A Southend News Network investigation has uncovered the shocking truth that a number of secondary schools have resorted to employing CATS as emergency teaching cover. Education experts are blaming the number of qualified professionals leaving the school system due to low pay and bad conditions, but the chief of secondary-level schooling in Essex insists that the felines are in place as a temporary measure.
Basildon parent Karen Macgonagall has an 11-year-old daughter at the Vange Institute of Secondary Education, and she contacted us to say she had come home and told her that her chemistry lesson had been taken by a cat who introduced himself as Oliver Kibbles. While her daughter admits that the lesson was both ‘cute’ and ‘informative,’ a number of parents at the school have admitted that they are concerned about the long-term and the preparations for GCSE exams.
Joshua Kitt, 15, is currently preparing for his upcoming examinations, and he called our Chief Reporter after a disastrous French lesson at Southend Language Academy was taken by a ‘less than enthusiastic’ feline. He said: ‘We knew that our regular teacher was off sick, and when the door swung open a cat in a suit just walked in and jumped on the desk. The lesson didn’t start for another three minutes while he was busy cleaning his intimate areas, and while I was reciting some irregular verbs out loud he just stretched out and dozed off. To make matters worse, the German class over the corridor was also being taken by a cat and he kept stopping the lesson to hiss wildly.’
Education supremo for Essex Sir Stuart Nip confirmed that these reports are true, but he feels that the future is bright for any pupils affected. He said: ‘It’s true that there is a serious teacher shortage at the moment in the county, but we feel that the TFCIs (Temporary Feline Class Instructors) represent excellent value for money. More and more prospective teachers are asking for our leaflet about getting into teaching, so it won’t be too long before we return to regular staffing levels.’
He added: ‘We did consider contacting our extensive network of retired teachers to find temporary cover, but it emerged that a number of these would need to have a new CRB/DBS/’whatever it’s called this week’ check done – this would have been very expensive.’