Letter about a headmistress
The studied demoralisation of the state school was one of the first things that struck me there in contrast to the convent. (It is, as I now realise, a common characteristic of state schools.) I never dreamt my parents would force me to go back there after the first day, but they did, and I quarrelled bitterly with them all the time I was there because I knew it was not only wasting time out of my life but also damaging me in ways that would be difficult to reverse. People don't recover immediately from prolonged spells in hostile captivity. You could call it aversion therapy.
There is an article in the Daily Mail today against early exam-taking, in fact exam-taking at all, by an woman who is apparently president of the Girls' Schools Association. Well, as I said before, by now you might as well say that the educational system has broken down completely. So long as there were the remnants of a system which originated before so much power to oppress and persecute was given to local education authorities, there was still a standard of comparison, but the writing was on the wall from the 1945 Education Act onwards.
In the Scientific American a few months ago, there was an article on IQ. Showing that America is still marginally more enlightened than this country, it was at least discussed as a concept and it was admitted that it correlated with academic success. The article noted that, at the highest levels of IQ, the correlation with academic success broke down. Of course we can't imagine why - no suggestion.
Although this fact is often referred to in articles in this county, it is always implied that no explanation is called for. It just proves that IQ doesn't indicate success - we shouldn't be surprised at precocious people finishing up in exile from the academic world -it's entirely natural and just what suits them. Nothing to do with a hostile educational establishment of course - which leaves the way wide open for various people who hold views similar to those of the headmistress in today's Daily Mail to go on getting away with blue murder, along with several headmistresses and college Principals who used their influence and position to damage my life very severely.