Can there be more dreaded words than ‘back to school’?

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Can there be three more dreaded words than ‘back to school’ when you’re aged between five and 18?

Oh, the terror associated with seeing that phrase when you’re done for the summer holidays and want to forget all about the place.

Instead you’re looking forward to lazy days in bed, hours of messing around with your mates and weeks of doing pretty much whatever you please (as long as you can wheedle help/cash from the folks).

Yet no sooner have the kids broken up than the adverts for uniforms, shoes and stationery begin.

Why? There’s a good five weeks to go yet before the new term begins.

Perhaps it’s parents’ revenge for the fact that only schoolchildren and teachers get such long breaks.