Prepare to have all the myths of how school was Heaven in the 60s blasted away and for myths that it was Hell to be destroyed. This is what it was like for me.
Take a guided tour of my school.
I spent my school years, until the age of fourteen, in Buckinghamshire. Now, I am not saying the true-blue ultra-conservative Buckinghhamshire is backward, but the last time I looked at the council’s website it had chains running down each side! That was back in the 90s. In the 60s, they were just about as blue as you can get, and they certainly believed in giving every child’s sanity a run for its money.
The Bucks model of education was simple: your kid had to pass Buckinghamshire’s special Twelve-Plus exam to get a proper education. (All counties had the Eleven Plus, but we also had the Twelve-Plus for grammar school applications and our school didn’t do the Eleven-Plus.) Anything else was failure and rewarded with being sent to a ‘secondary-modern,’ which in Bucks meant a school for dunces. There you would never get the chance to do O-Levels or A-Levels and you would certainly never go to University. So every day of your school life, you were having the message ‘Success is everything’ rammed down your throat. Unfortunately, the flip-side of this philosophy was the message that ‘your humanity is nothing.’ It was only many years later that we would all discover Hans Eysenick’s IQ-based formula for the eleven-plus exam was all based on fake research. Continue reading “Lazlo Ferran: Memories of the 1960s – School”