It’s been a bit of a busy weekend. I don’t often regret my move from Dorset to Kent (or even the one from Bristol back to Kent) but this weekend I did. Medway is one of the few ares that still has grammar schools and along with that goes the 11+ / selection test. We have given all our children the choice and Joe decided he would like to take it despite it meaning being under ‘exam conditions’ from 8.30 until 1.15 on a Saturday morning in a large conference centre with around 300 other children.
Talking earlier in the day with friends, we realised that even when we took our degrees we were never under so much pressure for such a long amount of time. Yesterday children were queuing outside these centres across Medway for up to 30 minutes as they waited for the centre to open and be registered. I don’t like the system and it seems to be parallel to sacrificing our children. It seems to me this is a system to make it all easier for the local authority with no thought to the welfare of the child.
I don’t want to get into all the politics of grammar schools – those of you that know me are aware of my thoughts and I am not knocking them here. The system, however, must be wrong. When I did the test years over 30 years ago I never realised what was happening. There was no stress, it was one in our class with our teacher sitting in our normal places amongst our friends. I have to ask why we can’t do that today – the stress we put children under through this system is madness!
Children are adaptable and he returned home fine enough – but just because children are adaptable and do it does not make it right!