The Summer is well and truly over as far as my daughter is concerned, as she, along with children across the country, started her new school this week. Excited anticipation over the holidays has gradually been building and it makes me proud that she loves learning and couldn't wait to start back after the six week break. It's the school that I attended when I was her age and whilst I had a nostalgic flashback, revisiting the assembly hall where we sang hymns and did gym, and seeing if that green stain on the ceiling from the chemistry accident I caused was still there (it wasn't), I also noted the massive changes that have taken place in the little over two decades since I left. The woodwork shop has been replaced by an IT suite that looks like the staff creche on the USS Enterprise. The classrooms are set out in a way that encourages collaboration and interaction, not the regimented rows we sat in, copying work from a chalk board. Yes, it was a fond look back for me but more so, a pleasing look forward to the challenges my little girl has to face in the modern education system.
But wait, what's that explosion of blue electricity crackling over there? And those flaming tyre tracks? OMG it's an ice-coated DeLorean and who's stepping out, dressed in a self-drying overcoat? Why it's Michael Gove!
MIKE G: Marc this school has got to come back with me!
MIKE G: Back to the fifties! When the plebs went to one school and the clever kids went to the good school; when a friendly neighbourhood Bobby could casually assault a child for scrumping apples; when football goal posts were further apart!
ME: But Mike... a two tier system? O Levels and CSEs? Isn't that a bit... unfair?
MIKE G: National Service!
ME: I beg your pardon?
MIKE G: Ah... nervous tick. Look, if we don't go back, our children are in grave danger of being prepared for adult life in the twenty-first century, where people don't speak Latin.
ME: But you were born in the decade that man landed on the Moon. Aren't you an advocate of progress?
MIKE G: Progress killed the dinosaurs!
Michael begins fuelling up the DeLorean's Mr. Fusion with fountain pens, mortar boards and Bobby Darin's skeleton.
ME: Wait! Surely you don't have enough votes to back up to 1988!
MIKE G: Where we're going, we don't need votes.
ME: Yes you do.
MIKE G: Shut up!