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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The role of mothers in the Eleven Plus

Back in October of 1789 the population in Paris was clamouring for bread. The women were not impressed by the new constitution that was being drafted. They were also very unhappy because there was not enough bread to go around.

On October the 5th the amazing procession of women took place from Paris to Versailles. The commune had been able to keep the men in check – but not the women.

The count had to move from Versailles to Tuileries and guarantee that there would be enough bread.

Events moved on in France - and the despotic monarchy was toppled, but the power of a mob of women was established. History was changed for ever.

Women all over Europe – and especially in Britain – began to realise just how powerful their presence was in politics and government.

Over in America we have watched, with great admiration, Hilary Clinton battling against the odds. Now Sarah Palin has bust upon the scene – and has shaken the establishment. We can not be sure how it will all end – but we do know that there will be plenty of excitement and change ahead.

So mothers, as your children approach the Eleven Plus examinations, examine your hearts. You do not need any notes. You do not need a `pep’ talk. Just remind your child to do as well as possible. Remind your child that pass or fail you will still love him or her. Explain in detail that not passing an examination at eleven years old is not failure – but the chance to open up other opportunities.

Keep calm, keep constant but issue a battling war cry: “Just do your best. That is all we can ask for!”

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