The unnamed home-party organiser sent a note to school last week explaining why her son was not wearing the correct shoes. However, loath to miss a sales opportunity, she wrote it on the back of a leaflet advertising her wares.
When the Hertfordshire primary teacher opened the note - delivered by the boy - she was astonished to find it read: "Ladies. Brighten up those cold winter evenings and book an Ann Summers party. You will have a great time, get commission on all orders placed and even get a free gift."
At first, the teacher thought that the mother had made an embarrassing mistake. But then she found the hand-written message on the other side of the eaflet.
"It explained that she had had to send her son to school without his indoor shoes because she couldn't find his size in the local shops," said the teacher, a widow in her forties. "But then the mother added: 'As you can see I am doing Ann Summers parties. So if you would like a catalogue to look at let ... (her son's name) know and I will drop one in'."
Her generous offer has not, however, been accepted, even though teachers have been deprived of the paraphernalia of pleasurable punishment since the cane was abolished (Anne Summers sells whips and "spanking cream"). "Parents used to write to us on Basildon Bond notepaper," said the teacher. "Now it seems that Basildon bondage is good enough. It does make you wonder where we're heading."