No playground for “super school.”

PETERBOROUGH, Stamfordshire, Sunday — The most expensive state school in the UK will not have an outdoor space for students when it opens in September.

Alan McDalek, head of Stamfordshire‘s £46.4m Blipvert City Academy, said: “This is a massive investment of public money and I think what the public want is MAXIMUM LEARNING from the young persons and MAXIMUM TEACHING from the teachers. They recognise that young persons can play in the hours outside 8:30am to 5:30pm and hang around outside off-licenses in their local communities, and not anywhere the public will have to see them or be aware of their existence.”

The 2,200-pupil “super school,” part of the government’s city academy scheme, will replace three separate schools. The school fits three times the pupils into the space formerly used by one school as it does not waste space on playgrounds, corridors or student canteens or toilets. All pupils are decanted into vats and fed intravenously, while wastes are handled using catheters. Approved information is beamed directly onto pupils’ retinas at a fabulous rate, with memory retention being encouraged through wires plugged into the pleasure and pain centres of each pupil’s brain.

But independent play expert Tim Gill, who led an official inquiry into children’s play, said the concept sounded “crazy” and “borders on inhuman. It’s symptomatic of a way of thinking about children that we have to control and programme and manage every aspect of their lives.

“How will we train children to be the citizens of tomorrow? How do we prepare them properly for a world of working in a grey-upholstered office cubicle, breathing canned air, eating food from packets, continuous observation from CCTV cameras that talk back … oh, okay, maybe you have a point.”

The academy is being built in Industrial Estate 15, Peterborough, as a replacement for Soviet Concrete Horror #15 School, Holding Camp Before Retirement At 16 School and Criminal Street Entrepreneur Community College. Construction work on the Albert Speer-designed building started in July 2005.

The city academy programme aims to revitalise secondary schooling in areas where local school management could benefit from wads of cash being passed sideways to public-private partnerships.

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