On the educational front, english, maths and science were taught, but they were periphery on the curriculum. The school’s raison d’être coincided with Miss Whippet’s agenda, which was imparting the fundamentals of Snobbier-Than-Thou to Bosworth House. This superior role was entrusted to the self-confessed hugely talented Mrs DeVilliers, who was supremely qualified for the task. She was the wife of Gerard DeVilliers, or Fathead as he liked to be called. Mrs DeVilliers regarded herself as the finest dressed, most pre-eminently intelligent lady in the Snook. She was of the view everyone should at least try to emulate her impressiveness. The Snobbier-Than-Thou curriculum was how she lived every moment, so she was well placed to impart this way of life.

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Acceptable Fraud

Miss Whippet especially liked allocating children to the appropriate house upon their entry to Snookington School and also appointing prefects to the senior year. Her decisions would affect the children for years. They stayed in their respective houses unless, in extreme circumstances, the difficult decision had to be made to demote one or more children to Goodson. Even that would be a good day for Miss Whippet as she enjoyed inflicting psychological harm.

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This state of affairs was reinforced by the prefect system. All prefects came from Bosworth and they naturally treated their friends and most others from Bosworth well. Those children in a position of authority wore a badge embossed with ‘Prefect’ on their lapels. Goodson pupils tried to avoid their counterparts from Bosworth whenever possible, but any contact with a prefect never ended well. The head prefect enforced a sub-set of school rules and managed the prefect rota system. Prefects patrolled the school buildings and grounds in twos during break time, which enabled the teachers to hide away in the staff room where they had tea, coffee, cakes and a selection of à la carte meals. The teaching staff disliked interacting with children during breaks, so they abdicated all power to the prefects during these times. 

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Poshey children were top drawer and the upper echelon of society. It was as simple as that. Way below them were Gossip children, who were not all bad as far as Miss Whippet was concerned, but not nearly as impressive as Posheys. However Outsider children were just common street urchins. Miss Whippet enjoyed making sure those scoundrels knew their place in the world; at the bottom of the pile. They had only one useful purpose, which was to get stood on and make everybody who mattered feel good about themselves. Outsider children were used as cannon fodder, to be ridiculed and humiliated as preparation for inevitable manual jobs in and around the Snook.

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An Education of Sorts

Some of the younger children were under the misapprehension the square was a playground and tried to have fun. But the headteacher, Miss Whippet, regarded it as a parade square. Discipline was strict so it was where uniform inspections were carried out every morning. Miss Whippet had a piercing voice which made the kids flinch as if fingernails were scratched down a blackboard. She was a person of uncertain age; too young to be old, yet too old to be young. A thin lady, she always wore black stiletto heels, a long black pencil skirt and a black cashmere jumper. She had dark hair and a nose thrust almost vertically upwards, upon which perched gold-rimmed glasses. She looked down on everyone with a finely tuned air of superiority. She was a true Poshey through and through. As Miss Whippet saw it, she was employed to ensure only Poshey children excelled. It was the natural order of things and had to be enforced with her iron will.

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Snookington School was a collection of impressive red-brick buildings with large white sash windows surrounding a tarmac square. Back in the day, Lord Snookington founded Snookington School and joined it with lasting bonds to the prestigious University of Snookford. An air of mystique cloaked this higher education establishment in which academic rigour was an outdated concept and disadvantaged applicants were rare.

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The Nobodys

As a family, the Nobodys were sneered at in the Snook. Steve may have a good job, but he was still only an Outsider. He earned glares from Posheys and Gossips alike for his shamelessness. His wife, Michelle, was quiet and her kindness was mistaken for weakness in that unforgiving social environment. And their children were thought of as educationally deficient. But sometimes looks can be deceiving. The Nobodys were a determined bunch. Once they set their minds on something, they would keep going until it had at least been achieved.

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The Gronk-LaTwonks

In his spare time, Gronk loved to fantasise. He dreamed of being a master swordsman whose swashbuckling style overcame all adversaries. Or a combat soldier with weapons strapped to his uniform who, by sheer guts, could win a war against any odds. Or even a real-life superhero with cape, mask and underpants outside his trousers. His phenomenal strength and X-ray vision would save the Snook on a daily basis. Despite being a Junior Pencil Pusher, tomorrow he could be a spy with a really cool car.

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