I went to school in Lincolnshire where we still have the traditional Eleven Plus.
One of my friends at Primary School always wanted to work in TV. She failed the Eleven Plus. The next day I overheard in the Post Office: “She’ll never be able to work in TV now, she’s failed the Eleven Plus” – to murmurs of agreement.
This is what the Eleven Plus does. It carves society into winners and losers; it emburdens children with social judgement – and all before they’re old enough to watch a Bond film at the cinema.
My old Primary School
George Osborne obviously realises the importance of supporting families. That’s why every time he cuts family services he’s too scared to announce it.
Adeela is a victim of domestic violence.
She has been ostracised by her family and threatened by her husband’s family. She fled, terrified, and spent six weeks sleeping on her friend’s couch. Her baby daughter developed health problems.
I used to be scared of disabled people.
Not scared that they would bite, but terrified that they might talk to me. What if I can’t understand what they’re saying? What if I say the wrong thing?
Best to utter the usual platitudes of admiration and sympathy. And move on quickly.
That all changed the day I met Angela.