Tuesday Sneak downstairs at 5am to retrieve the application form from the DfEE website. Still no luck. At school, a colleague tells me that the office manager has the form on disk. I resolve to pay him a visit, forgetting that "things will be quieter now the Year 11s have gone" is one of education's great lies. I leave school empty-handed.
Wednesday The office manager transfers the aplication form from the screen to disk in nanoseconds. It turns out the school has a queue-jumping link to the DfEE site. I open the disk to find it contains a "V-sign.a" virus. Is the DfEE expressing its true feelings about teachers?
Thursday I'm wondering whether applying to cross this threshold is really worth the trouble when I recall my union's advice. They're dead against it, but say I should still apply as pound;2,000 year is pound;60,000 over a career. I'm flattered they think me so young.
I fail miserably to advance the application during the school day after remembering that I must refer to the school's performance assessment (Panda) report. Spend lunchtime in search of my copy of the school's Panda.
Friday Roll into school bleary-eyed after an all night cut-and-paste job on a photocopied application form.
Cross my fingers that I'll get over the threshold as I can't face the prospect of going through the whole rigmarole again next year.
Holly Budd is a pseudonym. She teaches in Manchester