Thank God it's Friday

1st July 2005 at 01:00

It's one of those weeks when the school diary is full of endless evening meetings. The LEA governor phones up to give her apologies for the governors' meeting on Thursday. She says she's been watching Jamie Oliver on school meals, and she knows someone who may be able to supply us with organic asparagus - "the children would love it" - oh, and by the way, could we recommend a good babysitter? I head for the staffroom biscuit tin.

This week is going to be heavy on calories.


The Friends of the School meeting is due to start at 8pm, but the last two members arrive late, having gone to the wrong pub. The committee has decided on an open-air concert to raise funds. They struggle with the problem of finding a suitable venue, until a new member has the solution.

"There's a man down our road with an enormous garden. I don't know him, but I'm sure he'd be thrilled to hold the concert." I try not to imagine the man's face when he's informed he is to be the lucky host to a couple of hundred parents and their children, not to mention a band and beer tent.


Harry's mum pops in to say that he's having a bit of trouble going to the toilet, and could I keep an eye on it. She tells me in rather too much detail what the problem is, and I decline with thanks the slice of chocolate cake the office manager has brought in to celebrate her birthday.

The chair of governors phones to confirm his attendance at tomorrow's meeting. Oh, and he's having some bother with his bathroom. Could we recommend a good plumber? I nip into the staffroom to munch through two custard creams.


Full governors' meeting. There is an issue over the playing field (next to the school grounds). When local children play football, the ball often comes over the school fence, and the children then climb the fence to retrieve their ball. As a consequence, the fence is becoming increasingly wobbly. After half an hour of heated discussion, a parent governor has an inspired solution. "Couldn't the head be on 24-hour duty so parents could call her out and she could throw the ball back?" he inquires. With a saintly smile, I pass round the biscuit tin.

Friday Marcia's dad calls in at the beginning of school. He's a little confused by the latest newsletter. The children are performing a concert, and he just wants some clarification. "When it says in the letter, everyone welcome, does that mean everyone?" he asks worriedly. I plaster my smile back on my face, and reassure him that "everyone" does indeed mean "everyone". As he leaves, I reach for the bourbons, and wonder when someone will invent chocolate-flavoured red wine.

Helena Bakewell is the head of a primary in the Midlands. She writes under a pseudonym. If you have a diary you would like to share (of no more than 520 words), write to TES Friday, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX or email We pay for every article we publish

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