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The School Answering Machine

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This is the message that the staff of a Secondary School in England apparently voted unanimously to record on the school answering machine attached to their telephone system.

This is the actual answering machine message for the school, or so I am reliably informed.

The whole thing came about because they implemented a new policy, which required students and parents to be responsible for their children’s absences and missing homework.

The school and teachers are now being threatened with legal action by some parents, who want their children’s failing marks changed to passing marks, even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the term and did not complete enough schoolwork to pass their various key stages.

This is the outgoing message:

Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right member of staff, please listen to all the options before making a selection:

  • To lie about why your child is absent – Press 1
  • To make excuses for why your child did not do his/her work- Press 2
  • To complain about what we do – Press 3
  • To swear at staff members – Press 4
  • To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed in your Newsletter and several other letters posted to you – Press 5
  • If you want us to bring up your child – Press 6
  • If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone – Press 7
  • To request another teacher, for the third time this year – Press 8
  • To complain about bus transport – Press 9
  • To complain about school lunches – Press 0


If you realize that this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behaviour, class work, homework and that it’s not the teachers’ fault for your child’s lack of effort, hang up and have a really wonderful day!

If you want this in other languages, tough, you must be in the wrong country. This is England!

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