So I mentioned a few days ago that I had a conditional place to train for a PGCE in Classics at Cambridge School of Education. A couple of you asked, conditional on what? After all, I obtained my degree several centuries ago. I too was curious and waited for a letter of confirmation. Day after day, when the letterbox clacked, I ran to the doormat like a deluded Labrador with a fetish for envelope gum. But nothing.
“Maybe it was all a mistake, Carenza?”
“No, Mum, whatever it says on UCAS is binding.”
Furtively I print off a screenshot of my offer. I shall brandish it as proof in court.
After a week, I decide that I’m allowed to ring the University now. The administrator answers.
“Oh, yes, a letter is on its way.”
And the conditions?
“An enhanced CRB check.” Fine
“A couple of health forms.” Uhuh. Yep.
“You should attend a Latin Summer School .” Yes. Very enjoyable.
“And the Teaching Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy.” Gulp.
“But I have O levels in Maths and English.”
“All trainee teachers have to pass these tests now.”
I put the phone down and perform a silent imitation of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. The last maths exam I sat was thirty-five years ago, and frankly, that didn’t go too well.