A shocking report this morning, suggested that head-teacher's in UK schools are increasingly using trained chimpanzees as a cheaper alternative to trained teaching assistants.
In one particular North London primary school, chimpanzees had been engaged for several months and it was alleged in some cases had been left unsupervised in class-rooms for prolonged periods and in extreme cases had actually been teaching and planning lessons.
There has been an understandable outcry from worried parents who object to their children being educated by primates.
One worried parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said ' It's just not good enough, I pay my council tax and expect that my child receives a proper education. I've heard that chimpanzees can be aggressive too, and they can have fleas!'.
Mick Brookes, the General Secretary of the NAHT (National Association of Head Teachers) responded to the criticism and issued the following statement. ' Remember that chimpanzees are extremely intelligent. They are able to apply sophisticated strategies to solve problems, they can learn to use symbols and understand aspects of human language including some relational syntax, concepts of number and numerical sequence. So in many ways they are far superior to the majority of teachers currently employed in our schools'
Like so many things today, this all comes down to pure economics. The reality is that trained chimpanzees are far cheaper than qualified teachers and teaching assistants.
With budgets being squeezed and head-teachers under increasing pressure to meet financial targets, the reality is that our children are likely to be taught by chimpanzees for the foreseeable future.