Eton College has been hit by further controversy after it emerged that boys studying there were sharing details of our most important national institutions. A major inquiry suggests that cheating may be widespread at the ancient school, with students going to extreme lengths to achieve an unfair advantage in public examinations, their future careers, and life in general.
“One of the young men concerned has been offering advice to the general public about our relations with the European Union, even though he can’t tell his arse from Brussels with both hands and a 1:25000 scale map,” said a representative of the exam board, Cambridge International Examinations, who wished to remain anonymous. “The worst of it is that he spent formative years of his life there. He can only have slipped through the net through some sort of massive, unearned privilege.”
Our own inquiries quickly turned up more cases. Another Etonian seems to have spent as many as six years in a highly paid job in the prime ministerial industry without having any detectable qualifications – except that he thought “he’d be quite good at it”. A statistical review of exam data suggests that the scandal may have been going on for decades unchecked. One witness to the sheer enormity of the fraud is this newspaper’s editor in chief, Tristram Clodthrust. When we spoke to him earlier, Mr Clodthrust said that “I don’t consider myself privileged, but to be honest the rest of my year were so pig-ignorant I’ve been coasting since 1971. Sherry?”
“Shit, you’re not going to quote me on that are you? Now I remember why I never talk to any of you reporter scum. Except Jeremy of course.”
The exam authorities are expected to discard the mark for the first part of the affected pupils’ lives, and instead award a final grade based on an average of their future marks and those forecast before the discredited examination. “Really, this is the least we could do,” said the anonymous CIE spokesperson. “I mean, it literally is the least we could do. Getting away with a major crime or incompetent bungle is an important part of the independent school experience – in the future, we expect these young people to brazen out lost elections, disastrous decade-long military campaigns, trillion-dollar bankruptcies, and of course the classics, like embarrassing pregnancies and egregiously racist newspaper columns, publicised to millions, that somehow everyone’s forgotten.”
A letter from Eton’s headmaster, a copy of which this newspaper has seen thanks to George Teign-Barton (by the way, the bleeding has almost stopped), said that details of basically everything of any importance in British society had been shown to an old Etonian teaching at another institution, one of whose pupils had communicated them among the majority of the boys after he got out of the institution.
“There is no suggestion that anyone at Eton has done anything wrong,” he said in a statement that wasn’t technically false. “As for Question 6, the 2023 general election, Marina, Marina’s husband, and the payoff probability of Rabobank No.2 Children’s AA- Mortgage Bond Trust, remember to never let a sucker get an even break.”
Note: I am not joking about the exam board’s solution. How many pompous declarations on academic offences did I sign, promising an immediate fail and possible police involvement? Yet here they are: Pupils were told their marks for the first part of the art history paper would be discarded, and the pupils would instead receive a final grade based on an average of their marks and forecast grades.