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
My first job paid £3.55 an hour.
I worked the nightshift in the Walkers Crisps factory in Lincoln. We got a bit more at weekends, rising to £4.55 for the gruelling 12 hour Sunday night shift: 6pm till 6am.
This was fine for me: I was a student and just needed enough for a year’s worth of beans on toast. I also got a full grant and this was before tuition fees – but that’s another story.
I started at Walkers the same day as Steve. He had just had a baby daughter and I used to wonder how he could provide for her on £3.55 an hour.
Every Quaver in the world is made in Lincoln