Thank God it's Friday

2nd February 2001 at 00:00
Neill Morton Monday My New Year's resolution is to walk to school every morning. The big problem has been my two sons and their several tons of books. Now that son no 1 has passed his driving test, son no 2 rather likes the idea of being taxied by big brother. So they drive over the hill while I step out whistling. Throughout the day, I comfort myself with the thought of the walk home.

Tuesday Officers from the LEA arrive this morning to set up a reporting module in the computerised administration system. This will save time, and supply a statement of exam results for parents. Alan, the school co-ordinator, is a young teacher, enthusiastic and efficient. All I have to do is appear briefly to explain our needs. He takes over and masters the new module in minutes.

Wednesday This walking business just gets better. I feel energised. Just as well, as I have a twilight course on accountability at 4.15pm. As I drive across the city I hear the 4.30 news: performance tables will no longer be published. Our minister of education has agreed that they are divisive Is it just my mood or are things truly beginning to get better?

Thursday As I walk for the fourth consecutive morning, I consider when I should begin to jog. Maybe I should aim for the London marathon in May 2002. Perhaps not. A commotion in the staffroom at break. The art master has doctored a copy of the proposed development plan for the school. In his version, there are four separate art blocks.

Friday I drive to school, conserving my energy for Macbeth and key stage 3. Remarkably, the boys seem to be enjoying Shakespeare. In the afternoon preparations begin for Saturday's open day. The Combined Cadet Force starts first and the sixth-form centre is littered with equipment and uniform. Several large branches move through the door and take up a position beside the camouflaging: Birnam Wood to the sixth-form centre comes. Other clubs and societies then reconnoitre. Skirmishes break out. After three hours of negotiation all is peaceful.

Neill Morton is head of political studies at Campbell college, a boys' independent school in Belfast


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