Caught in the net
It's 5pm and I'm halfway through a Bravo Two Zero-style escape from the school when the head intercepts me in the corridor. I think she's got some kind of radar system.
"Kate, I wanted to talk to you about your end-of-term reports."
"I was flicking through them in the admin office and I noticed... how can I put it?... a pattern emerging. Take this for example."
She plucked a wedge of paper from some hidden compartment in her chest.
"'Andrew Robinson is a bright all-rounder with a good grasp of his subject knowledge and above-average social skills'."
"Pretty fair I think."
"So did I until I got to the next report in the pile. 'Gayle Matthews is a bright all-rounder with a good grasp of her subject knowledge and above-average social skills'."
"It's not my fault that a lot of my pupils are bright all-rounders with above-average social skills."
"Twenty-seven of them at my count."
"Well, what do you want me to do? Pretend they've got the social skills of a suicidal turnip farmer? That wouldn't be very good for the school's image, would it?"
I glare at her. This is my one and only line of attack. So I work it.
"Right. Well do you also expect me to believe that 79 of them are competent readers with moderately good organisational capabilities?"
"What's so implausible about that?"
"... and a pronounced lisp."
There is only one thing I can do: confess.
"There is a small chance that I might have used one of those internet report-writing packages. You know, the ones where you select phrases that have been pre-written for you."
She closes the door, then lowers her voice to a whisper.
"I see. I don't suppose you know one that can write the headteacher's report for me do you?"