Staff at St Mary’s infant school in Stoke Newington were left divided at the school’s Halloween party as to whether the pathetic attempt at Halloween fancy dress from 6-year-old Jamie Whittam was due to his parents obviously not caring enough about him and his status in the school, or whether they are actually just poor.
‘When Jamie arrived at school, I assumed the large cardboard box that had once contained a washing machine was being used to carry an elaborate costume’, explained Winnie Forbes, Jamie’s teacher, ‘but he then pointed to the large spooky face drawn in biro on the machine door and told me the box WAS the costume and he’d come as a haunted washer-dryer’.
The staff room fiercely debated the unusual fancy-dress with the ‘couldn’t be arsed’ camp noting that the machine featured on the packaging was a top of the range Miele, which would have set the parents back quite a bit, while the poverty group highlighted the fact that boxes from a nearby Curry’s are often dumped at the back of the local Lidl for people to use that can’t afford recyclable carrier bags, and this could have been the source of the outfit.
However the lazy camp countered by insisting that there’s plenty of poor kids that have better costumes, with their leading spokesman, Deputy Head Jane Thomas noting that the parents could have shoplifted a Transformers outfit like many other of the school’s disadvantaged parents had obviously done, and that the merely poor ‘would at least have bothered to cut out eyeholes so the wee lad could see where he was going’.
To finally settle the argument Jamie’s teacher, Miss Forbes, called his parents under the pretext of needing permission for him to bob for apples. The findings of the call left both sides claiming victory, however. According to a ‘mortified’ Mrs Whittam, Jamie’s Romanian nanny Jana had been specifically told to pick up an official Harry Potter wizard’s outfit, to be paid for out of the ‘ample’ £40 weekly allowance she was paid on top of her free accommodation. Mrs Whittam then promised to speak to Jana about appropriate childcare at their monthly meeting, before arranging to have Jamie collected from the teacher’s car park, and promising a donation to the school’s computers fund in recognition of their discretion in the matter.