Thank God it's Friday

23rd September 2005 at 01:00
Monday This Ofsted self-evaluation form is like a drug. Once you start you can't stop. I've been on the site so many times, I can even remember my password. The problem is, I have trouble leaving the first page alone. I keep going back to add more, then editing it because you're not supposed to have more than 20 pages (for the whole thing, not just page one). I check the guidance. Have I set a clear context? Is it based on evidence and not self-assertion? Will I ever sleep again?

Tuesday Page two is a bit easier: the views of learners and parents. Do we send out parental questionnaires? Oh yes. We do them at parents' evenings so no one can escape. Do we consult the children? Oh yes. The school council talks such sense sometimes. Do we listen and take action? Oh yes.

I'm beginning to sound like the Churchill dog.

Wednesday Mandy, our administrator, has completed the statistics pages and we go through them together. There are equal numbers of boys and girls again - amazing. In the afternoon, visitors drop in unannounced; Hungarian grandparents who live nearby and would like their granddaughter to start in Year 3. No problem. Fanni is coming to live with them, her parents are deaf and she doesn't speak any English. That's a few columns to change then, Mandy.

Thursday Page three: achievements and standards. This is the nitty gritty page. I go back to page one and add a bit about deprivation based on a local study of the area, then go through the Sats results. I cross-reference "action to be taken" to the school improvement plan. I do my playground duty in the rain and dry out in the staffroom. The roof is leaking by the caretaker's cupboard. Better leave the evaluation form while I phone the builders.

Friday Page four: personal development and well-being. How do we encourage healthy lifestyles? Jam is not allowed at breakfast club and there's a choice of fruit and yoghurt. Do the children enjoy their education? Possibly on Friday afternoons, when staff and parents spend an hour teaching activities ranging from jewellery-making to gardening. I go back to page one and add a bit about our enrichment programme. Only three more pages to do at the weekend. Hope it's still raining.

Val Woollven is head of St Andrew's CE primary school, Plymouth. If you have a diary to share (of no more than 480 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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