The week

3rd June 2011 at 01:00

As the esteemed editor of this organ sagely notes on this page, the proposed revamp of the admissions code hasn't exactly achieved its first aim of making the whole process easier to understand. Middle-class, better-off parents who read more than one newspaper are especially confused about what to believe.

But at least one element of the code is easy to grasp - and that's guaranteed places for children whose parents are in the armed services. Major General Gove and his legions of battle-scarred officers like nothing better than an army-friendly announcement. This one marches on behind Troops to Teachers and support for Combined Cadet Forces. Presumably, then, Gove and his merry men would be in favour of boys playing at being soldiers - perhaps someone should tell those spoilsports at an infant school in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Teachers there broke up a "shoot-out" between a couple of seven-year-old boys. Staff were particularly perturbed by the boys using their hands to make the shape of guns. Surely the kind of imaginative play that teachers should encourage? Not when they aim their imaginary bullets at said staff, it's not. Court-martials were immediately issued via parents. It was, predictably enough, "political correctness gone mad", according to the local Conservative MP.

Still, teachers can't be too careful these days with what looks like a bit of harmless fun. A junior school in Newhaven, East Sussex, had to call in police after a child was found to be in possession of what they suspected to be cocaine. She wasn't involved in playground dealing, we hasten to add, but had picked up a packet of sweets for a "show and tell" session where her father had allegedly hidden the drugs.

And if that wasn't bad enough, a survey has revealed that three in ten children live in households that do not contain a single book. One primary teacher in London recounted that when he asked pupils to bring in a book, one produced the Argos catalogue. "It's the only book my family have," he said.

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