My education has never recovered from my "failure"of the 11-plus in 1971. Even though many of us did emerge from secondary school with a thorough education, the blight of that failure lives on.
O-levels were not offered - we took CSEs or nothing - and school ended for us all at 16. Those who "passed" and went to grammar school took O-levels and stayed on for A-levels.
I went to night classes, made it to university as a mature student and now, finally, have a satisfying career in educational work on peace and non-violence. I work with people who recognise my skills rather than question my earlier "failures" in formal education. My CV reminds all employers who ask with incredulity why I had such a poor academic start. I know no one else from my school year who went to university. Yes, we should learn from educational history and not repeat my experience.
MARIGOLD S BENTLEY Education adviser Quaker Peace and Service 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 (in a personal capacity)