Since Theresa May’s grammar school announcement, there has been much debate surrounding the success of such a school. I have seen a plethora of articles detailing the negative effects to a child’s mental health, the elitist process that sieves out the poor in favour of the rich and even personal accounts of a pupil’s own experiences in such an environment. Many articles I have read have been negative; both in the practicality of May’s proposal, as well as the side-effects of a grammar-style education.
This morning the government announced the scrapping of maintenance grants in favour of loans. While another policy is aimed at students, it seems the poorest of us are those who will suffer most.
Since a young age, the importance of intellect and education was instilled in me. It has become second nature to me to do well. So much so, at 11 I was accepted in to a grammar school after passing the entrance examination. I was one of many who achieved the highest GCSE’s and A-Level qualifications and in my final year, I was given a specialist award for endeavour. Due to this, I was awarded a scholarship from Glasgow university to cover costs of books and any other equipment I may need.
I managed all this whilst being raised in a council house with little income. My mum would budget heavily, saving for months to buy the expensive grammar school uniform. Scrimping back on her own food in order to buy me stationary and books. And giving my sister and I the majority of the food at meal times so that we could think and learn to the best of our ability. We owned no technology until secondary school and it was then that my sister and I used our own savings to buy laptops and mobile phones. My educational achievements are due to the unending sacrifices my mum made in order for us to never find out how poor we truly were. We were raised heavily on morals and imagination, and both have served me well. Continue reading “I wish the term ‘poor’ would stop defining me as a student.”