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Leith on life

How bad can the local school be?

By Sam Leith   February 2013

The boy was about eight, I guess—maybe a bit younger. He was standing by the double doors that lead out into the small car park, in some evident agitation. Squatting on her hunkers beside him, a female teacher was doing her best to calm him down.

“We can’t go out there. Mum’s gone. She’s going to come back in the afternoon to collect you…”

The headmaster saw me looking, as he led us past.

“Don’t worry about him: he’s a good kid. He’s just a bit fragile at the moment because things are difficult at home. Dad’s gone away.”

“On…

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