Purple Blazers

We are the guys you never see
The men in suits from DFE.
There was a time – you have to laugh –
That kids had places, schools had staff
That’s what the DFE was for.
But mere provision’s such a chore
We’ve scrapped that bit. We’ve turned the page,
Now blue sky thinking’s all the rage.

A worldwide survey feeds us news
That English kids have got the blues.
In tons of tests they fail to score,
They’re under stress, they worry more.
Teacher morale? An all time low.
Give half of them the chance, they’d go.
Recruits begin, in fear and doubt.
Don’t screw things up, or you’ll be out.
This lesson plan is what you do;
Try innovation, and you’re through.

They’re judged by OFSTED, frowned upon
And then, in three years’ time, they’re gone.

Parents compete, a ruthless race
To get first choice, to grab the place
Their child needs, but most will lose.
The smarter schools can now refuse
The kids who’ll drag their test scores down
So dropouts doss all over town.
We don’t keep track. Why should we care?
They simply vanish in thin air.
There’s schools that struggle, on the edge.
League tables are the iron wedge
That splits the bottom from the top.
Just drive it in, and watch them drop.


We have this cunning plan, a scheme
Where Cameron says - I have a dream.
Knowing that presentation’s key
He hands it to the Treasury.
Our plan, to gain the greatest reach,
Is placed in Osborne’s budget speech.

The purple blazers, that’s the thing.
The endless benefits they’ll bring
As schools across the land say please
We’d like to be academies.
These parent governors, we’d say,
Mean well, but they get in the way.
They’ll be replaced by experts who
Are known to’ve made a quid or two.
With them in place we’ll sort this mess –
The blazers guarantee success.

How do we know? There is no proof
Academy scores go through the roof
But we’re prepared to back this hunch
We had, last Tuesday, after lunch.
Academies were once a choice
That local schools could make; the voice
Of parents could decide, but hey
Parental choice was yesterday.
Local is fine, but on the whole
We’d rather keep complete control
So Whitehall will administrate
The nation’s schools. We just can’t wait.

That’s it. For better or for worse
We’re going forward. No reverse.
It’s purple blazers. That’s enough.
Forget the education stuff.
The how they think, and what they feel
Are complicated. We don’t deal
In theories. That’s a dangerous game.
We just make sure they look the same.
You’re scared the bill for this is steep.
Six hundred million quid. That’s cheap.

The possibilities are cool
For those who run this kind of school.
We deal them the strongest hand
They call the shots, they sell the land.
Hire out the building, live rent-free,
One ran a dating agency.
No regulation in their way
From OFSTED, or the LEA.
We have ensured that rules are lax -
All sorts of stuff slips through the cracks.
The superheads that government praise
Enjoy exotic holidays,
Promote their relatives, receive
A hefty bonus when they leave.   

This is the path we’re going to take
And sixteen thousand schools will make
This change. You ask: What will it cost?
Will good relationships be lost?
Will cuts reduce the money due?
Who’ll take control, if it falls through?
You ask, but you get no reply.
We don’t do questions. Don’t ask why.

Hang on. Some Tory councils say
Compulsion’s not the smartest way.
No need to alienate support:
Maybe this scheme should be rethought.
So, U turn in a busy road –
It shows that we’re in listening mode.
There’s no harm done. It’s still our call
We toss a coin, and watch it fall.