From working class to middle class - Wanda Wyporska.
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How equal is Britain? Your stories on talk radio.
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I'm Dr. Wanda Porsca, and I'm Executive Director of the Equality Trust. And you may be imagining a tall, willowy, blond white pole. But in fact, I am part beige, in part English apart polish.
The young band grew up in the 1970s and 80s in Chester. And there were very few black or non white people in that city, it's changed very much. Now, I was brought up in a single parent household, my dad left when I was two, and I grew up with my mom and my gran, two really feisty women, what I had the opportunity and because my mom really pushed me, I took an exam for the local independent girls school, and I passed the exam. And that's really where my life changed. I went to the school and I was surrounded by people from really different backgrounds. And, you know, I sat next to a girl who said, Hello, my name is Hobby and I've got a pony called Monty. And I thought, oh, I've got a formica floor and an outside toilet, and I live with my mom and my Gran. I just really thought I wasn't going to survive. But I think what really this shows is the power of education and education instilled a real ambition and me to to really work hard, because I knew that I was the lucky one out of 30 people in my class, because I'd had that opportunity. A lot of young kids don't have that opportunity. And that's why I'm really passionate about raising the levels of education because I know what a transformative effect that had on me.
We see social mobility as plucking the brightest, but perhaps poor children out and giving them an opportunity and sort of making them middle class because we feel that that's what success looks like. But my question is always what happens to the other children? What happens to the other 29 children in the class? And why can't we make sure that they all have those opportunities as well, there is still a real sort of deep part of me that is still that working class girl from Chester, who I suppose really wants to fit in, in a way. And I think one of the reasons that I wanted to be a professor and I wanted to be at university and to do a doctorate was because I desperately wanted to be middle class because that's what I felt I should be
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