Harry Potter and the Ofsted Inspection

July 19th, 2009

Ryan Gilbey on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:

Ofsted inspection report: Hogwarts.
Inspection date: July 2009.
Boarding provisions: Yes.
Description: Gaudí-lite spires set against an unconvincing matte sky.
Specialist status: Magic.
Age range of pupils: 11-18. (Allegedly.)

[…]

The school serves a community that is largely Caucasian and middle-class, with a dubious sense of entitlement. Exemplifying this is the wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), known informally as "the Chosen One". It was felt that he may harbour a messiah complex, though if you can be dragged underwater by a horde of clawing zombies without your hair getting mussed up, then you have probably earned the right to act the big man. […]

[Finally…] the Hogwarts admissions office is advised to investigate the claims of Harry and friends that they are 16 years old. Subterfuge on this scale has not been suspected since the 1970s Grease scandal in the US, when adults in their thirties were found to be posing as teenagers at Rydell High.

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