Thursday, 18 August 2011


To add yet another layer of excitement upon the Cake of Northumbrian existence, we're blessed today with one of the annual rites of passage in the Anglo-Saxon calendar: the Receiving Of The Results. For the sake of the uninitiated, the Schoolchildren of this lovely country are subjected to a number of Tests during their educational career; before leaving the comfortable and sheltered world of the Classroom into the Big Bad Wide World, they have one final test to take, the results of which determines their future path through life. It's a momentous time.

These days, it's the aspiration of every child in the Kingdom to graduate to the Big School called University, where they can pretend to be responsible adults for a few years, spend enormous sums of borrowed groats on frivolous pursuits, and engage in the various excesses that characterise less disciplined members of the Human Race. 'Twas not ever thus; such a privilege formerly was the exclusive preserve of those who were either frighteningly clever - or in most cases - extraordinarily rich. The wealthy children - regardless of their inability or imbecility - went into Politics. However, the crippling disease of Redistributionism insinuated itself into the addled consciousness of the Anglo-Saxon psyche a few decades ago, and the illusionary idea of Equality dissipated into thought rather like an evil flatulence. The god of Equality is a very demanding deity, and to appease it, sacrifices must be made. A shift in educational policy was needed to make University more accessible to the majority; academic goalposts were accordingly moved, and a plethora of educational establishments appeared like toadstools from nowhere. Education became a marketplace - sans the sound of chickens, pigs and sheep - although the odours emanating from it bear a remarkable similarity...

Out of my customary curiosity, I went down to a local school to witness the delirium as the children received their Test Results. I spoke to one pimpled young man who was grinning from ear to ear, clutching a piece of vellum. I asked him how he'd done, and he told me that he had passed all of his subjects with distinction. I was so pleased for him. I asked him what course he was planning to embark upon, and he told me that he was going to Yorvik to study for a Degree in Bricklaying - a new technology that is likely to overtake A-frame timbering and daub-and-wattle as a construction medium. I asked another youngster, who proudly told me that she had also passed all of her Tests with distinction, and she was going to read Diversity Studies at Monkwearmouth. Wow. Every other child also had attained a distinction. I'm one hugely impressed Cat.

I'm reliably informed by my knowledgeable friend Feaxede the fox that all of these educational establishments impose a mandatory Foundation Course, where they teach them necessary life skills - like literacy and numeracy..

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