ADMIRED the world over, the BoJo Academy epitomises the very best that a school can offer. Providing excellence in education, and in no small measure entertainment, it is an institution that has had, like all temples of learning, to adapt to demanding and changing circumstances. Resignations, in-house rivalry, scandals, financial problems, climate change and modern etiquette – not least the thorny issue of gender identity – have all raised their head over the last year. TCWDF presents a selection from the school archives, chronicling a few hectic terms. This article was first published on June 24, 2023.
RECENT visitors to the Academy have been perplexed by seeing scratching posts and litter trays dotted around the school. Some quite naturally assumed they might be a hangover from the short-lived tenure of Mrs May, the regrettably less-than-capable former Headmistress whose love of kitten heels is well documented.
In fact, these new additions have nothing to do with the Maybot but have been installed at the direction of the Headmaster, who comments: ‘For many years the BoJo Academy has been in the vanguard of providing exceptional education. This excellence has been supported throughout the years by staff committed to ensuring they provide for pupils’ welfare. Standing in loco parentis is a duty which requires constant diligence and an acknowledgement that we should change tack when situations demand it.
‘I remember the furore that greeted the admission of girls to the Sixth Form. Looking back, it is hard to remember why anyone would make a fuss about such a sensible choice. And that, in time, is how I think people will view my decision to let pupils “self-identify”, as it is referred to within the educational world.
‘The world is continually evolving and renewing itself, and as this happens so too is the School, and more importantly its students. The school outfitters, Rowlings, have for many years catered impeccably for the needs of our scholars. Their classic designs of blazers, grey slacks and sporting apparel have stood the test of time, yet now they need to “move forward” and change their stock accordingly.
‘Currently they are seeking alternative premises, specifically with a larger stockroom where they can accommodate the range of faux fur costumes that pupils may require. As owner Ms Rowling put it, “Does anyone have an inkling how much space we need to cater for everything from antelope to zebra?”
‘I am wholeheartedly behind the idea of allowing boys (if I may still use that expression) to identify as they please. The Academy will not tolerate any type of discrimination whatsoever and this new tolerance applies equally to the teaching cadre. I was particularly delighted to see that Mr Wallace, who oversees the Combined Cadet Force, has taken advantage of this and now identifies as a Stinger anti-aircraft system. Well done, Ben!
‘Even Mr Hunt, our popular and capable Bursar, has got in on the act so to speak, and insists people refer to him as Prime Minister. (Some might think this a little far-fetched.)
‘For the pupils, these changes we hope will allow a more relaxed, innovative and informal learning process. The success of this initiative is already evident, with pupils who identify as cats falling asleep for most of the day apart from visits to the tuck shop. That also explains the appearance of the scratching posts and litter trays!!
‘Hancock’s, the school photographers, have been in contact regarding the forthcoming pupils and staff annual photograph which will be taken on the playing fields. They have asked that anyone identifying as a giraffe remain at the back of the group; that applies also to those who feel they are elephants. Would sloths please leave plenty of time to make their way to the shoot and lastly could any ostriches not bury their heads in the sandpit.
‘With these simple rules in place, we should have a quite remarkable memento for future generations.’