This year’s end of term disco at Caniston St. Xerxes secondary school will receive substantial funding after the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) issued a ‘statement of intent’ to grant it academy status. Under the City Academy plan, this end-of-year event will receive £37m in funding to become the Caniston St. Xerxes Academy for Dance and Social Interaction.
The government’s specialist school and academy programme is aimed at turning around failing state schools like Caniston St. Xerxes, which although enjoying high academic standards, is judged to have underperformed in the sphere of discos, fresher balls and prom nights. A recent inspection showed that pupils at the school showed little or no enthusiasm to get up and dance with each other at such get-togethers, preferring to sit awkwardly on the sidelines, staring sullenly at their opposite numbers. ‘Those that could be persuaded to dance exhibited lamentable ballroom skills by either moodily shuffling their feet or pogoing ebulliently to the geography head’s Bad Manners compilation,’ it continues.
Headteacher Mr. Trask is confident that academy status funding will dramatically improve the school’s next disco. ‘Pupils will learn how to dance properly and interact with their fellows. I’m confident that the days of sheepish dancing with members of the opposite sex during the slowies to the accompaniment of half a dozen sniggering friends, whilst the older kids get drunk and have a fight behind the science block, are numbered.’
Funding will also include £23m from the DCSF to refurbish the gym hall, enlarge the cloakroom and install alcohol sniffer devices next to the refreshments, and £14m from the local education authority to improve the school record collection. ‘A professional DJ will be hired, with strobe lights, smoke machines and everything,’ enthuses Trask. ‘Plus we also have plans to turn the shed where we store the medicine-balls and goal nets into a chill-out room. There will also be bouncers to make sure everyone behaves themselves, as well as enforcing the uniform-only dress policy. Strictly no trainers.’
Meanwhile the Tories education spokesman Michael Gove has said the Conservatives will go further and transform all school events into Academies, including Sports Day, the Geography field trip and the beating up of the spotty new boy with glasses. ‘We will be providing £100 million…’ said Michael Gove, ‘to make sure that he is really properly beaten up’.