Thank God it's Friday

12th November 2004 at 00:00
Monday A meeting of the "school change team" this morning aims to draw up proposals for workforce remodelling. We're following the Government's advice on this, convinced it really can make a difference to work-life balance and ultimately help raise standards. We agree to analyse the tasks we do during the week and consider whether we're the best people to be doing them. I check that I've brought my badge: "Headteacher" it says.

That's my job.

Tuesday Fiona crashes into my office. "There are bright red berries poking through the fence into the foundation stage garden. The children are picking them. They might be poisonous," she says. This is a job for Mike the groundsman, whose next visit is in two weeks' time. I should have brought my garden shears.

wednesday Unannounced, the interactive whiteboard installation engineer arrives to assess the classrooms. He is very friendly, very chatty. He needs someone to show him every classroom where whiteboards are to be installed. "Are those plasterboard ceilings?" "Where's the main power board?" "What's in the roof space?" I should have brought my overalls.

thursday Susan takes a message from one of our parents. "Do you remember Julia said we could have her old fridge for the under-fives' milk? She mentioned it to you last July. She thinks you might have forgotten. It's taking up space in her hallway. Can you pick it up after school today?" I should have brought a removal van.

friday Beth, one of the lunchtime supervisors, hurries up to me and says:

"There's cat poo on the field again. Someone's rolled in it and it's spread everywhere. And Alex's football has gone into the wildlife area and I haven't got a key to the gate. And Alice and Paige and Shona have fallen out again and Alice is on the bench crying. And the rope on the play equipment still hasn't been fixed - I told you about it last week."

Headteacher? I Should have brought my magic wand.

David Burrows David Burrows is a primary school headteacher in Oxfordshire

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