The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has announced the appointment of a new Chief Inspector for Schools. Ronnie ‘The Animal’ Henderson has been brought in, he said, ‘to add rigour and robustness to the schools inspection framework’.
Interviewed yesterday in his offices at Union Jack Minicabs in Bethnal Green, Henderson outlined his aims for the post as being “not to take any ‘bunny’” and warned that inadequate schools would be encouraged to improve their performance by a mixture of mentoring and tough sanctions. “First time, it’s verbals. Second time, it’s claret and snot all over the staff room carpet.”
Questioned about the wisdom of bringing in a 1980s East End screen gangster without a formal background in education to this key role, Gove maintained that Henderson would bring a “refreshingly can-do” approach to the job. Already, he pointed out, school inspectors had been issued with full-length camel overcoats and slightly battered black Jaguars as part of a business-like new approach to inspection.
Reaction to the new inspection regime has not been overwhelmingly favourable, however. “These two large men appeared without warning in my office,” complained Brian Edwards, head teacher of Shanklin High School on the Isle of Wight. “One of them knocked the school volleyball cup off my desk and the other said I had a nice little school here and it’d be a shame if anything was to happen to it. Then he winked, patted me on the cheek, put a ten pound note in my top pocket and told me to go and get something nice for the missus.”
Acknowledging the misgivings of teaching professionals to his new innovations, Henderson met with a delegation of London head teachers at 2 a.m. this Tuesday at a disused slaughterhouse in Bermondsey. Further meetings are scheduled to be held in a remote clearing in Epping Forest and in the snug of a Whitechapel boozer.
Uncertainty still persists as to the sudden departure of Henderson’s predecessor, Sir Michael Wilshaw. However, an unnamed source close to Henderson claims that Sir Michael has taken up a new position as part of the foundations of a recently-built Nando’s in Romford.