Last evening's BBC news was full of the story about a teacher in a primary school who had insinuated to the pupils that Father Christmas did not really exist. There were interviews with 'the man himself' as well as with parents and dark talk of said teacher being hung, drawn and quartered - or something similar. The following thoughts passed through my mind:
The children in question were 9 and 10 year olds. In all my teaching career, I have only known of one child of that age who still believed in Santa so they were hardly likely to be too traumatised.
Why, when it is now recommended by our wonderful politicians that children as young as 5 should be being introduced to the facts of life, is it so awful that the question of the existence of Father Christmas should be raised with 9 and 10 year olds?
However, a far more pressing concern arose this morning when Declan on 'BBC Breakfast' interviewed Father Christmas. Whilst last night, Father Christmas's accent was decidedly of a Midlands persuasion, this morning, he was definitely West Country.
Now how do you explain that to the children?