Got you!

14th June 2013 at 01:00

I drive to the barrier at the end of the car park, press the button and wait. I am leaving early this evening to begin putting my escape plan into operation. This time next year, I will be lying on a sun-kissed Caribbean beach sipping Bacardi and lime.

This is because a unique business opportunity has presented itself. A few weeks ago I read that a man called Dave Evans had developed a Cat Nav, an ultra-light GPS system that tracks and maps a cat's nocturnal wanderings. Its purpose is to let pet owners see exactly which ginger tom violated poor Fluffy in the shrubbery.

Not having a cat I thought no more about it until this morning when Brandon (a student) went missing. He disappeared after we discussed the ins and outs of his not having playtime until his mathematics was finished. I argued for in but he went for out, and legged it across the field.

A long and fruitless search led me to the adventure play area where I experienced a revelation of immensely lucrative proportions. It suddenly occurred to me that what I was in need of right then was something that could become the most sought-after piece of teacher equipment since the Acme Thunderer.

By the time I got back to school to report Brandon's disappearance my marketing strategy was mentally completed. Calling all principals! Are you intimidated by ever-more-complex safeguarding legislation? Does the threat of a massive negligence claim keep you awake at night? Is the ability of small children to evade barriers, climb walls and outwit the manufacturers of childproof security fencing worrying you to the point of desperation?

Install the Brat Nav Student Tracking System today and always know the precise whereabouts of even the most elusive students. For a modest fee you will be able to pinpoint the exact position of missing minors in moments. Simply enter a child's unique code into your laptop, tablet or smartphone and track his or her movements in real time.

I have been in a state of feverish excitement all day, and now the end of school is here I am the first one out of the building. Unfortunately, I am not yet out of the car park. I press the button a second time and the intercom crackles into life. "Sorry, Mr Eddison, but you are not allowed to leave," a slightly tetchy voice says.

My surprise quickly gives way to resolution. The likes of Henry Ford, Bill Gates and Thomas Edison (no relation) would never allow a mere security barrier to stand in the way of commercial success and neither will I. "Let me out immediately," I cry. "I have a business plan to put together, funding to arrange and a top-level conference with the patent office to organise."

"Really?" the familiar voice says. "Well, unfortunately you also have an emergency after-school meeting to attend on student safeguarding. And it's your fault we're having it, so get back in here now!"

Steve Eddison teaches children aged 7-11 at Arbourthorne Community Primary School in Sheffield, England.

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