Thank God it's Friday

30th April 2004 at 01:00
Monday Two of our families had a fight over the weekend; one has not turned up for school. The other family gleefully reports them. Sam's mum calls.

Sam can't wear school shoes as he has bad feet and is seeing a podiatrist.

Tuesday We transport Year 5 and their musical instruments to the leisure centre for a rehearsal for tonight's town music festival. At 3.30pm we are told it has been cancelled. We frantically ring parents. Staff volunteer to knock on the doors of those we cannot contact. Sam's mum says she is going to look for shoes that will suit his delicate feet. I enjoy the unexpected evening at home.

Wednesday Kieran collapses during football, I call an ambulance and deal with the shocked teacher and children. Sam's mum says she can't afford to buy expensive shoes. I notice Sam is wearing top-of-the-range designer trainers. Tonight I nip out of the governors' meeting to ring Kieran's mum; he is having tests but is doing well.

Thursday Terry tells me his mum says he can't go swimming as he had a bath this morning. We find spare swimming trunks and a towel. Sam is sent to me for kicking the child who sits opposite him. I suggest he remove his trainers during the afternoon session. Mum complains that this was an inappropriate punishment as his feet are so delicate.

Friday The LEA adviser rings to arrange a visit. She asks which area of the curriculum I would like to focus on. I stop myself from saying:

"Curriculum, what's that?" I try to sound warm, inviting and enthusiastic and ask if I can get back to her as I am dealing with a crisis. I'm sure I can find one if I look hard enough.

Crisis found! The caretaker says the boilers have shut down.

Sam's mum asks if he can stay for football training. I voice my concerns about whether his feet are up to it.

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

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