I take it you, (like the thousands of others), read, ‘Is Toby ‘FrankenFreeSchoolstein’ Young Destined for PM Gove’s Ministry for Silly Education?’ If not, you can find it here
Many discussions arose from this article, of which several frivolous comments punctured my psyche. Probably not what you would expect as they concerned the long gowns worn by the West London Free School teachers, to which it was remarked if pointy hats were worn then they might resemble staff at Hogwarts. I recognize that Hogwarts as a long established and highly successful school for wizards. But it’s also a pure fantasy created in the mind of its author. So sorry parents, buts there’s no point trying to buy a broomstick and moving into its catchment area. In contrast, Toby Young’s West London Free School is real. It has real students, real teachers and a real venue. But is this where the reality ends and the Tory fantasy begins?
So why did the Conservative Party decided to use a sizeable chunk of it recent TV party political broadcast focusing on the West London Free School? Maybe the Tories were desperate and didn’t have anything else to crow about? But still, why choose this school? Should we take it that the Tories wanted to vindicate and illuminate their educational reforms by using their perceived most efficacious Free School Super Star box office hit on the Broadway of Gove? But isn’t this West London Free school currently a tiny secondary school with only two small year groups. It has no track record, only one year of history and no real tangible results ,with the first GCSEs or EngBacs not to be taken for around another 4 years. The school’s founder, who is a minor celeb and self-proclaimed Tory, Toby Young, wrote that his school ‘is a bold experiment.’ So why dress-up this hypothetical mouse foetus of a school in a fake bear skin? Why pretend that the school might be an educational banquet of a feast when there’s a barely a translucent sinew on its minuscule bones? Are we the general public still seen by Tory elitists as numbskulls that need only to be impressed by just a couple of Hogwart-style gowns and kids muttering in Latin regardless of any facts? Are we really that gullible? Ask no questions and prostrate ourselves to the higher echelons of the Tory political class who by their birth know better than us?
Surely I’ve made a mistake and there’s more to this West London Free school or the Tories would have substituted it for one of the many of thousands of outstanding, established and high performing schools? But possibly, is the West London Free School at the beginning of something astounding with these schools opening up everywhere; on a street corner near you very soon? Hasn’t Toby Young declared that he wants to open a new free school every year? Is he the new Free School Caesar of the Govem Empire and might he have the Latin cry of, ‘Veni, vini, vici’? Have I not been given the impression by Mr Young from his numerous TV appearances, that his brand of Free Schools would be eventually ubiquitous? That he might create Latin speaking Free Schools through-out the country? Perhaps I am that numbskull I write of and I’ve totally misconstrued everything as I can’t see a gnat’s pee molecule of a Toby Young Free school beyond Hammersmith and Fulham. But I still don’t understand why the Tories used this school in their recent TV broadcast unless they wanted us to believe in an alleged Free School freak show fantasy?
But what happens if this potential Tory Free School fantasy continues unabated? Will Free School policy eventually follow the yellow brick road and rendezvous with a political dustbin, the size of the Blair Millennium dome? And what new fantasy potions do the Tories have for us brewing in their bubbling policy cauldron? Could ‘Free Hospitals’ or perhaps ’Free Prisons’ be probing their outlandish imaginations? One thing is for sure, I am not buying into this Tory fantasy and I’ll stick to reading the truly fantastic Harry Potter with my children.