Security firm G4S is now set to roll out its “shouty squad” across education departments in seven troubled local authorities. “It’s a really simple scheme!!” G4S Head of Educational Shouting, Mary Donovan shouted unnecessarily. “We have a crack squad of loud voiced assistants waiting in the staff room and primed with classic phrases like “Right, let’s make a start!” “I’m waiting!” and the old favourite “It’s not my time you’re wasting, it’s yours!”!”
“Trainees are guided away from simple one word shouts like “quiet!!!”! yelled Ms Donovan. “Children are quick to see how shouting the word “quiet” can have a subversively oxymoronic effect!!!”
Ms Donovan conceded quite loudly that professional educational-support shouting can take its toll on those who go in for it. “Yes! I’ve been in shouting for three years, and in that time I have had to manage expectations in my personal life!! You do tend to take the job home with you!! Luckily my husband is hard of hearing, and we live in a fairly isolated area so it works out quite well!!”
Teachers of more challenging classes can be assigned dedicated shouters, who learn students’ names and can be primed to ejaculate personalised exclamation, using a simple touch pad tool. The teacher simply points and clicks a name in the register and the assistant can shout the name instantly. But the training manual emphasises this doesn’t mean educational responsibilities are being taken over by G4S.
A teacher will get some programmed shouting from a G4S assistant to get attention, quieten the class or issue personal threats or rebukes. When the desired effect has been attained, pedagogical messages about, say, Swedish iron reserves, Jane Austen or healthy eating can be delivered by graduate professionals in a threateningly quiet educational voice.
The scheme has met with approval by many in the pilot scheme “Shouting at kids is energy-consuming and can be demoralising,” says maths teacher Mike Brentwood. “This scheme has meant I go home feeling refreshed enough to shout at my own wife and kids.”
G4S shouty squads will be recognisable in schools by their hi-vis jackets with exclamation mark logos and branding from the scheme’s sponsor, Benylin.