Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Headmaster's Manifesto

I wish to put my name forward for the position of Headmaster, as I think, with all due modesty, that I have the necessary skills to keep the other masters in order. There is a statesmanlike quality, a gravitas, a way of speaking in slow measured tones in a cultivated accent, and wearing expensive pin-striped suits, and a certain modesty in one's own exceptional abilities - all of these, I believe that I have in abundance.

There is a need for Reform, as the previous Headmasters have not been good at communicating to the rest of the school what they wanted done. There has been a good deal of dissatisfaction about the way in which they disappear off to the Master's common room, and don't come out until they have sorted out the timetable for the coming year, and not everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet in the school assembly.

Some of the students have also been unruly, and while it would be precipitate of me to suggest bringing back the cane, nevertheless stringent sanctions are needed. As caretaker, I had the ability to suspend unruly pupils, a right I only exercised once, but I think that a system of fines would be much more effective, as it means they would have less money to spend in the tuck shop. Some of the students don't have as much money, and come from the working class, and have only managed to get into the school because of scholarships, and we want to ensure that they know their place.

As caretaker, I helped the previous Headmaster to put together the agenda for the morning assembly, and as a result I was also able to prevent some students from bringing propositions to the attention of the school assembly, when I deemed them to be ridiculous, and ill-judged; those propositions usually emanated again, I am sorry to say, from those scholarship students. I am not a snob, and I think that everyone should be treated equally, but some of the riff-raff haven't had proper lessons in table etiquette. Let us be honest, nothing can quite make up for the advantages of years of good in-breeding.

I think what is needed is good leadership, and because I have only been the school caretaker, watching from the sidelines, people might think that I have not the experience. But I have watched the refurbishment of the Master's Common Room, and know where the furniture is badly placed. We need a change of culture in the Common Room, and I propose to hang some works of art which have been sadly lacking in recent years, and rearrange the chairs into an aesthetically pleasing pattern.

The student body which makes suggestions to the school assembly also has not been working well. The process of scrutiny has not worked satisfactorily and should also be reformed, to ensure that scholarship children do not lead the student panels.

I think that the fact that there is open ballot for Headmaster is mistaken. This means that parents have the ability to see who wanted a particular Headmaster, and they don't have the right to do that; their job is just to pay the school fees, and leave the running of the school to the Masters. There is too much talk of rights and democracy, but a school needs good management and strong leadership, and the Headmaster cannot be hamstrung by the whims of the parents. 

I shall try not to let it effect me when I know who didn't want me to become Headmaster, but it will be difficult. While I am not one to harbour grudges, I shall give due consideration to the wisdom and ability of those who voted against me, and if they find themselves at the back of the School Assembly, then I am afraid they have only themselves to blame.

As Headmaster, it would be my task to select the right hymns and lessons, and I intend to reinstate the wonderful verse from "All Creatures Great and Small", as it reminds us of the proper order and decorum that a great School Assembly needs:

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.

And finally, I suggest that my appointment will help ensure a consensus on necessary reforms, because I will ensure that no dissenting voices are heard, and we all usher in the New Jerusalem under my benign dictatorship.



Anonymous said...

Most importantly I do know the words of the college Carmen.

Olim hoc collegium.....

Alane Wallace said...

Very good. Just snide enough!

Nick Palmer said...


Anonymous said...

Brilliant and oh so true!

James said...

Watch your back...

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

I'm wondering if you can remind me to the circumstances why Philip Bailhache retired?
DO you think his determination to become Chief Minister has anything to do with it?

And why is he so driven to this position? You'd have thought that a man who's taken a salary like his previous one would consider £37,500 p/a not worth getting out of bed for. Its good to know he holds the public in such high regard to be so dedicated.

Thank you,