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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why Pass the Eleven Plus?

“If you pass the eleven plus you will be able to go to grammar school.”

“But mum, I am not sure if I really want to do all the work.”

“At a grammar school you will get better GCSE and A Level results. You may even have a chance to do the International Baccalaureate – and that should guarantee you a place in university.”

“But you went to university and you said that you did not get a good job straight away.”

“Well grandmother always says that Uncle Arthur was a later starter – and he did not go to grammar or university – but he is a Member of Parliament.”

“Well, Uncle Arthur is here now – let us ask him.”

“Hello everyone. Good to see all of you. Still doing that eleven plus stuff I see.”

“Please tell mum what you told me about the members of parliament.

“You know that is quite interesting. Many years ago there was a study by Hudson on the class of degrees of Cabinet Ministers. During the years the eleven plus was being established and developed (1945 – 1959) only thirty three percent of the Cabinet Ministers had first class degrees. At the same time only thirteen percent of the back benchers had first class degrees. I used that statistic in my maiden speech in parliament – when I argued that more money should be available for poor children.”

“Uncle Arthur you always lecture us. Why did grandmother call you a late developer?”

“The leaders of the country are supposed to be the brightest brains. They are supposed to be the most intelligent and have the greatest political acumen. Yet the country is often led by men and women who are not the cleverest.”

“We think that mum is the cleverest in our family.”

“Why do you say that?”

“She had us, of course!”

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