Did you know that Michael Morpurgo failed the 11-plus test? In this moving and thought-provoking piece for BBC Radio 4, Michael tells the story of what he calls his “first public failure”. His parents wanted him to have the option of attending his local grammar school, and arranged for him to sit the 11-plus – at the time he didn’t understand why he was sitting an exam at that school, or why he was sitting the 11-plus at all. He shares how failing the 11-plus felt, how it shattered his confidence, and the effect that this had on his schooling and his career.
“I was made to feel stupid. It hurt to feel stupid. At home, there was silent disapproval and disappointment, the worst kind.”