I’m reasonably clever – and i went to a good school. The school professed to select girls from the top 5% of the pool of intelligence that sat the exam and turned out exam results that placed it within sight of the top of the league tables of the time. I got 4 good A Levels, and 8 good GCSEs, which was the most that people took at the time by and large, as they were only in their third year of existence. Throughout the time i was there, once i’d been placed firmly in the B Set (with an end of year exam average of 69%) i got on in a haphazard fashion, scoring an average of 69% for the rest of the time i did school exams.
Because that, honestly, is the kind of person i am. My parents, i suspect, felt i could have made it into the A Class if i had applied myself and perhaps i could have, but the will or innate requirements were not there. My 69% tells me one thing about myself in retrospect; i’m a 2:1 kind of girl who has the spark but lacks the application or dedication to get a First. (Actually, i didn’t even have the application to commit to 3 years at university but i have no regrets about that at all). I’m clever and able but i don’t have the need to knuckle down to nitty gritty that some do; i flit a little, apply myself too little, spread myself a little too thinly, move on and over and up and beyond.
I’m a sugar hit type of person when it comes to knowledge, not a person who remembers to plan a protein breakfast and a carb lunch to see me through a tough day. When it comes to finding out what i need to know, i’m more of a chocolate bar eater, a read the article in the paper or find it on a blog where someone else has done the work, than a plough through Hansard type person. But i can, and i do, write as passionately as possible to try and rally and support and inspire others. And i will back others as much as i can – and i will stand up for my beliefs.
Unfortunately, as a self-confessed girly who still panics at the sight of a police car, despite never once getting pulled over, i can say without fear of being wrong that i am unlikely to promise non-compliance in aggressive language to laws. I’m simply not that type of citizen. I can – and i will – say no. I will absolutely hold my ground, argue my case, use every weapon in my arsenal to fight and if necessary, knowing right (if not the law) is on my side, run. But if it comes to the possibility that my non-compliance will give someone the opportunity to remove my children from me, i will not break the law.
That doesn’t mean i will not keep fighting. On my terms, with my words, within what i believe makes me still a good citizen of the country i wish to belong to. I cannot believe that this government have forced me into a position where i am now wondering if i am on a blog spotters guide of dissidents. I do believe they are wrong to have forced me into this position. And i will keep saying no. With my voice. With my weapons.
In the end, people who judge and think they know you are often wrong. My school for example, having failed to make me comply to their academic pressures, refused to have me back a few years later to work as a Young Enterprise Business Advisor for their 6th Form, even though i had a good job by then in a well respected bank. They got an old fusty in to oversee me (who barely ever turned up), thinking i had no idea of what to do, what was needed or how to help their precious girls succeed. Only of course, i did know (and they did succeed) – and i often wonder what the headmistress who made that decision would think now, if she knew that i had set up a business that turns over a little short of £1Million a year.
After 7 years, that headmistress knew no more of me than what she had decided i was – because i didn’t fit the High School model. After 3 reviews, consultations and some determination to force us to comply by straitjacketing us, Mr Balls has no idea about home educators at all. All he sees is what he wants to see because it gives him a reason to control and reject us.
Until he starts to think outside the box a little, i therefore refuse to climb into his box and listen to him.