They wait outside his oak door office. To the side a red light goes off and the green light below comes on. They walk back in and, responding to the head's hand signalling, gather round the desk.
Head of Sixth Form: I need to talk to you boys about your work again. I wonder whether you boys have been listening to anything I have said.
Fred Frame Righter: What is wrong this time sir?
Head of Sixth Form: When was the last time you handed in an essay?
Davina McCall: Sir, yesterday, the eighth of September.
Head of Sixth Form: Which teachers asked for this essay so soon after that 27 page one?
Christopher Sheitz: None of them sir, but sir we needed to write some more. Sir this was much briefer - we took your advice.
Head of Sixth Form: None of your teachers asked for this essay; are our overworked teachers expected to read this? It was handed directly to me. I noticed the aspiring to be Head Boy Newt S. Temperament is not involved this time.
Fred Frame Righter: He thought better not this time. Sir he might be writing a project of his own.
Head of Sixth Form: Now it happens that I have read this essay myself, and I think you boys are being presumptuous. After discussing that the school down the road is run by its headteacher and hierarchical staff, you have written here about your own school:
Neither the school's constitution nor its teaching contracts contain any provision establishing a hierarchy above the level of the classroom. Thus, in our school, the classrooms are to a school in a way similar to that in which the other schools are to the Education Authority. This feature of our school's polity was articulated fully by fifteen members of staff and the three schoolboys of the sixth form common room last April in their 'Staff's Statement on the Polity of The School.'
Head of Sixth Form: I am sorry young men, but you keep peddling this nonsense about our school. The fifteen staff you refer to are a bunch of short term contract, new staff, nearly retired and retired members, and you members of the sixth form are really neither here nor there. The senior staff, however, and those on long term contracts, have been establishing in law (should there be any doubt about it) that this school is a hierarchical school like any other run by the Head and the senior staff, like myself, and is run under the Governors Meeting once every three years.
Philip Headturner: Sir, we are entitled to our opinion.
Head of Sixth Form: Your opinion is as good as Tommy Rot. Furthermore, you seem to want to contradict the conversation held between seven members of staff and the Head Boy only the other week.
Davina McCall: Sir, we are actually responding to that meeting.
Head of Sixth Form: That meeting might have considered what openings there are for individual classrooms to make their own decisions, but the meeting also concluded that the whole school should be urged to sign on to the Local Authority Schools Provision. In other words, the Head Boy and the staff seems to be of the view that this school as a whole can decide this matter, and this is at some variance from your own pathetic opinion. The result is that you are contradicting more influential and important people. Your pathetic opinion has been sidelined, and I think you have written yet another essay in some panic.
Davina McCall: Sir, we are having to articulate our view.
Head of Sixth Form: No! And by the way, Davina, I really must ask your parents about whether you should be in a boys' school. You don't look male to me. I think we are getting a little fed up with your group's instant essay journalism, and I have read your argument and find it bogus. The more you produce these essays the more we just ignore them. Don't think you will get your qualifications secured this way. If anything, you are going backwards, laddies.
Fred Frame Righter: Sir, are you done with us? We may need to write some more.
Head of Sixth Form: You presume much, Righter. I'm done with you, but I advise you to find something more productive to do. By the way, if you see Head Boy Roman Williams, send him to me. I would like to know what the seven staff said to him and he to them because he is beginning to confuse us all again. Now go, all the lot of you, laddies.
Christopher Sheitz: Yes sir, I think we would like to be clearer too.