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It's not fair and that's that

Let's be honest. It isn't fair that some local education authorities give you more than others. Since moving here we've made the unfortunate discovery that Sarah qualifies for free transport to our local comprehensive.

At first I was delighted but then it turned out that her bus passes our house at 8.35. Even assuming it arrives on time, this is still five minutes after I'm supposed to set off walking into school with Ginny.

So we asked if Ginny might have a place on the bus to her school which passes five minutes later. It sounded an ideal solution, particularly for those days when she has her violin to carry in.

But no, it wasn't possible. It seems that although our house is more than a mile from the comp it is less than a mile from the primary school.

Ergo Ginny must walk. In fact, ergo Ginny must now walk quicker. And Ginny is now grumpy with me because this all seems very unfair to her.

But then life isn't fair. If life were fair more and more people wouldn't be feeling the need to send their children to fee-paying schools. If life were fair teachers wouldn't feel the need to ask Mr Blunkett for more money. If life were fair there wouldn't be such things as Third World debt, hereditary baldness and mosquitoes that only ever go for me. So why do we expect it to be so?

Personally I blame teachers. It's they who inculcate our children with this myth of fairness, an assumption as naive as Hollywood's conviction that an American hero will always save the planet, when in fact we now know that an American hero will be far too busy apologising for his sex life to do anything useful about global recession.

After all, when you come down to it, is it fair that Ginny has genuine musical talent and Sarah Jane none?

Absolutely not, which is why Sal was able to give up the violin after one term but we still haven't let Ginny chuck it, even though she's tried every bribe in a nine-year-old's repertoire.

Moreover is it fair that ours is one of those few LEAs which provide music lessons absolutely free?

The poor child can't even pray that the recession may rob her of her enforced nightly practice. It simply isn't fair. But what outside a classroom is?

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