Meet the scariest parent

28th May 2004 at 01:00
It's your worst nightmare: somebody whispers in the staffroom that little Jimmy, the angelic darling in 1b, is in fact the son of the local chief education officer. You laugh it off at first, but it begins to eat away at your confidence. Is the homework challenging enough? Will Jimmy mention yesterday's disastrous lesson to mummy and daddy? The thought of the parents' evening sends you into cold sweats.

It seems the "scary parent" syndrome may have struck with particular ferocity in the case of the son of David Hopkins, head of the Department for Education and Skills standards and effectiveness unit. The formidable Hopkins told a conference at Tate Britain last week that his son had just done his Sats: "On the Monday morning after he had done his first Sat he broke his leg and the school, mindful of who his father was, actually insisted that he took his second Sat before taking him off to hospital."

The teachers probably have a slightly different version of events, but we'd love to be a fly on the wall at the next parents' evening.

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