Thank God it's Friday

24th February 2006 at 00:00
Monday I'm sent on a first aid course at a local college and am about to give Annie (a rubber torso) mouth-to-mouth when there's an urgent phone call from school. Thoughts flash through my mind. The boilers have exploded, the entire school has inhaled noxious fumes and it's my fault.

But it's a break-in to one of the mobile classrooms over the weekend and the police want the CCTV footage. I return to find Annie in the arms of another.

Tuesday Arrive 6.45am to find every skylight smashed and glass in most of the rooms. The police ask if there is any blood on the glass. Sadly, no, I reply. Has anything been stolen? No. We'll just give you a crime number then, for the insurance. I've just risked a hernia, I say, climbing on to the roof to assess the damage and the vandals had a party, lager cans all over the place. Don't you want to fingerprint them? There was a lot going off last night, comes the reply. We'll try to send someone around later.

Wednesday Contractors repair the roof. All is well, until I enter the boys'

toilets to sort out a blockage, look up and discover the new skylight has a crack in it. I check the others: they're all the same. It seems the edge of the glass panes cut the "string" holding them in place in the contractor's van. The vandal-proof, reinforced glass fell to the floor, cracking every piece. The contractor says they put the cracked pieces in place for tonight to keep the rain out and they'll be back in the morning to replace it all again.

Thursday Skylights repaired. I comment to the contractor about the Sixties design of schools and how this one, and many like it - one storeyflat roof - are a vandals' paradise. Didn't have vandals in the Sixties, he replies, only burglars and they always left the place clean and tidy after a job.

Friday I remember the lager cans. Needing the exercise and an ozone fix, I scale the roof and, wearing my Marigolds, carefully put them in a plastic bag. The police are not interested in my evidence. Not much point now, they say. Anyway, it rained last night so any prints will be useless.

Tony Callaghan taught in Bedfordshire for 25 years and was a deputy head in three schools. After taking early retirement, he moved to Norwich where he began work as a primary school caretaker in December last year. He hopes to write a book about his experiences. If you have a diary to share (no more than 450 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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