The Heart of the Dales is the fifth volume in Gervase Phinn's bestselling Dales series.
A teacher was reprimanding a child who had drawn a very wobbly line freehand across his exercise book.
'Don't you know what the word "straight" means?' the teacher asked crossly.'
'Yes, miss,' came the reply, ' "without water".'
Awkward teachers, pompous school governors and fearsome lollipop ladies occasionally make Gervase Phinn's hectic job as a school inspector more than difficult. But, for Gervase, the main challenge remains the frankly spoken children.
The new school year doesn't get off to a good start after a teacher suggests that Gervase has let him and his school down. Called up in front of his new boss, the formidable Miss de la Mare, Gervase fears he is going to be in hot water. To add to his woes, he is given another 'little job' by the Chief Education Officer, which inevitably means liaising with the infuriating and interfering Mrs Savage!
Meanwhile, away from the pressures of school, Gervase's life with his wife Christine and their baby son is blissful - until noises in the attic start to disturb their nights. . .
The Heart of the Dales is Gervase Phinn at his story-telling best.
'Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms' Daily Telegraph
Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations. He is married with four adult children. His books include The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale, Head Over Heels in the Dales, The Heart of the Dales, Up and Down in the Dales and Trouble at the Little Village School.