Warning

When we are an academy, the pupils will wear a purple uniform
With a red tie which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit them.
And we shall spend our funding on lolly sticks, and training on learning styles,
And say we’ve no money for science.
We shall employ unqualified teachers
And break away from the STPCD
And make up for the restrictions of LA control
By having trustees who will appoint a “local governing body”.
We will elect the chair of governors each autumn
And publish draft minutes approved by the chair
And increase our PAN.

You can teach Swahili but offer no other MFL
Or do only Latin and Hebrew for a week
You can “focus on your own school initiatives
And be “innovative without having to justify what you’re doing at every stage”.

But now we must keep to the national curriculum
And get ready to change all our history topics around
We must set a good example for the children
And not have longer holidays than other schools.

But maybe we ought to practise a little now?
So people who know us are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly we change status and start to wear purple.

END

Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph
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