1 Nov '14

News School should be a safe, nurturing place not a daily nightmare | Deborah Orr

The stigma of being the poor child in class is far worse today than it was when I was at school 40 years ago. And instead of diminishing inequality, Cameron seeks to increase itYou never forget them. The children who were marked apart. In our class at primary school, they were called Bugsy, all three of them. The children who turned up bedraggled, a bit whiffy and wearing only a rough approximation of school uniform. Youd hear the bolder, more domineering children talking about them. So-and-so smells. So-and-so wears gutties [plimsolls] instead of shoes. So-and-sos Bugsy.With some encouragement from their neat, scrubbed peers, these remorseless critics would tease and bully the Bugsy kids. Even if you didnt take part in the taunting yourself, even if it horrified you, you stayed out of it not actively contributing to the misery of these pariah children, but safely beyond the exclusion zone that they lived in all the same. Continue reading...

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