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Cash in a windfall

I have a pleasant problem: how to spend a windfall of Pounds 50. This is not a rebate from the National Power shares; it is a gift from a grateful parent of a former pupil.

We have had such presents before and bought books, suitably inscribed with the pupil's name. But this time the parent has asked me to spend the money on "something different, something fun".

Such a sum, though a generous gift, will not solve our most urgent difficulty which is classes of 35. Staffordshire is spending Pounds 800,000 on keeping classes down to size, so our Pounds 50 pales into insignificance. Smaller classes, however, would be "different" and definitely "fun".

Canvassing the staff for their spending advice produces only alcoholic solutions, which though tempting I regretfully decline.

We could turn yet again to Sir Ron Dearing's wise example - and gamble on the National Lottery. After all, school finances are now such a gamble one more little flutter can do no harm.

Tempting though this is, it looks like we'll order more books for the library. Hard Times will be top of the list.

Bob Aston is headteacher of a primary school in Kent

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