Saturday, 7th December 2019

A letter of complaint to my child's school after her science project I spent weeks on didn't win a prize

Dear Mrs Bradford,

I write to complain that my daughter Ellie’s recent science project, which I put a lot of effort into making just crap enough to look like the work of an average eight-year-old, has received no recognition whatsoever.

You asked a child who struggles with glue to create a working model of the solar system. Impossible. Clearly your request was for a parent to spend a fortnight doing it for them, and I rose to the opportunity.

But yesterday, after delivering our good-but-not-obvious-a-grown-up-has done-it solar system, featuring very creative use of egg boxes, I was shocked to discover that I – and technically, my child – did not even gain third place!

Instead Umar’s rocket ship, which frankly was lazy work by his father, took first prize and second went to a girl whose mother does not work so has nothing better to do. What kind of example is that to parents?

Have you even considered the effect this may have on my daughter's mental health?  She has had to watch her stressed-out mother hunched over the kitchen table, night after night cutting tiny stars out of tin foil only to be beaten again.

I was also absolutely disgusted to find that the entry on display in reception, by Susan Traherne who barely even lives in catchment, was a simple pencil drawing of the Milky Way that looked like the work of a child. The school has let itself down.

Yours sincerely,

Eleanor Shaw BA, NVQ

PS:  I note that the Christmas homework project is to make a Viking longship. As a woman with a fine arts degree who once received a Blue Peter badge for her Tracy Island, I trust that my daughter’s entry will get the recognition I deserve.