Thank God it's Friday

12th March 2004 at 00:00

The caretaker reports that he's just heard Jamie ask his mum for his effing dinner money. Mum's response, as she clips him round the ear, is don't you effing swear at me. Five-year-old Jack is the oldest of three. Mum rings to explain that he is upset as she's told him she's having a fourth child, but it is not her fault.


The reception class is going on a trip. Peter hasn't brought his inhaler.

His mum suggests he uses one belonging to another child. When asked to go home and bring one back, she refuses and flounces out, saying: "You're not going to let him die." Peter gets to work with Year 1. Kayleigh hasn't got her dinner money. She hasn't eaten since yesterday. I phone her mum; she tells me she hasn't got any money and is unable to defecate it from her anus, or words to that effect. We give the child a school dinner.


The secretary phones Tom's mum to ask why he's absent. Tom, five, answers and tells us he can't wake her. We contact the education welfare officer, but she is unable to enter the house. Before I ring the police, I try the chair of governors, who knows the family. He gains access. Mum says she has an upset stomach and the strong smell of alcohol is the Indian brandy she takes as instructed by the doctor.


Year 6 is going swimming. A few hours later the teacher is ushering them in, reassuring them that the men with the chainsaw, the leaf blower and the sledgehammer can't get in. I see three men running past with these items; they have stolen them. The children know them. I tell the police their names.


The mayor visits and is impressed with the musical assembly, the behaviour of the children and the welcoming atmosphere. As we close for the holidays, I find a notice pinned to my door: "I'm a headteacher. Get me out of here!"

Anne Hall Anne Hall is head of a primary school in the north-west. She writes under a pseudonym

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