Thornhill Community Academy’s straight-talking headteacher Jonny Mitchell showed the world what life in the classroom is really like in the award-winning TV documentary series Educating Yorkshire.
Now he writes exclusively for us:
After my contention last week that there was at least a glimmer of hope that 2014 might go down in the annals of history as, perhaps, a half-decent year, despite the trauma and heartbreak experienced by so very many, I wanted this week – my last column of the year – to look forward and make some predictions and resolutions for 2015.
Some of them are made more in hope rather than expectation, but it will have to be up to you to determine which have any likelihood of occurring, realistically. And which of them, of course, are serious!
2015 promises so much, as most “new years” do. As we all lock arms like masons and drunkenly bang out the lyrics to a 250-year old Scottish ditty as the clock strikes 12, all talk is of how wonderfully we will all behave in the year ahead and what major life changes we will all undergo, miraculously, almost overnight.
Spurious and fanciful talk of losing weight, getting fitter, stopping smoking and spending more time with loved ones gradually fades, normally by around February – if we’re very lucky – and the more realistic “ambitions” take hold.
I don’t bother making resolutions anymore. Whatever happens, happens. If I manage to do any of the above, I think “wonderful” - If I don’t, well what’s the worst that can happen?
My predictions for 2015 are as follows:- BBC Sports Personality of the Year #SPOTY will offer a full and rounded apology to Gary Verity et al for spending only 40 seconds of a two-and-a-half hour show reliving the wonder that was the Grand Départ, arguably the biggest sporting event of the year on home soil; and the general public will vote for someone as their winner who truly has a personality.
Otherwise they will rename the whole show “2015 Someone who can do sport quite well but is really boring to talk to”
- The Government will make a dramatic U-turn and rethink its frankly absurd welfare reforms in favour of a system which actually benefits those who need it the most (including scrapping the bedroom tax, especially for those families who genuinely need the extra space for disabled relatives or during a process of prolonged bereavement)
- The NHS will not be a talking point ahead of the 2015 general election, because it cannot be fixed even with a bit of common sense, by any politician
- Burnley will remain in the Premier League after a dramatic last-day victory against Aston Villa with an injury-time winner from 35 yards
- Huge pharmaceutical companies across the globe will eventually put altruism and philanthropy before pure profit and respond to the mass humanitarian need to offer life-saving medicines and vaccinations to those who die needlessly throughout the world.
Of course, as the astute amongst you have already worked out, only one of these predictions will turn out to be correct. Burnley will indeed stay in the Premier League, but won’t need to rely on a last-day result, as they will be safe long before that.
Sadly, the other predictions have about as much chance of happening as I have of winning the lottery (you will say that there are statistical odds which mean I could well win it – well I can’t, I don’t buy a ticket!).
It’s a sad old world sometimes, and I suppose we have to put up with the inevitable disgruntlement at how badly it is run sometimes, and with so little compassion for people. But why would 2015 be any different to 2014 or any previous year?
I genuinely hope you make 2015 a happy and healthy year for yourselves and your families, once – of course – you have safely negotiated the minefield of Christmas. Stay safe and, please, be nice to each other, even if it is only for a couple of days.