Thank God it's Friday

19th March 2004 at 00:00
Monday

We are interviewing for a new teacher. We have asked the candidates to prepare a lesson plan which will be the basis of the interview conversation. One prospective applicant phones in. "Will I have a learning support assistant there to help me?" Whatever next? Phone a friend?

Tuesday

Assaults are rare. But one of our pupils, Steve, overhears a conversation between two of the staff and thinks they are talking about him. He throws himself at our English teacher. Three staff members drag him off and get him to cool down. Despite apologies, I have to suspend him.

This evening we have a visit from a new student. We are told she will not speak. This news has not filtered to the cleaner, who sees her and asks who she is. "Mum," she shouts, "tell her I don't talk!"

Wednesday

Marcus arrives at the unit for the first time this week. He has a black eye. "Who was it this time?" I ask. "Dad," he tells me. I ask what set off the fight. Marcus just says that they'd been arrested for affray at his grandmother's funeral.

I'd rather not talk about the job interviews

Thursday

Ben comes to my office to complain about the staff making fun of him in PSHE lessons. I say that I will look into it. At break, I challenge Cathy.

She and her learning support assistant burst into giggles. "I was writing on the board and Ben asked where the cervix was. I said, 'Hang on and I'll show you'." I don't ask any more questions.

Friday

We've set an Easter quiz. The kids are full of it. Outside, Steve is having a crafty fag. He stubs it out and I pretend not to notice. "Fancy a Rolo?"

he asks. I accept. "Look at that sky," he continues. "It's really heavy. I bet it snows. Don't you like it when all the roofs are white with snow?"

With that, he goes back in to his maths lesson.

The writer, who wants to remain anonymous, manages a pupil referral unit in south-east England

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