I was shocked when I read Kevin Jones’ letter in today’s Star (September 23), when writing about grammar schools, that only 20 would achieve a grammar school place and the remaining 80 would be thrown on the scrapheap at the age of 11!
I can go much further back than Kevin Jones as I went to school at five years old with my twin sister in 1927. We both passed the 11+ but never went to a grammar school. Why? Because our parents couldn’t afford to do such a thing, buying uniforms and books was impossible. In the 1930s there was so much unemployment, so we were not the only ones.
However, we went to Burngreave Secondary School and could not have had a better education.
The school had been built three years before and was very well equipped. Apart from the normal classrooms, there were cookery rooms and arts and crafts. Also, we had elocution lessons, something we could do with now when I hear and read what is supposed to be English!
So, Kevin, I never thought for a minute that we were “thrown on the scrapheap”, far from it, in fact. It certainly does not mean that someone with whatever education will get on better in life, because life is about caring, compassion, helpfulness and friendliness, not how clever you are.
And, as my headmistress used to say, ‘Water will find its own level’, and so it does!