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 October 25, 2022.
WITH the appointment of mums’ favourite Mr Sunak as Headmaster, it really looks as though the BoJo Academy can at last look forward a new beginning.
The use of Founders’ Hall is restricted for special occasions, and the installation of Mr Sunak as Principal is one such occasion amply justifying its use. With its dark wood panelling, trophy cabinets and engraved shields, Founders’ Hall speaks of a bygone era. A glorious past marked by notable achievements, both sporting and academic, and illustrious alumni. There could not be a more fitting backdrop for the new Headmaster to address a gathering of parents, pupils and teaching staff who packed the room.
Taking as his theme ‘Embracing the digital space’, Mr Sunak painted a truly remarkable picture of how he would transform the school and make it, quite literally, unrecognisable in a short space of time.
With a smile playing across his face, he announced that it was time to draw a line in the sand about the chaos and mismanagement that have characterised the school’s recent history and look forward to a happier, brighter and more fulfilling future. It was, he suggested, a new beginning, or ‘Year Zero’ as he chose to call it. Underscoring his determination to make a new start, he encouraged parents present to confess to any past transgressions and to take the opportunity to denounce other parents for perceived wrongdoings.
There was a palpable sense of ‘putting things right’ when Mr and Mrs Jenkins owned up to having not contributed to the school’s recent swimming pool appeal. This admission was quickly followed by Mr and Mrs Moriarty’s denunciation of the Smiths for not having attended the last PTA meeting. In the spirit of reconciliation, the offending couples were escorted out of the hall by officers from the Combined Cadet Force and taken to the cricket pavilion, which is currently doubling up as the school’s ‘re-education’ hub.
Roll call, the Headmaster went on, is something of an anachronism in these modern times, more so given the opportunities the digital world offers. From the start of next term, boys’ faces will be digitally scanned at the school gates, and with a nod to security, will have their fingerprints taken to be matched to a central database. This capture recognition will be paid for by parents through a mandatory ‘one-off’ fee.
Another way of making things easier for everyone is that purchases at the tuck shop or outfitters can no longer be made in cash. While this might seem an inconvenience for some pupils it will, in the long run, make for a more streamlined accountable spend of boys’ pocket money. A biosecurity-styled credit card will be issued to pupils to facilitate, log and manage their purchases. It has been agreed that it would make perfect sense to have this initiative monitored and controlled centrally, and it has been agreed that the Bursar and Head of Economics will jointly take charge of this exciting initiative.
In a hastily agreed quick-fire Q&A, parents asked what data would be held on these cards. These are the details:
Donation to schools appeals
Membership of societies in and out of school
Carbon neutral commitment
While this might seem a large amount of information to hold on individuals, the Headmaster informed those present that, acknowledging privacy concerns, he had recommended that the contentious inside-leg measurement proposal would not be a feature of these cards.
Thank you, Mr Sunak, for being such a staunch libertarian and defender of rights.
Finally, pupils familiar with the Academy’s founding Charter will know that a new Principal is allowed to select a new school song. Whilst Ms Truss’s choice of Soft Cell’s Say Hello, Wave Goodbye was remarkably prescient, Mr Sunak asked boys to submit a choice to augment his own two selections, which are This Masquerade by The Carpenters and China in your Hand by T’Pau. Sadly, we have had to exclude the pupils’ nomination of No more Lockdown by Van Morrison. It was felt unsuitable for a number of reasons that the Headmaster need not elaborate on.
We can confidently predict that there will be exciting times ahead for everyone.