I’m told that one in three children leaves school unable to read or write properly. How true this statistic is I can only guess as it came from a politician, so it could be verifiable or a complete fabrication. But if it is, here’s maybe why.
I went for a drink with my mate last night and as soon as we walked through the pub door we regretted it. The place was bedlam. It was the Christmas party for the teachers at the nearby infant and junior school.
- One, they were all completely bladdered. Okay, so that’s what lots of people do at this time of year, and in the pub nearest work. But when the other people present are the parents or relatives of the kids you’re teaching?
- Two, they were loud. I mean LOUD of ASBO proportions. And why shouldn’t they let their hair down? See above.
- Three, their language was pretty hair-raising. I’m no prude but you don’t expect banter between the teachers of our children to involve quite so much effin’ and jeffin’. And in the best room too.
All of which might explain why a five-year-old Miss P, then a pupil at said school, once asked me very loudly in the aisles of Sainsbury’s, “Dad, is flucking hell swearing?”