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Thank God it's Friday

MONDAY I am refreshed by the sixth form's resurgence of interest in Charles Dickens. I passed three of them in town last night. With spiky hair, tight-fitting black clothes and chains, they were clearly off to a fancy dress party. I was a little disappointed at the lack of imagination that led all three to go dressed as Jacob Marley's ghost, but the care lavished on their costumes was a credit to the school.

TUESDAY While I'm working in the school office, a pupil comes to sign out to go to "the orthodontist". Naturally, I'm suspicious of this and take advice from one of the secretaries. She assures me that this is in order. It appears that dentists have become extinct. I'm amazed. I don't recall a government consultation paper, or even a circular from the LEA. In the afternoon, I drive to Maidstone for a branch meeting of the Secondary Heads Association. General Secretary John Dunford reminds us that key stage 3 results will soon form part of the league tables. Oh joy.

WEDNESDAY A form requesting details for another DfES survey arrives on my desk - the fifth this week. I put it with the others. I'm now close to publishing the results of my long-term research into the "Dane Court phenomenon". This study shows that "whenever a government or quasi-government body, or university department, or A-level sociology student carries out research, whatever the size of the random sample of schools needed, this school will be part of it".

THURSDAY The local rag announces that Status Quo will perform in the town in July. "Who's Status Quo?" asks a pupil. It crosses my mind that I may be getting too old for this job.

FRIDAY A fine day. I patrol the school at lunchtime. Some 600 pupils play football, cricket and tennis or sit and chat. They seem cheerful. Others are rehearsing in the music room, taking part in the athletics club, working in the library or taking extra lessons as exams loom. "Good article in the paper on our Ofsted report wasn't it, Sir?" says one. Maybe I won't take the pension just yet.

Robin Curtis is head of Dane Court grammar school in Broadstairs, Kent

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