Writing to your old teachers – it's a bit creepy, isn't it?

But when you're Education Secretary sending letters to school masters is all in a day's spin

Share
Related Topics

I hadn't given my old school much thought since I left it 14 years ago. Sure, it's cropped up in conversations about The Evils and Virtues of Grammar Schools (I grew up in Kent where grammars still roam the earth) as well as those about Colours I Will Never Wear Again – maroon and light blue, my school's uniform, meaning I could never be a West Ham fan. I have certainly had no burning desire to visit or get in touch with any of my old teachers.

I remember too well being herded into the auditorium during my time there and being forced to listen to old girls telling us about their gap yahs and the wonderful feeling of patronising, sorry, teaching, poor children on the other side of the world, to ever dream of wanting to inflict myself on any current students. And who writes to their old teachers? It's a bit creepy. And rather arrogant. Why on earth would Miss Gibbons remember me among the sea of students? Of course, when you're the Education Secretary, sending a crawly letter to your old school master is all in a day's spin, so Michael Gove's missive last week to his former French teacher is both creepy and arrogant.

More arrogant still, though, is Fiona Phillips, who rocked up to her old comprehensive to launch its rebranding and proceeded to give a speech where she described her alma mater as "a school rampant with hormones and no discipline, no aspiration and no encouragement" (don't hold back, Fi, say what you really think). Why bother turning up to a celebratory event and then pour forth a torrent of 35-year-old spite? Life really is too short.

But recently I changed my mind about a return trip. Not because I wanted to see if it was the same as it is in my ongoing nightmare about trying to find the geography room because I haven't turned up to a class for two years and have an A-level the next day (for the record, I loved geography and never sweated it at the time), or to bore the girls with tales of my career. I went because my little sister is now a pupil, and my benign apathy about the old place was replaced with fierce pride that Lucy had chosen my school – shout out to Invicta Grammar! – rather than anywhere else, to study.

It was actually lovely to go back, but mainly because I was seeing it through her eyes, rather than my own. One thing certainly hasn't changed in the decade and a half since I left: the bloody awful maroon and blue uniforms.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Reprographics Operator

£12500 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest independent Reprogr...

Recruitment Genius: Web Design Apprentice

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...

Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher

£120 - £145 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher X2 Materni...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer / Systems Administrator

£25000 - £32500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in SW London, this compan...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The Tate’s secrecy about its BP sponsorship figures was shameful

David Lister
 

Going viral on YouTube stopped me feeling like a ghost - and made me speak out about mental illness

Alika Agidi-Jeffs
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee