diamond geezer

 Sunday, September 11, 2016

St Median's Academy
            gloria in media civitate

Dear Parent or Guardian,

We will soon be opening up a new selective school in your area - St Median's Academy - and hope very much that you will consider us for your child's future education.

No doubt you were super excited when you heard that the Prime Minister wanted to bring back selective schooling. Her plans for a "great meritocracy" will have struck home with every aspiring family in Britain, especially those worried by the ever increasing number of bog standard comprehensives. Now every child will be able to reach their full academic potential, and help secure their future earnings, and maybe even learn a bit of Latin along the way.

For many middle class families not fortunate enough to live near a successful school, a terrible choice has to be made at age eleven. Bankrupt yourself by sending your child to private school, drive them twenty miles each day to a beacon of good practice located out of catchment, or hold your nose and send them to the local comp and pray they don't turn out as criminals, junkies or oiks. It's a scandal the current system has lasted as long as it has.

A network of newly-created grammar schools will shortly spread across the country, especially in areas where grandparents remember how good they used to be. Hastily-assembled sponsors will come forward, vacant council land will be acquired, supremely qualified staff will be employed, and millions of entrance exams will be taken. For the fortunate eleven year-olds who pass, an educational journey to knowledge and glory will begin.

But you're still worried, aren't you?

You've known for some time that your beloved son or daughter isn't the sharpest tool in the box, so they're never going to make it into the grammar school of your choice. They didn't take to music lessons, they still don't know all their tables, they've never taken an interest in museums, and they omit the occasional full stop when you're not doing their homework for them. It's OK, they're not exactly special needs either, but all the tutoring in the world isn't going to make a difference.

That's where we come in.

St Median's will be a selective school with its focus unashamedly on the average pupil. We won't be inviting the top third or the bottom third through our doors, only those sandwiched in the middle. Our modus operandi will be to take the intermediate in ability, so long overshadowed by their peers, and provide them with the middling education they deserve. What's more we know your unexceptional son or daughter will genuinely fit into our establishment, and deep in your heart you already agree.

We're convinced we've identified a significant gap in the selective schools market. Grammar schools will be creaming off the brighter pupils, leaving behind a top-sliced population previously condemned to life in a secondary modern. But we want to take the best of the rest, the pupils who'd otherwise have been branded failures, and give them an education unencumbered by the least able, the behaviourally challenged and those with special needs.

Targeting St Median's for your child will allow you to breathe a huge sigh of relief. Little Oliver and darling Jessica will enjoy a secure educational future at a good school with like minds, with none of the dross, and need never enter into the competitive maelstrom of expensive tutoring. Your child is guaranteed to earn a perfectly middling mark on the 11 Plus without any coaching or cramming, leaving them to enjoy their childhood, and you several thousand pounds better off.

The homogeneity of our intake will also be a great boost to our overall organisation and management. St Median's will have no need for top or bottom sets, so we can teach everyone in extra-large single-ability classes. We won't need Mandarin language labs and remedial workshops, nor expensive Oxbridge-educated staff and social workers, and we won't be doing Further Maths or basket-weaving, just the basics. Our shareholders are already giddy with excitement at the sheer cost-effectiveness of it all.

So please consider St Median's for the education of your child. They're not grammar material, and you know it, but that's no excuse to bundle them in with the genuine failures and throw them on the scrapheap. Now every school can be a selective school, embracing educational inequality and driving down social mobility for the greater good. An average education need not be disadvantageous, and a middling academy need not be mediocre.

Yours faithfully,

Norm Everyman

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