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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Eleven Plus and Premature Remorse

Do you remember those few words of W.B. Yeats when he was writing about `Remorse for Intemperate Speech’?

I ranted to the knave and fool,
But outgrew that school,
Would transform the part,
Fit audience found, but cannot rule
My fanatic heart.

I sought my betters: though in each
Fine manners, liberal speech,
Turn hatred into sport,
Nothing said or done can reach
My fanatic heart.

Would a measured discussion of the poem avert further bursts of intemperate speech? The eleven plus exams, for same families, are now weeks rather than months away. For most children the hard work has already been done. The final polishing is taking place. Parents are thinking now about technique rather than knowledge.

Little by little some parents will have to distance themselves from anguish and angst about what might have been. Realism will, by now, will have crept in. It is a little early in the eleven plus cycle for true remorse – because this is a sense of deep regret and guilt.

Should you have started earlier?

Should you have brushed arguments aside?

Should you have insisted more forcefully?

All eleven plus parents can do is the best they can. A fanatical approach to that elusive final five percent will probably be counter productive.

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