“In a society where academic testing starts as young as two years old, it is impossible to escape the sense that academic achievement is the only path to excellence.

“There are so many forms of greatness: kindness, generosity, courage, curiosity, and more, but these are erased by a system that forces us towards one acceptable path or a sense of failure.

“The result can only be a generation that fears for its university prospects when taking the 11+, and is devastated by a B on a termly report.

“Not only is this system destroying the self-esteem and self-worth of our children, it stifles creativity and thus deprives us of the benefits that our most imaginative thinkers have to offer. It favours the already privileged for adhering to imposed codes of academic expression which are artificially tied to the ability to articulate to intelligence.

“If we continue to expect so much from our young people there will come a point when it is beyond their human capacity; when in order to achieve greatness first they must break themselves.

“Never should any form of success be worth so much.”

Photo credit: Harriet Evans and Skin Deep Oxford
Photo editing: Harriet Evans

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