‘Maria Miller said that “when times are tough and money is tight, our focus must be on culture’s economic impact” and once we as a staff team team had considered the monetary value of pupils singing and putting on little dance shows shows in the playground just for fun then it became clear that this was something that we had to put a stop to.’
Likewise all future school plays and Christmas carol concerts are cancelled.
‘If you look at it in terms of economic output then it is the only logical course of action,’ said Lee. ‘According to Maria Miller “the government wants participants – not bystanders” and a class of four and five year olds singing Little Donkey is something you can’t stick a price tag on and so it’s without merit.’
The chair of the school governors, Councillor Nina O’Neil, was swift to back the ban. ‘I have often been struck by the sheer wastefulness of kids running around during playtime howling Nicki Minaj songs or embarrassingly attempting to rap and wondered why this is allowed to go on when it makes no contribution to the GDP and as for school concerts, don’t get me started.’
Councillor O’Neil did concede that an argument could be made for singing and all forms of artistic endeavour giving pupils a sense of identity along with the chance to explore the richness of their imaginations as well as having fun and gaining confidence but said that these were not appropriate goals in an age of austerity.
‘I am reminded of Timon of Athens: Act IV. Scene III,’ year six pupil Chloe Ackroyd told the Evening Harold when we asked her how she felt about not being able to sing and dance for fun at school anymore. ‘“Gold, yellow, glittering, precious gold…thus much of this will make black white, foul fair, wrong right, base noble, old young, coward valiant.”‘
She was then led away by the headteacher who has now pledged to also crackdown on reading outside of the literacy hour.