Postcode lottery.

“You have to remember the level of social deprivation here. Most of our learners are from SIMD” …….STOP.

When did we reclassify schools and identify them solely as where they are in terms of social deprivation?

Why has that become an excuse for statistics? destinations? The number of parents attending parents night? Blah.

Why the poverty of aspiration?

Check your postcode and if it’s not in the Bermuda triangle where everyone has 2.4 parents, a Volvo and a dug, you’re pretty much on your way to job seekers allowance or a ten stretch.

Oh aye, could you also show me your spreadsheet of PEF kids too. Aye, you know you have it….the one where the postcode lottery indicates that there is money attached and I’ll tick off the interventions you’ve been involved in.

What I have loved is talking to the teachers who don’t believe that a postcode should ever influence a young person. The ones who won’t let their children be labelled and who encourage them to grab every opportunity and who work with the families to give them information, ideas, support and love.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, coming from an area of high social deprivation never held me or any of my friends back. In primary school there were classmates who you knew were struggling. They were taken out of class and came back clean. They were given the black sannies for gym and had a dinner ticket. We thought nothing of it.

The PTA fundraised to let everyone go on the school trips and I know fine well the teachers who paid things themselves so their class would not miss out.

The first notion I had of being from a less than favourable area was when we arrived at high school to be called cavemen by a teacher. Then we were asked if we were top or bottom enders of the town.

The social grouping depended on your primary school. Apparently our primary school was the worst. Solely due to physical location.

Postcode.

Well, let me tell you. That postcode brought me friends, role models and quite simply an education in primary school that was full of language, art, music, play, imagination, history, geography and inspiration.

It wasn’t an intervention that moved us, no spreadsheet ….it was the unrelenting determination of a group of primary teachers who didnt give up on us. Ever.

You know, much like the ones we have now. Who just need the space to do it.

Without the label of a postcode.

So, eh, Hiya. It’s me. I grew up in SIMD 1. I still go there a lot. I call it home. However I do have a name.

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