Thank God it's Friday

27th March 1998 at 00:00
Monday Another week. We really ought to have a staff meeting about the DFEE's suggestion of setting target zones. Now where did I put that pile of expensively glossy booklets they sent . . . Ah, here we are: historic zones, comfort zones, challenge zones, unlikely zones. Oh, morning Pennie. There's a what? A pigeon in your classroom? Yes, I know the kind of mess even one pigeon can make. From what you say, I imagine it's a very nervous pigeon. Right, we'll go and chase it together. At least it's smaller than the dog that ran in last week.

Tuesday Right, historic and comfort zones. The glossy booklet says we need to ensure we have appropriate data in different years for evaluating unexpected variations. Let me just read that again. Doreen, is there any really strong coffee left? I need to understand this stuff before I organise a staff meeting.

Come in. Hello, David. Yes, I can see you've got an extremely large lump on your head and it's only 8.45. I see. But why did Haji bring the snooker ball to school in the first place? And now he's doing what? Well, I don't think Year 3 children will be fooled for one moment that it's a pink gobstopper. On the other hand, perhaps it might be better if I came back down to the playground with you.

Wednesday Targets and zones, zones and targets. Important stuff. Should be time before school starts to get some notes for a staff meeting typed up. Good thing I managed to fit in reading that booklet last night after wading through the school budget stuff, the literacy documents, the minutes from the governors' meeting, the letters from that rather odd parent, Form 7 . . . strange that Form 7 was longer than ever this year. Still, all that information must be jolly useful to the DFEE.

Going to bed long after midnight is quite interesting. Everything's so quiet. Doreen, why is my computer showing an evil-looking red bug? It's a what. A virus? Oh dear, letters are doing very strange things. Oh well, things will be better once we're all on the Internet.

Thursday Dear me, nearly the end of the week and I still haven't had a zone and target meeting. And what's this in the booklet? Targets need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-related. I think I'll just do what I always do on Thursdays: teach the children. There's choir, and guitars, and my session with the nursery. I can always get back to zoning this evening. We'll have a meeting about it next week instead.

Friday Morning Loleta. I was just thinking about you. I was wondering if you'd like to prepare a staff meeting about zones and targets. You know, a bit of delegating from head to deputy. No, I can see by your face it's not the most exciting suggestion you've ever had.

What was it you wanted to show me? The performance league tables? Good heavens, we've done rather well, haven't we! And all without bi-weekly meetings, visits from inspectors and advisers, twilight courses, workshops, plenary sessions, steering committees and working parties. I tell you what, why don't we just cut the glossy booklets up for collage work, carry on as we've always done, and wait and see what the next educational fashion accessory is?

Mike Kent is head of Comber Grove Primary School, Camberwell, south London

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