Over the summer there was a story about a kid that had sadly passed away and his old headmaster gave the eulogy. On reading that I thought to myself, this is the big difference between the posh schools and the crap comprehensives like the one I went to. I’ve never quite understood how your headmaster remembers you years on, at least not sufficiently well to be able to give a eulogy when they'd have had thousands of kids pass through their school over any number of years.
If I had died back in the late eighties or early nineties, the only chance my old headmaster might have remembered me is because I was one of only two kids in my class who never got made a prefect in the final year, the other being a notorious murderer now in Broadmoor. I should add here that I’m glad I never got made a prefect. Even when it meant something at our school, I'm not prefect material.
Our school was closing down by the time I was in the fifth form - if you're born in the nineties, I don't know what fifth form equates to these days - reception, or some other grating Americanism - as south London comprehensives underwent a massive re-organisation process in the mid to late eighties. I thought it a strange move when they started making pretty much everyone a prefect when previous to our final year, only a handful of kids in the fifth form attained such status. To bandy the prefect badges around so freely was akin to the eighties sport for all ethos that meant the overweight kids or those not blessed with any footballing ability were allowed to play for the school football team in the latter part of the eighties. You can’t do that. We had a decent school team, albeit not one as strong as its predecessors, but as soon as the sport for all ethos was applied, the team gradually went south, declining like an early nineties Liverpool.
Not everyone is a prefect.
Not everyone is good at football.