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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Interactive / Mobile Developer

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Midweight

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Front End Developer

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Front End Developer - Midweight / Senior

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The UCAS clearing house call centre in Cheltenham, England  

Ucas should share its data on students from poor backgrounds so we can get a clearer picture of social mobility

Conor Ryan
A study of 16 young women performing light office work showed that they were at risk of being over-chilled by air conditioning in summer  

It's not just air conditioning that's guilty of camouflage sexism

Mollie Goodfellow
Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin