When Sue Palmer attended a risque party in the 60s the seed of her mission to change children’s education in the United Kingdom was sown. Sue’s passion for learning, inspired by the writing of Sybil Marshall, has led her to be a successful author on education and childhood. Her commitment to a play-centred, Kindergarten style education for young children has become a full-blown campaign, particularly in Scotland.

In this ‘Inspiring Success’ interview we learn about her mission. We get a better understanding of the background of the educational tradition in this country. It’s quite an eye-opener.

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Gary Sutton

Gary Sutton, media analyst, screen-writer and journalist, writes about a defining moment in his education.

My Catholic primary school had a deserved reputation for success at the 11+ examination. What we did – and what other schools in the area failed to do – was hold mock 11+ exams in the weeks approaching the real thing, so on the day of the proper test, we were seasoned, and unsurprised. Passing the 11+ secured a place at the local grammar school and a path to a successful middle-class future. Failure led to the local secondary modern, skewing one’s opportunities towards a blue-collar job.

I was particularly adept at the kind of thinking required by IQ tests like the 11+. There was little doubt that I would pass. My best friend Pascal was a prodigiously gifted artist and seemed no less intelligent than me. But the nature of the 11+ meant that his chances of passing it were slim.

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