When parents and eleven plus tutors start working together they enter into a form of agreement. Naturally there are expectations on both sides. Most parents will want a patient, well qualified and humane teacher. The tutors will no doubt hope that their charge makes the best possible use of the opportunities.
Agreements for years and years have been made through offering a handshake. In some cases the agreement is only legal when through both parties spitting on the palms of their hands before shaking hands.
The Romans used to seal a bargain through questions and answers. My old and battered `Brewer, The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable' suggests:
“Do you require money?” `An stipem vis?’
“I do.” `Stipem volo.’
“Will you give it?” ` An dabis?’
“Dabo.” `I will.'
“Will you be security?” `An spondes?'
“I will.” `Sponde.’
Today’s Eleven Plus parents can say:
“Will you tutor my child to the best of your ability?”
“I will, and thank you for the work.”
“What help can we give to help you?”
“Simply your courage and support.”
(Is this the stage where we spit on our hands to secure the agreement?)