Teen gets home.
"I've got some dinner ready" I say. For once I've been a good mummy.
"S'ok. I'm not hungry. I had a posh lunch, in a restaurant. It was someone's birthday.""Where did you go?"
"Rocca. It was yummy. And the waiters are buff." She stops, looks dreamy and sighs "Some people are so lucky. The rich kids go out to restaurants for lunch."
"To proper restaurants?""Yeah. One kid goes to Carluccio's every day."
The mind boggles. I start to imagine little gentlemen from the Lycée, white linen serviettes tucked into their necks, legs dangling above the floor, having set lunches at various Michelin star establishments near the school.
Her school is in South Kensington.
The teen expands "Some kids get pizza for a pound, some go to 'Raisin d'etre', a posh sandwich place. The poor kids go to Tescos. The really poor kids take packed lunches."
She's doing her GCSE's at the moment.She's just done her mocks. It's going ok, apart from Biology. We have to find a tutor, but to find the money for that on top of school fees, it's not easy.
"A. spends £900 a month on tutors. He gets three hours a week"
The class system is alive and well in England. We tried to get her into a good local girl's school, Camden, which is free but, despite being on the waiting list for six years, she didn't get into the sixth form. You have to be really poor or really rich to get into Camden. Really poor because you live in a council or housing association flat in the local area or really rich because you can afford a private property nearby. So I guess I'm going to have to try and find the money for the Lycée for A levels.
There is a local comprehensive but the teen worries about bullying. There's police there, not just outside the school but inside, patrolling, practically attending lessons. But if she went there, she could come home for lunch, just as French children do.