Monday, November 13, 2006


The Coming of the Inspectors

Where are the teachers at work in the classrooms,
the chalkboards stand empty;
& listlessly drifting around flapping doors
assessments lace traps?
Didn’t you know the inspectors are coming:
Yea, OfSTED is nigh!

But why have staff meetings been called in a hurry,
agenda groups scratch out
their lives on procedure, while ink rushes fingerwards
staining us all?
The inspectors are coming, surely I told you,
It’s OfSTED you know!

Then why are there documents scattered about,
old files left open
& admin sit coughing in dust-clouded corners
while children all sleep?
OfSTED are coming, O, why don’t you listen?
The INSPECTORS will call!

Why are the children now swinging from treetops,
recorders are shrilling,
it’s hubbub again; no-one is writing, recording or planning,
& papers in cabinets clapped shut & locked?
Didn’t you notice that OfSTED was here!…
- Or maybe we only imagined they’d call?

Based on Cavaffi’s poem, The Barbarians are Coming

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