New Year, new problems, as the ancient saying goes. So you thought 1997 was tough, what with the battles over the budget, that nasty incident over the head of RE's special chair in the staffroom and the long-running tussle between the caretaker and the plumbing system.
Optimists and new recruits will be looking forward to 1998 in a spirit of joyful optimism. Embittered old lags, on the other hand, know it is a minefield to be negotiated with the utmost caution. If OFSTED doesn't get you, then it could be any permutation of government (local or national) pupils, parents, governors, or even colleagues.
In this spirit, we are publishing our own cut-out-and-keep version of Snakes and Ladders, based on what was originally a teaching game on the subject of good and evil. For two to six players from key stage one upwards. You will need: one dice, cup, plus playing pieces.
Object of the game: to survive the school year without having a nervous breakdown or going bankrupt, and to reach the hundredth square.
Playing the game: the person who rolls the highest number on the dice goes first and rolls again to play. If you land at the foot of a ladder, move upwards. If you land on the head of a snake, slither down its tail. You must roll the exact number to reach home, 100. If you roll a higher number you must go forward into home and back out again.
(This is based on Spear's Games version of Snakes and Ladders)