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Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that school is about children. In deciding whether or not to invite your child home for tea, the other parents will definitely be looking at you – and more particularly your clothes and car – to decide whether your child is ‘suitable’ to grace their house and play with their child. For goodness sake don’t blow your child’s credibility by failing to dress for the school run – professional make up and manicure, a full head of highlights and smart (but not TOO smart), expensive (but not TOO expensive) clothes are essential. At the time of writing, Boden and Crew for example, mingled with the odd designer accessory (fake is fine, it almost gives you more street cred for not-giving-a-damn) is preferable to wall-to-wall Burberry which immediately flags you up as (God forbid) ‘new’ money. Get it right and your child will be surrounded by friends, get it wrong, and he’ll be identified as Billy-No-Mates the outcast before you can say “head lice”!…
….And the vehicle -a four-wheel drive urban attack vehicle is essential for negotiating the finer points of the school car park, enabling you to look down on all those around you and ensuring that you park across two spaces leaving absolutely no doubt whatsoever about your right to be there.
Having equipped and asserted yourself appropriately, you’ve clearly identified yourself as one of the ‘Yummy Mummies’ (staff room-speak) and Stage 2 is now a doddle. You have now qualified for membership (or at least can therefore be considered for membership subject to further vetting of the size of your property, family background and cake-making skills) of that all-powerful no-go area for the meek and trembling -the PTA. Incidentally the more trendy schools will have moved on from the notion of a Parent Teacher Association to a more inclusive PSA – Parent Staff Association, or even a ‘Friends of the School’ type arrangement. It all sounds warm, friendly, wrap-around, but beware, this is no place for friendship. The PTA (or otherwise) is seen as a direct route to a) the Head’s office (and therefore his/her psyche), b) entitlement to park in the ‘Visitor Only’ parking space and c) a guaranteed seat in the front row for all school shows, concerts and nativity plays in perpetuity….