in education •  last year

I have a TWIN sister and we started school in 1955. We later passed the 11+ and went on to Grammar School.

Whilst at Grammar School I met and became great friends with a girl who was also a TWIN, but her sister hadn't passed the 11+ exam.

As we got to know each other she explained that her TWIN sister was equally as academic as she was, but had been deliberately held back at school. When they had started school in 1955, the head teacher at the time said "I'm not having TWINS in the same class, this one will go in the "A" class and that one will go in the "B" class". Now, in those days, most primary schools had two classes in each year and streamed their children on the basis of how academic they were.
It was actually worse than that as the classes were also referred to the "TOP CLASS" and "THE BOTTOM CLASS"!!!

As time progressed my friends sister consistently outshone her classmates, but unfortunately her environment prevented her from achieving her full potential. Also, when it came to the 11+, only children from the "TOP CLASS" were encouraged to sit the exam.

Sadly my friends sister has had an inferiority complex all her life, lacked confidence and had a feeling that she wasn't very clever. She also never had the opportunities her sister had.


My friend later went on to have TWIN boys and like their mother and Aunt they were very academic, in fact both got First Class Honours degrees at Oxford. My friends sister had a daughter who was also successful and got a University degree. Clearly a clever family, but I do wonder how much my friends sister is still haunted by an unjust decision of a foolish head mistress??.

My own daughter has recently given birth to TWIN daughters, and whilst I might wonder what sort of a world they have been born into, at least I'm sure there won't be that sort of injustice. !!!

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