Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Anne Atkins and the art of bovine scatology

I can't make out how old Anne Atkins is. She complains (Radio 4's Thought for the day this morning) about testing at schools, saying how lovely and unpressurised it was in her day, but surely they had the 11-plus when she was at school, did they not? Most schools also had termly exams (certainly at the secondary level) or gradings. The pressure my child has been under for her Year 6 SATS has been nothing compared to the pressure I was under when taking the 11-plus - after all, my entire future depended on it! I would have gone to a grammar school if I passed and a secondary modern if I didn't.

Ms Atkins also waxed lyrically on sport:

Sport is no longer for fun and a spot of healthy fresh air and exercise. We now only see it as valid if somebody wins something - at somebody else's expense.

It so nice that life can be summed up with such a blithe generalisation isn't it? Daily Mail commentators normally go with the opposite conclusion - that schools are afraid to have winners these days. In fact, at a schools sports day yesterday I saw healthy competition but also plenty of praise for all the children taking part and, in particular, enormous encouragement and applause for the efforts of physically disabled children taking part.

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