Bog Standard

On first sight I honestly thought that this was a pisstake.

No really. I looked at it, read it through carefully and thought – ‘You have got to be shitting me’.

But no, what follows is a real press release from Partnerships for Schools.

25 April 2007

New toilet designs to help combat bullying in BSF schools

BSF is apparently ‘Building Schools for the Future’ although quite what the fuck else you’d build them for I have no idea.

New guidance published today governing the specification of toilet blocks in schools will help tackle bullying in secondary schools.

Huh? Bully-proof bogs? Well I never? What the fuck is this all about?

New designs to be used in all BSF schools will make toilets more attractive, cleaner and safer for pupils to use.

Okay…

Not sure I was ever that worried about how attractive the school bogs were in my day – as long as they didn’t resemble a H-block circa 1973 and the pools of piss were kept to reasonable depth, then you’d take your chances.

The guidance, Toilets in Schools, recommends making hand-washing areas more visible and placing toilet blocks opposite classrooms and staff areas enabling them to be supervised “passively”.

Yeah, right – you could’ve put a bog right in the middle of the fucking staff room at my old school and the bastards wouldn’t have been arsed to supervise it, passively or otherwise. It’s a matter of choice – do I spend my lunch break watching the little bastards wandering in and out of the bog or do I spend it trying to cop off with the new female PE teacher and studying the form in the Racing Post?

No fucking contest.

Still I guess the idea of ‘passive supervision’ – appearing like you’re doing something when you’re doing fuck all, will go down well in some schools.

With the fear of bullies using toilets to threaten and mistreat others reduced, pupils will be more likely to drink water at school and so keep hydrated throughout the day.

Couldn’t you just give ’em a glass of fucking water instead?

Or perhaps – and here’s a novel idea – put the drinking water somewhere other than in the fucking bog.

We might have been poor and lived on a council estate when I was a kid but we had fucking standards – If I wanted a glass of water I went into the KITCHEN not the fucking toilet to get it.

Tim Byles, Chief Executive for Partnerships for Schools said:

Byles..? BYLES…?

Nah, fuck off – this is a script for the return of That’s Life. It’ll be that camp old twat who writes crappy poetry up in a minute?

“There is a very real issue around bullying in schools, with toilet blocks recognised as a hot spot for bullies to target those they choose to intimidate and threaten.

These people just have no fucking respect for tradition do they?

Do they not appreciate that hanging around the toilet blocks is what bullies do?

It’s part of the fucking job description, just under ‘stealing lunch money’ and just before ‘pushing kids’ heads down the toilet’ and the note that reminds applicants that schoolboy buggery is only a mandatory requirement in the private sector and may not apply in comprehensives and grammars.

In a bid to avoid having to visit the toilet at school, many young people refuse to drink water, exposing them to the risk of becoming dehydrated, while others have developed bladder and bowel problems.

Or they could just nip round the back of the Gym for a piss like everyone else.

This is an unacceptable situation, but thanks to today’s new guidance, cramped, dirty and vandalised toilets can become a thing of the past. Toilets in BSF schools will no longer provide bullies with places that lend themselves all too readily to anti-social behaviour.”

You can see where this is heading, can’t you – next it’ll ASBOs banning kids from taking a shit in school hours and catheterisation of persistent offenders.

In fact, why stop there? Why not just go the whole fucking hog and replace school chairs with commodes. Kids can start and end the day with a nice bit of communal slopping out to foster a bit of team spirit and sense of community and for the rest of the day they need never leave their desks – they can just shit in situ and get on wit their work.

Beverley Leeson, Deputy Director from ERIC, the organisation behind the ‘Bog Standard’ campaign for better toilets for pupils, welcomed the guidance and said:

ERIC? Bog Standard Campaign? Okay, so when does Sid James put in an appearance?

“ERIC warmly welcomes the guidance to improve the standard of school toilet design, an area of school design that has been overlooked for far too long. School toilets are often the most concerning issue for pupils and the impact on their health and well being can be serious and far-reaching.

Yeah, I spent weeks in the run up to my exams agonising over the state of the school’s bogs – kept me awake every fucking night. There I was trying to embed Newton’s laws of motion firmly in my brain and I just couldn’t concentrate for worrying over whether the school could afford enough lemon-scented paper towels to see me through my ‘O’ levels.

The very important focus on encouraging pupils to drink more during the school day must be accompanied by having toilets that pupils are happy and able to use when they need to. Good toilet design and high standards of maintenance can go a long way to reducing or eradicating problems such as bullying and vandalism.

Toilets that pupils can be proud of also reduce rates of absenteeism, boost self-esteem, improve relations between pupils and teachers, and encourage willingness and ability to learn. We very much hope that the proposals in this guidance will be widely adopted for the benefit of pupils.”

Toilets that pupils can be proud of? Proud of the School Bogs?

Sure, that’s the first place you think of taking parents on a school open evening…

…actually in some inner city comps it probably is the first place you think of taking them, so you can sell them an ‘eighth’ and mug their wife for her mobile phone before any of the other fuckers notice you’ve found an easy mark.

And how the fuck are better bogs going to reduce absenteeism? What the fuck do these people think gets talked about over breakfast?

“Are you sure you’re alright to go to school today, son? You not looking too well”

“I’ll be fine, mother. I may not feel 100% but if I go to school then I can at least be sure that I have a nice clean place to throw up.”

I suppose they could boost self-esteem a bit – shitting yourself in class is not generally much of an ego boost, but where the fuck these idiots get the idea that nice toilets encourage willingness and especially ability to learn I have no fucking idea at all?

You can imagine the scene can’t you?

You can actually picture a precocious little smart-arsed bastard is being interviewed on GMTV by Lorraine fucking Kelly about how they’ve managed to get 15 A Level and a place at Oxford at the age of eight being asked what it is they think helped them to be most successful, only for them to reply?

“Well, Lorraine, in my opinion there’s nothing quite so encouraging and conducive to learning as knitted pink toilet roll covers and a tampon dispenser that you know will be restocked at the start of every week.”

And as for toilets improving ‘relations between pupils and teachers’, what the fuck do they think this is? A public school?* I’m sure there are laws about things like that…

*Should mention here that its one of the iron laws of having gone to a comprehensive school that any reference to public schools must include a buggery gag somewhere nearby. 

You can see thinking here can’t you. It’s absolutely fucking obvious.

The people behind this have simply worked their way through a shitload of past DfEE reports and distilled the lot down to a standard piece of boilerplate managerialist bullshit that appears in just about every fucking report written in the last ten years, which they’ll roll out any time they want to try and screw a bit of extra cash out the government to pay for their latest pet project.

You could trot out that whole line of bullshit whether you’re shilling for new bogs, IT equipment, a complete fucking new school or a mini-bar and brothel/bondage dungeon in the headmaster’s study – it wouldn’t make the slighest bit of difference because all it actually means is:

We would like £x million pounds for y and we’re telling you that for that you’ll get z, which means absolutely nothing but looks convincing enough that you won’t ask too many awkward questions about n, which is the amount of cash we’re actually screwing out of the whole deal for ourselves.

As well as overhauling the design of toilets in secondary schools, the Building Schools for the Future programme is seeking to address anti-social behaviours more broadly through design features such as avoiding dead-end corridors and dark corners and generally increasing visibility of all parts of the school.

Yes folks, I have seen the future of education and its a circular fucking greenhouse!

Tim Byles said:

“Combating bullying in its entirety will never of course be solved overnight just by changing the physical design of a school. It is a far more complex challenge than that and, as such, one which requires a multi-pronged approach.

In other words, we are perfectly happy to run you this complete line of bullshit when we want some money, but don’t expect to hold us to any of it if its actually ends up delivering fuck all, because that will not be our fault.

It is, of course, the unenviable task of the teaching profession to manage bullying within individual schools, but the contribution that BSF makes is to make that management easier within the confines of the school gates.”

And if that doesn’t work, we’ll just have to chain the little bastards to their desks.

8 thoughts on “Bog Standard

  1. Pingback: Bloggerheads
  2. Unity – think you’d better have a look over at Dale’s amusing story. Now the fourth and final reporter has responded. Priceless…

  3. The problem at my school was nearly always that the toilets were locked – you sometimes had to walk across to the building on the other side of the grounds just to have a piss. That was about the only good thing about the sixth form – we had our own toilets which were always open and not filled with other people smoking or likely to empty bottles of water over your head.

  4. In our penultimate year at primary school, me and a mate managed to hold off a gang of 12 bullies from the year above by barricading ourselves in the toilet block (a brick annex at one end of the school building) for an entire lunch break. We put a broom through the door handles and then played snap for an hour. The teachers either didn’t know or didn’t care.

  5. I think your out of touch unity.
    Back in your day that would have been laughable, but now with about 25% carrying knifes (and it is true), going up to 99.2356210010% in nottingham anything that makes the decent students feel safer (within reason) is worth the money.

  6. Im sure teachers will want a bonus for passive supervision and time off for stress caused awards will be created then a department then a ministry.Im not laughing.

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