Queen bees at the school gate




Ah, don’t you just love the school gate? Writing in today’s Observer about “Queen Bee syndrome” and “mummy cliques” at drop-off and pick-up. I am not convinced Gill Hornby has nailed it in “most-hyped-novel-of-the-year” The Hive as (a) her critique seems a bit out-of-date (her kids are now in their late teens and early twenties and she is writing about primary school) and (b) what she writes about is so extreme it veers into caricature.

  This stuff is more incisive when it feels authentic. In real life someone really did tell me that one of my children’s “cognitive skills” were “crap.” But I don’t think it was a person who actually knew what “cognitive skills” are, so it was not very wounding. (What are “cognitive skills” anyway and who cares?) Anyhow. This is a major Mumsnet topic (over 11,000 threads on school gate etiquette alone) so if The Hive can gain currency with that demographic, it will do well. I will continue to monitor the situation in-between perusals of the Boden catalogue. (Joke. Boden is the caricature mummy clique’s label of choice.)


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