I was listening to a news article today where a woman teacher had been sacked for telling some kids in class 3 in England that there was no Santa. I don't really believe it is a capital crime, even if it shows a slight lack of judgement on her part, but it wasn't that that intrigued me it was the age of the kids she was shocking with this news.
Year 3 is the 4th year of English primary schools, that is to say the equivalent of Charlotte's class, so as far as I am aware so we are talking about 7 and 8 year olds. I wonder quite how, in this day and age, people are managing to have kids go to school for four years (and nursery for 2 before that) and not work out the big Santa hoax.
People were phoning in to this particular programme saying they'd be hopping mad if a teacher told their kids that. One woman actually said the words that children should be allowed to retain their childhood as long as possible and that she'd be horrified if a teacher let on to her boys, aged - wait for it 9 and 12!!!!!!
Now maybe my kids are precocious. I know Lots in particular has always seemed mature for her age, but Marcel didn't make it through primary one without working out the Santa myth and Lots informed me totally unperturbed one day in preschool: You know there's no Santa mum? Now like most mums I simply assumed some older child or friend's older sibling had taken delight in popping the bubble, but no, she worked it all out herself thanks to the then number one song by Band aid!
I asked what had led her to that conclusion and she replied, completely undisturbed that if they didn't know it was Christmas in Africa, then Santa didn't go there. There could only be 2 reasons for that - either he didn't exist, or basically he was a complete bastard! Therefore there is no Santa! So who needs the supply teacher to let on? She never liked Santa anyway! And Bits doesn't like him any better.
I can understand some parents can get away with Santa till 5ish but 8, or 12 would really, really surprise me these days.