There’s been a great story in the last two days about one of my old favourites, Mossbourne, announcing that it plans to select some of its children by “aptitude to row”.
Immediately, a brief spat broke out between those who saw this as a proxy for selection by “aptitude-to-have-wealthy-parents”, and those who thought such carping was merely left-wing nonsense; nothing wrong with boats; rowing isn’t posh etc etc. I even got involved myself a bit below the line on the Guardian website.
During that discussion, one fellow contributor pointed out that Mossbourne is near the River Lea, and there is a boat club there which is a community club going strong for many years. So apparently it was perfectly normal and to be expected that local schools should focus on rowing, and it was merely my prejudice which prevented me from seeing that rowing is a sport for all which, apparently “lots of state schools” practice (I’ve never, ever come across one, and while I’m sure there are some, I think we may be stretching the definition of “lots” here).
Anyway, I’m going to keep this blog very short, and merely post this
This is the Facebook photos page for that nearest rowing club. They look like lovely people having a lovely time. Now look again. This is in Hackney, remember. Go on, see if you can work out why some of us might consider this to be simply another cunning way to reserve spaces in Mossbourne for those from the most affluent of local backgrounds.
“Aptitude for rowing”. My arse.