This whole thing is hilarious (and very sweet!):
Olivia’s extraordinary story begins at 4.30pm on Friday, June 24, when she arrived at the community centre in Haydon Park Road, south Wimbledon, to sit her grade four flute exam. I should declare an interest at once: Livvy is a pretty 11-year-old girl, of high intelligence and great sweetness of disposition, of whom I am proud to be an uncle.
The exam seemed to have gone fairly well, but complacency is no part of Livvy’s make-up. The following few days and weeks weighed heavily upon her young shoulders, as she waited to hear her results from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, which set the exam. June turned to late July, and still there came no word. So Livvy’s mother, my sister Catherine, rang the board to make inquiries. She was told that her daughter’s results had been sent to her flute teacher a month earlier, by first-class post. My sister checked with the teacher, who said that she had heard nothing. The board then said that the teacher should go to the post office to see if the crucial letter was being held there.
At this point in the story, Livvy’s flute teacher disappeared off the face of the earth. History does not relate whether or not she went to the post office, as advised. All it tells us is that my sister’s mobile telephone messages and e-mails went unanswered and that the teacher’s home telephone number gave the unobtainable signal. When Livvy turned up for her flute lessons, nobody was there. My sister began to suspect that her daughter’s teacher had fled to her native Hungary.
So back to the Associated Board went my sister, to ask if somebody would be kind enough to look up Livvy’s result and tell her what it was. You will never guess what she was told: “I’m afraid that under the terms of the Data Protection Act, we can only give the result to the person who entered the child for the exam, and in this case it was her teacher. We cannot, under any circumstances, reveal Olivia’s result to you.”
“But I’m her mother!” said my sister. “Are you telling me that I am never to know the result of my 11-year-old daughter’s flute exam?”
In a word, the answer from the board was “Yes”.
I had a hard time choosing what to quote, so don’t make me mourn for what I left behind: Read the whole thing.