Thank God it's Friday

12th May 2006 at 01:00
Monday A lad arrives saying he is Kev, Lisa's brother, and that he has come to collect her for the dentist. I rapidly rummage in my memory bank and decide Lisa hasn't got a brother. I ask Kev what he's doing now. He tells me he works on forklift trucks, lifting pallets to 30ft or more. "Really, that's very skilled work," I say. "What training did you do?" Kev becomes uncomfortable, "It's OK, just remembered the dentist's next week," he says and leaves. The receptionist asks me how I know Kev and his job history. "I don't," I reply and go to assembly.

Tuesday Today I am called to reception to meet two silent, KGB types. In my office they tell me they believe an espionage network is operating from a telephone number that can be traced back to the school. I want to laugh, but they are so solemn, I refrain. After hours of discussion and investigation, it transpires that the GCHQ site, only eight miles away, has intercepted emails saying, "Mr Blake was a spy". Scanning the timetable, I suggest the origin was a Year 8 cover lesson last week where, perhaps, pupils were speculating on the previous occupation of the supply teacher.

Wednesday My colleague and I meet a consultant to discuss our draft bid for specialist status. We are challenged for omitting "the gender issue". We look puzzled. The expert elaborates that we need to compare boys'

performance with that of girls. I begin to shuffle with irritation; my colleague knows the signs and rapidly explains, "but we are an all-girls'

school". Then we have an action replay when we are told we have omitted to mention the progress of pupils into our sixth form. I am now rattling.

Again my colleague interjects with, "we are an 11-16 school". I mumble about people who haven't done their homework. My colleague gives me one of her looks.

Thursday One of my past pupils comes to see me. She was an able girl who had always hoped to go to university to study sports science. She tells me she has just started work in an insurance office. "Why no university?" I ask. She says she is worried about accumulating a student loan. She couldn't pay it back for years, her parents are not in a position to help her financially and she has younger siblings, so "no go", she says sadly. I wish I could do something for her; we discuss the possibility of being a mature student in a few years time. "Yeah - maybe," she says wistfully.

Friday I have three messages left on my desk, all from my aunt. One reminds me it's my cousin's birthday. The next tells me to collect the cat's tablets. The third asks me to buy some biscuits on the way home. Why not? It is the end of the week.

Gill Pyatt is head of Barnwood Park school, Gloucester. If you have a diary to share (no more than 450 words), write to TES Friday or email We pay for every article we publish

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