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 22, 2022.
IT MUST be admitted that the past few days at the Academy have been challenging and in no small measure frustrating for staff and pupils alike.
The sudden resignation of recently appointed Headmistress Ms Truss came out of the blue and was a shock to one and all. As Head of Geography she was an admired member of the teaching body, and it was felt that her ‘no nonsense’ approach to improving exam results was just what the Academy needed.
Regrettably, the carapace of self-confidence that she wore so easily during the gruelling interview process proved to be no more than a gossamer-thin veneer masking her complete unsuitability for the top job. What a pity that the selection panel were unable to divine her total lack of experience and ability at an earlier stage and she had to be found out in the full glare of school life.
While it has been a humiliating and bruising experience for her, no doubt the school’s ‘Headmaster’s bonus’, set up many years ago for outgoing Headteachers as a reward for dedicated service, will be thoroughly appreciated, if a trifle undeserved.
The convention is well established that senior staff from other educational establishments, both at home and abroad, refrain from making comments about one another, but sadly this protocol was not observed during Ms Truss’s brief tenure.
It was to be expected that Mr Starmer (or ‘Big Mouth’ as he is known by all and sundry) from Rayner’s Lane Comprehensive, would be unable to resist flinging ill-advised and intemperate invective, but it was deeply troubling that Mr Biden, who oversees The Aged Presbyterian School in America, was overheard on holiday making disparaging comments about the Academy’s new curriculum.
Tucking into a delicious Ben & Jerry’s ‘totally bananas wafer cone, smothered with nuts galore’, Mr Biden told two bemused nurses that Ms Truss had ‘got it all wrong’. Quite what qualifies him to pass judgement is a matter of conjecture, but the Academy’s Governors wish him ‘get well soon’.
Staff turnover has also been a problem in the Economics study group alongside, for some inexplicable reason, the Domestic Science cadre headed up by Ms Braverman. She has reluctantly realised that honing the culinary skills of future generations was not what she wanted and has stood down.
Thankfully, it is a real delight to welcome Mr Shapps to this recently vacated role. Some parents will recall the stellar performance he put in when running the school’s model railway and his idea for a ‘smart driveway’ leading to the main building. It must be noted that after several major traffic incidents it was soon obvious that the ‘smart driveway’ was in fact something of a hazard and it will shortly revert to its former status.
We also must comment on an unseemly spectacle that was unfortunately witnessed by some prospective pupils’ parents who were being given a guided tour of the school last week. Passing the staff Common Room on the ground floor, where a rather heated discussion was taking place about permitting fracking on the corner of the playing fields, they observed an inappropriate and unwarranted display of pushing and shoving, with raised voices and allegations of ‘manhandling’. Quite what these putative fee-payers made of the scene can only be guessed at. We would remind all teaching staff that a better level of conduct and behaviour, befitting the school’s status, is expected of them.
There will be a brief interregnum in which potential candidates for the vacated Headteacher’s position are requested to make themselves known to the Governors. We are hoping that there might be a ‘dream team’ waiting in the wings who will be able to transform the fortunes of the Academy going forward. The speculation that the recently departed Mr Johnson will somehow be making a comeback can confidently be discounted.