Heads wanted

24th October 1997 at 01:00
Following reports of 1,000 unfilled headship vacancies, try Jacqui Travers's light-hearted quiz to see if this is a job for you.

1. The cook has not reported for duty and no substitute can be found. Do you: a) make scrambled eggs and banana custard for all b) phone round for parents to bring in packed lunches c) take the whole school to the local hostelry 2. Your reception teacher has flu, the newly-qualified teacher has lost her voice and the supply budget is empty. Do you: a) take both classes into the hall and entertain them all day b) vire some money for supply from another budget heading c) split the 60 pupils between four classes 3. Would your spouse or partner prefer to spend weekends: a) adjusting the school computers b) putting up hooks and shelves in school c) relaxing with you 4. The parent-teacher association has arranged a racing evening and the local vicar throws a wobbly. Do you: a) invite the vicar to start the races b) suggest a karaoke evening instead c) proceed, but donate the takings to church funds 5. The White Paper lands on your desk on July 20. Do you: a) meet with the chairman and e-mail your response on July 23 b) take it on holiday and call a governors' meeting for August c) use it to light the end-of-term barbecue 6. You are required to estimate your pupil numbers for September 1999. Do you: a) over-estimate to make budgeting easier b) under-estimate to prevent nasty shocks later c) add up last week's winning Lottery numbers

7. On your forehead you have: a) deep horizontal and vertical lines b) no lines c) light vertical lines and deep horizontal lines 8. Your sagging in-tray finally collapses from exhaustion. Do you: a) smile and wave your speed reading certificate triumphantly b) bin everything, confident that important mail will be followed up c) throw the whole lot in the air and scream 9. It's your turn to run the second-hand shoe stall at next week's jumble sale. Do you: a) plead a previous engagement b) ban second-hand shoe stalls (and jumble sales) for ever c) say, "No, but I will make the coffee" 10. You are invited to sit on a Blunkett task force. Do you: a) claim you are too busy b) state that you do not have the skills c) say, "Yes, provided I can sit next to Ted Wragg" Answers: 1. a)10, b)2, c)5 2. a)2, b)10, c)2 3. a)2, b)2, c)5 4. a)5, b)2, c)5 5 a)10, b)2, c)5 6. a)10, b)10, c)5 7. a)2, b)5, c)10 8. a)5, b)5, c)2 9. a)2, b)10, c)2 10. a)2, b)2, c)10 Add up the total number of points. If your score is 40-70: you are well balanced and in control. Carry on teaching, your country needs you!

24-40: your life is a rose-coloured haze and you are so laid back you should survive. Fax your application tomorrow! Less than 25: you try too hard; book a long aromatherapy session and put in for early retirement. Now!

Jacqui Travers is headteacher of St Mary's Primary School, Frensham, Surrey

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