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Don't ask me

Which body of six or seven professional people has made me cry with frustration and all but weep with pride? Worried me sick and impressed me deeply? Been b..... awkward and jolly good fun? Still insist on having their own cartons of milk in the staffroom fridge so that when I forget to take some there isn't a communal supply?

Why have 180 children belonging to other people taken so much of my time from my own three? Why don't their parents want to come to the annual meeting to find out why?

Who in their right mind would volunteer to be on the receiving end of a gamut of experiences which would give James Herriot far more material than he has being merely a vet?

Why do I wonder if anyone in the Government in the past six years has had the faintest idea what life is like in a rural primary school?

What possible benefit can there be for me in knowing about age-weighted pupil allocations and curriculum-led staffing models? Indeed, what is the point of grappling with a formula budget while the government gets away with funding my county on a historic basis ("You didn't ask for much before, so your schools and children don't need much now")?

How have I acquired heartfelt sympathy for the headmaster's wife; greater understanding of my own husband's tendency to work too long and too hard (though in a completely different profession) and a close empathy with the headmaster's left leg? (When it begins to twitch, the conversation has gone on long enough. I haven't waited to find out if it ends in a kick.) Whose little seven-year-old has had to explain to her peers why she gets so many of those big brown envelopes, and those large fat white envelopes with the little black triangle in the bottom right corner, to give to her mummy?

How have I suddenly found time to write this piece?

So why do I find it such a wrench, and so little relief, to stand down after six years as chairman of governors?

The writer is a mother living in East Anglia.

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