Love him or loathe him, Jamie Oliver’s wide-screen face will be filling T.V sets for the next few weeks as he embarks on his next moral conquest; this time tackling education with an all-star cast and the best staffroom sarnies ever to grace a fold-out table.
His new series, Jamie’s Dream School, airs tonight at 9 and shifts focus from the canteen the classroom as the pillow tongued Essex-boy-wonder attempts to turn around the lives of 20 GCSE flunkers with the help of celebrity boffins stationed in the subject topics that suit their expertise. Expect to see Rolf Harris wheezing his way through Art class, Cherie Blair picking her way through Law and Daley Thompson bringing the handlebar ‘tache and dangerously short shorts back into PE.
The premise behind the show is noble; on a par with his previous foray into schools when he pushed, with some success, for a reform of the school meal system. Let’s be honest, some of the output spewing from the Jamie Oliver machine is little more than headline grabbing tush. The issue of failing schools has been hanging round like a bad odour in a gym bag despite years of tinkering from hapless politicians. The fact is, half the secondary school population left school with less than five GCSE’s at A-C level last year.
So anyway, I got to thinking; which modern-day brains would I most like in my all-star staffroom, my dream team if you will? I’ve picked the teachers I’d want teaching me and in an innovative twist put them into a footy team starting eleven, thinking about which subjects would fit best into each position on the field and which teacher would be best at the helm. Confused? Yeah, it’s a bit of a mixed metaphor, but bear with me.
After careful thought I’ve put together my starting eleven; made up of some of the top brains in the country (amongst others). Have a look, because I want to know who you’d give the nod to given half a chance – so put together your own team and share it with us here, just use the comment button provided!
Right, so I’m playing with your basic 4-4-2 formation – call me old school.
Starting with the keeper, I need a strong subject with an equally belligerent teacher as custodian between the sticks, so the first subject on the team sheet is Maths with Carol Vorderman. No strike, however peachy, could possibly penetrate this gloveman; capable of working out the angle, trajectory and speed of any shot before any of us could say dictionary corner.
In defence it seems only right to stick with the cornerstones of education that have seen us right for hundreds of years. Science and English make up my back two, DT and Geography complete the defence.
“DT?” I hear you say, yep – there’s a reason. No back four would be complete without a lump, someone who chucks their weight around at the expense of technique. Thus, Tommy Walsh slots in at right-back.
Centre backs English and Science are fronted by Will Self and Prof Brian Cox respectively.
A rock is needed at left back, so what better subject than Geography (tee hee) and who better than Coast presenter Nicholas Crane. Deceptively strong, Crane has hoofed it round the British Isles and knows how to read all terrain, so don’t go thinking this milky looking moss-sniffer isn’t up to the task.
On to the midfield, where a heady mix of creativity and brawn needs to be intricately balanced. Left to right – I’ve given the nod to Art (Banksy), French (Eric Cantona), History (Tony Robinson) and Music (Jimmy Page).
Banksy’s creativity and trickery down the left is enough to bamboozle any defence, but it’s his elusive qualities that’ll do the most damage; you try tackling an invisible man. In the centre, I’ll rely on the experience of History and pint-sized ditch-dweller Tony Robinson. tucking in alongside in sits I.T with teacher Julian Assange, whose unique knowledge of exploiting loopholes and skirting security systems brings creativity around the box.
Music is a no brainer on the wing; Jimmy page will weave his trademark meandering melodies up the right flank.
Finally, and to end this laboured metaphor; the front two – the spearhead of the team. True to form, the P.E teacher has stuck himself up-front and it’s Brian Glover of Kes fame; no school would be complete without one. His partner in crime is tailor-made for the modern game; it’s Drama and it’s Louie Spence. His extraverted and massively camp antics will be just what we need in the opposition box to win those all-important, shameless penalties.
So that’s my Dream School: An expert teacher paired with their subjects, mangled into an unbeatable football team. Reckon you can do better? Pah.
Put your money where your mouth is and state your dream team now.
See you on the pitch.