AMONGST Groucho Marx’s insights was an assessment of infinity that he attributed to Albert Einstein and which I have duly adapted here:
‘Two things are infinite: the universe and the stupidity of England’s Department for Education. But I am not sure about the universe.’
Not satisfied with re-defining failure as success and idiocy as good sense, the DfE has discovered a new distraction from teaching kids how to read and write, to acquire subject knowledge and to become employable.
Damian Hinds, the Secretary of State for Education, has announced that the menopause is to become part of the curriculum in schools.
Never mind that around 20 per cent of youngsters are largely illiterate and innumerate when they leave school and that the DfE have failed to put matters right. They can be relied upon to deliver the goods when it comes to what really matters in classrooms these days – gender identity, race, sex, wellbeing, drugs, diversity, guilt over Empire and national history, feminism, Corbynism, the evils of Brexit, risk-elimination, entitlement to safe spaces and now . . . the menopause!
Sources a long way from the education secretary have raised the possibility that the 49-year-old may himself be experiencing hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings. In a recent television interview, for example, I distinctly heard him describe his education department civil servants, the architects of our schools’ longstanding educational underperformance, as ‘brilliant’. How is such irrationality to be explained other than by a temporary loss of sanity caused by a male version of the menopause?
Just when parents must have thought the new sex and relationships curriculum could not get any worse, up jumps the menopause. ‘Hi kids, I’m the Menopausal Mum, and I’m here to warn you about what lies ahead! And first of all, you must not worry. Everything is going to be fine once the reproductive part of your life closes. What’s more, we have school counsellors on hand to support any of you who feel upset by what I am about to tell you.’
Education as therapy – our brave new world.