We always knew that school was important, the mechanical testing of our understanding, the rigid adherence to rules of behaviour. We knew that to not do well in school meant…well it meant that you didn’t do well in life. No second chances, no retakes. You have one go at getting it right, that was all.
Pre-exam nerves came in all shapes and sizes. Some kids would just bottle it. They became nervous wrecks incapable of speaking, walking or even running. They were the easy targets, easy pickings if you like. Others were a little more proactive. Some of them would go AWOL (Absent without Learning). These were the ones the truancy teams spent their time on. The TTs would go to any length to make sure that all truants were captured and dealt with. Hardly anybody escaped their investigations and no family went unpunished.