Thank God it's Friday

23rd January 2004 at 00:00
Monday Five years of initiatives in Lambeth schools end on Friday with the closure of its education action zone. We're putting on a celebration concert at the Royal Festival Hall with pupils from 26 schools.

It's like moving house, having a wedding and getting divorced all in the same week. Minister's office phones to say he will arrive at the concert at 6.30pm.

Tuesday More than 3,000 programmes arrive from the printers, while vocal tutors from English National Opera practise the songs with the children.

Minister's office phones to say he will arrive at 7.15pm.

Wednesday Phone the DfES to check the gifting process for the office kettle. Look for kettle. Find it behind the bin bags next to the programme books. Ugandan mission arrives to collect spare numeracy strategy packs.

Set up an ironing board and persuade the literacy consultant to start ironing transfers designed by Year 2 pupils on to T-shirts. Phone schools to remind children to bring a packed tea. Minister's office phones to send apologies.

Thursday Remember to label the dressing rooms, bring the T-shirts, tell teachers the toilet rota. But forget to explain to the 350-strong choir what dress rehearsal means. Seven-year-old Ricardo bursts into tears. His teacher asks him why he is upset. "Nobody came," he sobs. The toilet rota works a treat, and while the children eat their packed teas, 2,000 parents, friends, business partners and other supporters fill the auditorium. The concert is a triumph. We're all in tears. Ricardo is happy.

Friday In the office by 9am. Year 6 pupils from St Jude's C of E primary in Herne Hill email to ask if they can do it again next year. But there's no next year for the EAZ, although no one attending last night's event was left in any doubt about the powerful impact it had.

Sarah Horrocks was CfBTLambeth EAZ project director. She is now a freelance education consultant. The zone closed in July last year

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