Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced that in the future all new schools will be built and maintained by the pupils. ‘This is what I mean by ‘free schools,’ he said, ‘the kids build them and it doesn't cost us a penny.’
Mr Gove announced that from September every school pupil in England and Wales will be issued with a hammer, some nails and a pot of paint.
‘Obviously we want them to do a good job,’ said Mr Gove, ‘which is why I have set up a range of ‘Building Academies’ in which the kids will get basic training in woodwork, bricklaying and plastering. The brighter kids can have a go at architecture while the thicker ones can focus on wolf-whistling and showing their bottoms to passers by.’
‘We are already well on the way to building our school,’ said nine-year-old Ollie Brownlow, ‘so far it’s got a helipad, a rocket launcher and a secret underground control centre. Of course it won’t be easy to build entirely out of crisp wrappers and milk bottle tops, but if it means getting out of double maths then we’re all very keen.’
Shadow Education Secretary Ed Balls has already questioned the safety of some of the new buildings. ‘Many of these schools are made from old toilet rolls held together with bits of string,’ he complained, ‘at least under Labour they would have been provided with cereal boxes and some sticky-backed plastic.’
‘I am not too bothered by the structural stability of the buildings,’ said Mr Gove, ‘the important thing is the quality of the teaching. That is why we are also asking pupils to construct their own teachers out of twigs and old clothes. It costs a lot to train a real teacher but a ‘scare-teacher’ hardly costs anything – and, according to a recent Ofsted report, the kids treat them with a lot more respect.’
Mr Gove rejected allegations that the whole scheme was being funded on a shoestring. ‘It’s not just a shoestring,’ he insisted, ‘we are also providing a conker, a crayon and some half-eaten chewing gum as well.’