I have been thinking a great deal today of my Mother and Father as 31st May was their Wedding Anniversary. They had a long and happy marriage of over 40 years before my Mother died suddenly in 1979 in her early seventies. They never had much money but were never in debt. They lived within their limited means. They never owned their own home but always rented. But one thing my sister and I never lacked was their love and support. They always made time to help with our education - we both could read before we started Infant School [who taught us Mum and Dad], they encouraged us to work hard and value education. Those were very different times when children were allowed to play outside, travel to school by London Transport [what not chauffeured door to door!!]and if you needed to make a telephone call you used a public telephone box. But, believe me, we did not feel deprived.
What children suffer from now is a far more worrying deprivation - their parents' time and attention. Children are not only starting school unable to read but leaving primary school still unable to read. Of course the teachers should be able to achieve success in school classes but nothing substitutes the benefit of encouraging reading at home. Without the ability to read a whole world of knowledge is shut away and as I tell my grandchildren "Knowledge is Power".