August 24, 2006
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Got quite cross earlier watching Admission Impossible on Channel 4, a documentary following some primary school kids as they try to get into ‘good’ secondary schools. As a former state mixed comp student (which believe me, was not a Specialist Technology College when I went there, and the houses were very different as well. Mary Quant? Fuck off. I’ll just about forgive you for Alan Turing, especially as my old History teacher heads it. My old house was Clechees, now Franklin. Sorry, I could do an entire post on the new house system but the only person who’d get it is Liz. God, I just went through the teacher list and so many of them are still there. Sorry!), I find myself strangely offended by statements like "if you go to a state school, you’ll come out not a good person." From a ten year old! Christ, no wonder some private schools turn out little snobs.
When on earth did going to secondary school become such a big deal? Did whatever government that introduced ‘choice’ really think it was going to work? When I were a lass, and all this were nowt but fields, we just went to the school that we were in the catchment area for and, as you’ve seen, I didn’t exactly suffer. Wasn’t even the best school in the area either – Morley High School regularly comes in the middle of the Leeds league table. So when did state comps get such a bad reputation? So that one girl from Bradford, only fifteen minutes down the road from where I grew up, can say of her local comp "it’s where all the criminals come from." Alright, so my A Level History teacher came in one day to say one of our former classmates had burgled his house the previous night, and I heard one guy spent some time in prison after sixth form, but that doesn’t mean we’re all chain-smoking crack dealers on the dole does it? *sigh*
Also in Edukashun news: from the department of State the Bleedin’ Obvious comes a report that all A Levels are not regarded the same. Media Studies, Business Studies and General Studies (or Pissing About Studies, as we called it) are – shock horror! – not held in the same high regard as Physics or Maths or History when it comes to applying to university. We all had to do General Studies for A Level, I have no idea why. Two exams of multiple guess and bullshitting. I thought it was a complete waste of time until the offer from Nottingham came back saying they would accept it… only one that did, mind.