In response to, Laura Perrins: This girl can wield a knife but does that make her a heart surgeon?, Busy Mum wrote:
They choose themselves – I want to be a doctor, it is important for my self-esteem that I become a doctor, the patients don’t come into it. It’s all about my self-fulfilment.
They are chosen by secondary schools – heads of sixth form and careers advisers – you are amazing, you must aspire, there is no reason at all why you shouldn’t reach the top. Or else, you are at a disadvantage because you are a woman/LGBTXYZ/non-white/poor and therefore you have a right to become a doctor to show that these characteristics are no hindrance to becoming a doctor.
One of my daughters related to me how a head of year asked the class (Year 10/15-year-olds) what they wanted to do when they finished school. One girl said she would like to be a veterinary nurse. The teacher said no, no, no, you must aspire higher – no reason why you can’t become a vet. The girl responded that she wasn’t academic enough to get on a vet course (she is correct). Don’t let that keep your aspirations low, said the teacher. Do you know how much a vet nurse earns? Yes, said the girl. And do you know how much a vet earns? Yes, said the girl. Well then, go for it, said the teacher.
This despite the fact that the previous year, the most academic sixth-former – all A*s – who had spent every school holiday volunteering at stables, farms, vet practices etc failed – to get a place.
So, another 15-year-old who feels as though she is not good enough and another teacher who will be telling the parents that it’s dreadful for young people nowadays being under so much ‘pressure’. Motes and beams. Scrap the whole concept of compulsory aspiration.