Who rules the school?

‘Miss, can I go five minutes early? My limo is waiting outside’ is not what I usually hear on a sunny Friday afternoon. Not from a class of year 8s. Not while working on drama sketches about the effects of alcohol.

However, the same pink limo, playboy bunny motif and all was parked across the way of three school buses when we all decided to look out and check (it was all of us or none of us, and I needed to know).

The head was shortly seen chatting to the driver and pretending to be fine about the booking, as pupils filed past the scene on the way to their buses, cartoons and e-numbers.

Earlier in the day I had visited a pupil of ours on work experience at the school where my mum used to teach class one. The pupil was based in the reception class, so I was also able to talk with a few friendly folk who asked after mum and dad and were glad to see me. When I walked back to the car I became concerned that there were pupils of high school age kicking a football around near it. I needn’t have been worried. They all had their blazers on and shirts tucked in as they played, and had excellent ball control.

Is this what private-school parents buy in to? Ball control and correct uniform? Do they have children who need to leave early to change for their waiting limo?

I noted recently that I have had to change my sleeping patterns – dad says that he has been told not to catnap, although the beta-blockers have been stopping him sleeping again. At least having retired he is able to take it easy in the daytimes. Even if he misses a whole night’s sleep.

My brother and sister-in-law are learning about new sleeping patterns too, as their 18 day old son likes to sleep quietly in the daytime and pretend to cry and bang his arms about in the evening before a night of waking and attention-seeking. They think he is a bit of a drummer already.

You can go private for schooling and health. You can pay top end prices for lawyers, tutors, plane seats and hotels. But you cannot ignore a baby. Nature seems to have designed it that the power does not always lie where we think it does.


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