Ann Torode: There on sufferance
Here Ann describes how one teacher helped her escape from primary school.
TranscriptIt was a big change insofar I was then the only disabled child and I was teased horribly
and the teachers didn’t think much of me, they didn’t think I’d achieve anything.
I was there on sufferance, there were stairs, everything was set for non-disabled children and I had to fit in.
Well you’re here now, get on with it was their attitude and they didn’t think I’d do anything.
So it was very bad and so when I was naughty it wasn’t because I knew everything or I’d already learned to read so I was bored, it was because I had this problem.
And then I went into a class with this brilliant teacher called Mr Wright, which I thought was rather nice, looking back on it and he had a question box and you put questions in and all my questions were about the origins of the universe and this and this, all the things... I was nine at the time.
So he realised, you know that something could be done with me and he pushed and through his encouragement, then I went on to take the eleven plus.
I just think it’s all so invidious. I hate talking like this, I really do because the eleven plus was the worst thing that happened to that generation of children.
I passed it and people I knew didn’t and why? Luck, chance, you know. You did it at the right time, you fitted in with the quota, they had a quota for girls which was less than, fewer than boys, and it was invidious, absolutely in fact the whole idea of IQ is invidious. So when I talk about it I’m not a happy bunny. I’m just saying, that’s what got me out of this school.
A selection of other stories...
Two Different Things
Here Clenton explores the culture of school and the difference between schooling and education.
School at Sixteen Months
Here Tara talks about the decision to send her away to school aged just sixteen months.
Here David describes defying the medical professions expectations of him.