My worst parent - Unfriendly relations

15th May 2009 at 01:00

Georgia had exhibited some disturbing behaviour on the residential trip and we'd decided to call the parents in for a meeting.

On the day, we were ready - a receptionist with cups of tea, notes of the "evidence", a member of the senior leadership team, and the school counsellor.

I spotted them walking in. She was small and slight. I'd never met him before. Half Godfather, half Ofsted inspector, he was heavy set, greying, with a long dark trench coat and clipboard.

The mother was talkative, defensive, her daughter in her view suffering a previously-undiagnosed medical issue. He was silent and brooding, making notes.

Suddenly he spoke. "Do you know who I am?" he asked. (Parent? Serial killer?) "I know the Chair of Governors. And I'm a lawyer. Not practising anymore, but a lawyer nonetheless." (A not-so-veiled-threat. Fabulous).

I told him politely that we weren't prepared to be threatened. She said something. "You and your husband ..." I started. He cut me off with a booming chuckle. "Husband?!" What had I said? I had checked: Her parents were listed as Mr and Mrs. Indicating the girl's mother, he said "This is my daughter. I'm Georgia's grandfather." The world stopped briefly. I apologised, but whatever we decided to do now was irrelevant. The lawyerGodfatherinspectornow grandfather had won his case. And boy, did he know it.

The writer is a teacher from Middlesex.

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