There have been several instances during which the existing structure of ancient, privately owned and run magic(k)al schools hasn’t been able to cope with the influx. Never have things been so bad as they have been since the late 1990s, since when there has been an ongoing ‘perfect storm’ of occult interest amongst tweens and teenagers that has resulted in far too many of them stumbling into the true magic(k)al arts.
Not all of these kids have the money or the magical heritage to justify their attendance in the best schools such as the Wobbly Academy, Orcsford, Wheaton or the others. It became necessary given the massive influx to go to the government for help. The same government that has previously caused problems for the magical fraternity but, since one hand doesn’t seem to know what the other is doing they help – sort of – at the same time as they’re causing problems, after all, it’s better to have all these magic(k)al problem-causers a) owing you and b) all collected in one place.
With government funding a series of buildings were re-purposed to become the new magic(k)al comprehensives, a series of substandard, underfunded, shoddy buildings where anyone who has shown a passing capability for magic(k) is rounded up and flung in order to be taught by all the magicians, wizards, soothsayers, warlocks and witches who couldn’t pass muster to educate at one of the older academies.
Needless to say this results in a rather brutish school environment in which learning is not a priority, where black magic(k) is traded around the playground like pokemon cards and where nobody really wants to be, not the teachers, least of all the kids. All this amateurish magic(k) flying about the place is dangerous, tears holes in reality and makes the comprehensives magic(k)ally as well as physically dangerous. If you’re not breathing in asbestos or clinging in vain hope to a Victorian radiator you’re getting your head dunked into a toilet by a half-orc or falling into a dungeon pocket-realm that’s spontaneously appeared under the boiler room. That’s if the teachers – who haven’t been properly cleared due to the haste and desperation with which they’ve been hired – don’t get you. Then there’s the exchange students who are termed ‘extra-strange’ students with good reason.
The ivy-clad private magic(k)al schools get all the kudos, but there’s something to be said for the school of hard knocks and it’s a more useful life skill to deal with that sort of real world situation rather than the self-important bullshit that goes on elsewhere.