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Thank God it's Friday

Monday It's Sats week and I arrive early to make sure all is ready, and to be prepared for B, a male teaching assistant, to go to homes to collect the children who don't turn up. More pressing are the children who haven't had anything to eat or drink since yesterday. I give out water and biscuits and tell them that the breakfast club is free for Year 6 this week. S scribbles all over his paper and tears it in half. Things are tough at home again. He stays in the office to copy out his paper.

Tuesday Again S tears his paper in half and later makes a heartbreaking disclosure. I spend the afternoon on the phone to social services. We have one hour to arrange something as he's refused to go home. We know one carer is violent, so tell the police that he is to be taken into care. A burly social worker is stationed in the playground, ready to tell S's mother. S insists on being locked in a cupboard for safety, teaching assistant with him. His mother agrees that the family should go to a refuge. Meanwhile, her partner appears at the exit I'm manning with another assistant. He seems drunk and is verbally abusive; the assistant realises he is about to attack me. I run along the corridor and lock myself in my office. I dial 999. By 6pm, mother and kids are ready to leave for a safe haven. S turns to me and says "I can't go." "Why?" "What about my Sats?"

Wednesday B has shingles. We are now down 6 per cent. I spend the day talking to the police, sorting out an injunction.

Thursday A record number of Year 6 attend the breakfast club. As so many of the children saw the incident on Tuesday, we decide to have a special assembly at the end of the day to reassure them. I spot a member of staff waving wildly at me. I leave the hall and face the same drunk parent through the glass door. I return his stare, ignore the abuse, and escort classes from the hall with instructions to the staff to stay inside until the police arrive. One little girl, who has seen her mother repeatedly beaten up, places her hand on my arm and says: "You be careful, Miss."

Friday I am still shaking.

The writer, who wants to remain anonymous, was an acting head at a school in south-east England

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