We don’t put up many statues these days. Ours is a post-heroic age, and it is assumed that no one really deserves to be put on a pedestal. But I know of many people who deserve to be remembered for acts of overlooked heroism.
The teachers who dedicate their lives to helping children from disadvantaged homes to achieve their potential are my heroes. Long after others have given up, they refuse to accept failure. Some of these heroes, like David Sellens in Thomas Jones primary in London’s North Kensington, work in local authority schools; some, like Dame Sally Coates of Burlington Danes in London’s White City, run academies; others, like Liam Nolan in Birmingham, have opened free schools. But none inspires my admiration as much as a carpet salesman who left school, as my parents did, when he was just 15.