Sammy was sat again outside the head's office waiting for permission to enter. She had blood on her shirt and mud on her face, detailing another chapter in the story of "sad Sammy and her life at school".
Her presence in the staffroom corridor was also another excuse for one of the teachers - you'll know who - to rant on about why her mother should send her to the other school down the road. I can still hear her words clearly.
"No loving mother would do this to her child. Is it too much to ask Mrs Grone to send her own kid down to St Cuth's? That woman can only think about herself. It's wrong you know. She's doing so much damage to her own kid. We care about the kid more than she does."
I still remember how a group from Year 6 shredded Sammy's clothing and nearly strangled her with a tie as retribution for the new uniform regulations.
The hastily introduced "no football" rules resulted in her being tethered to the goal posts - a defenceless defender attacked on all sides.
Then they got her again, forcing her to eat an interesting cocktail of Smarties and grass when the closure of the school tuck shop was announced. She didn't take that last assault lying down and showed a few of them that teeth did more than eat.
So when the head's door opens and Sammy is called in, will she run in, throw her arms around "our boss" and hug her like only a daughter can hug her mother - and will she ask her if she can go to St Cuth's?
And will "our boss", finally, through her tears, whisper: "Yes, my lovely daughter - you should go to St Cuth's"?
The writer is an educational consultant in the North East.