Caught in the net

7th December 2007 at 00:00
Kate is tripped up taking a short cut to writing perfect end-of-term reports.Dear Bex,

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."

"No problemo."

"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?"

Love Kate

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today