Meeting at Number Ten on Schools
Absolutely made up!
I've just had a memo
from the Minister for Education and whatnots.
What does it say PM?
Well it goes something like this
A big comprehensive school down the road from here started sending
kids home at lunchtime..
Why PM.. did she elucidate
Let me finish Deputy PM
all become clear
They ran out of money and couldn't pay the teachers
She goes on to say that their budget was in two parts
Teaching Budget and the Administration Budget
The part to do with teaching is allocated on the number of pupils
attending the school and when they started sending kids home
at lunchtime on Monday and the various forms had been received
by the bean counter people at the Ministry the teaching budget
Why was that PM?
Well deputy PM
it's obvious isn't
it? With less kids attending the school the teaching budget allocation
is obviously going to be less. That's pretty basic bean counting
Of course it is PM.. sorry I interrupted.
Well a few days later the school Finance
Department worked out that because the budget had been reduced
by 10% because of the Monday afternoon free periods, as it were,
they had to send the kids home on Tuesday afternoons as well
When the Ministry got the next returns the budget was reduced
a little more
It went on like this until the kids were sent home on Monday
mornings as well as all the afternoons
Go on PM..
Eventually the kids were sent home every
morning and every afternoon as well
You mean the school closed PM?
No Deputy PM it didn't have to close
because the budget still got allocated for all the administrative
All the teachers were made redundant of course but there are
still all the finance people and other staff
Since we categorized all school staff in 2002 you realise that
these people are the true "life-blood" of any school
and they can't be got rid of under any circumstances
What do they do now then PM?
Well it's a full time job filling in
all the forms for the Ministry and planning and suchlike so they're
all fairly busy
When was all this PM I haven't heard
anything recently on Radio 4?
It was two years ago Deputy PM. It all
started in May 2003.
What happened after all the kids were
sent home for the whole week PM?
Well, according to the initiatives sent
out by the Ministry ten years ago about making use of school
premises when not actually being used for teaching kids, the
administrative people there looked around for something to do
and they discovered that they could get paid quite a lot of money
for putting up refugees.
Go on PM
Over a period of a few months, using
their administrative and repairs budget they converted the school
into a hotel and started putting up refugees
They're doing so well they concreted over the school football
pitch and built a new wing for an extra 200 families
What about all the kids that got sent
Well Deputy PM we did some research
into this and found that because of all the TV programs about
buying houses abroad at knock down prices the School Parents
Association got all the parents together and most families emigrated
Why Bosnia PM?
Well Deputy PM.. it turns out that there
are lots of empty houses in Bosnia and half-full schools so the
families went there for a better standard of living it seems.
I heard that they're all living in the lap of luxury
What about the kid's schooling PM ?
Will they all get taught Bosnian?
No Deputy PM. The Parents Association
invited the redundant teachers to go with them. They all got
jobs in Bosnian schools so the kids all get taught English not
Who pays the teachers' wages PM?
The Bosnian Government does..
It seems they haven't been brought into the 21st Century Deputy
PM. They don't care about the cost of schools
Who pays for the Bosnian school administrators'
It seems there aren't any Deputy PM. Bosnian schools just have
teachers and kids.
Amazing PM perhaps we ought to send a team over there and help
I wish you'd do something Deputy PM
I feel sort of responsible
Your wish is my command PM
12 months later
at Number Ten
That team we sent out to Bosnia finally finished its report PM..
Why did it take so long Deputy PM?
Half the team decided to bring their
families over to join them PM
When they discovered how nice it was over there they sold their
homes in London, bought Bosnian mansions and retired
Anything else Deputy PM?
Yes PM. The main thing that attracted
them was the fact that the school kids were doing so well. Without
all the special evaluation testing and the total absence of administrative
duties the teachers were really teaching.
One old chap said it reminded him of
his schooldays when the only administrative person in his school
was the school secretary.. and she was only part time. She worked
in Woolworth's every other day.
Teachers in Bosnia just teach and get
paid. In fact a couple of teachers told our team that they didn't
really care how much they were paid as they were really enjoying
What about the teams' report Deputy
PM. Is there anything we can do to help the Bosnian Education
Ministry? You know like selling them some computers and loaning
them some bean counter people and so on?
It's actually the other way round PM.
The team suggested we ask a Bosnian team over here to help us.
Anyway they said they didn't have to actually come over here.
When our team made enquiries the Bosnian Education Ministry suggested
we pay teachers their wages out of income tax.
As simple as that?
What about the computers? Who pays for those?
They don't have any PM. They say they
can't afford the administrative staff and anyway they said that
their study of British Government and Local Authority software
systems showed that they were all rubbish and a total waste of
time and effort.
No PM, Bosnians.