I’ve had a rather odd day. I’ve spent a good portion of it planning a budget for 2027, which blows my mind on its own, but this evening I watched a “futuristic” film which was, you guessed it, set in 2027.
The dystopian film future of 2027 is pessimistic, grubby, dark, cold and violent. Inequality and poverty are rife, there is no trust, in either leaders or neighbours.
But when you have considered what your school budget of that year might look like it is difficult to see it with anything other than optimism. Your year seven intake have just been born, bringing all the hope and promise of new life. They are like brand new notebooks, full of potential to be filled with words, numbers, drawing and creativity. All that has been written so far is their name on the front cover, the rest is up to you and them to fill with life.
Of course, there is so much guesstimation involved in preparing a 2027 budget. You can anticipate which long serving staff are due for retirement but you can’t assume specific turnover. You can assume pension oncosts will rise but it is hard to judge whether cost of living will continue to be awarded in the longer term. I think it is always safe to suppose that the gradient of the non staff cost curve will be positive but who knows what will happen to the National Funding Formula?
So amongst all the dystopia, I am pleased to report that according to my (very) long range forecast I am still able to turn out a realistic, cautious budget that I can just about get to break even. This, although depressing in its demonstration of the need for thriftiness for the next ten years, in turn makes me optimistic and confident about the future.
Whatever we might be told in the political turbulence of the next few months, I don’t think we are about to descend into anarchy where we need to board ourselves into our homes or protect ourselves by carrying a weapon. We have shown time and again that the only thing that stops us British is light snow.
We might protest against poor leadership by voting for Brexit, but only because we are sick of our voice being ignored. I am clear that want to be part of one planet, that works together to tackle the problems of tomorrow (namely the changing climate) and I want my children to aspire to the same. I want to celebrate our differences, enjoy the fact that we all bring diversity, variety and a healthy gene pool!
So, until the day that either First Contact is made (because if that doesn’t join us together, nothing will) or I can actually influence world leaders, I will quietly prepare my budgets, imagine how gorgeous those future year sevens are right now and remember that old saying. Every day is a gift, that is why it’s called the present.