Thursday, May 10, 2012

State Education As Crap As The Education Secretary

Education Secretary Michael Gove has made something of a splash by bemoaning the dominance of the public school educated in Britain. He quotes the facts and figures and call it morally indefensible. But like all good members of our political elite - wether educated privately or not - he doesn't actually come up with any radical proposals or solutions.

The fact is that successive governments have thrown more and more money at education, increased teacher numbers, standardised and changed and brought in policy after policy all to no avail. Rather than improve things, they've made things worse. And it's not just a UK thing, it's the same in the US. And in case you think it's an Anglo thing, it's the same in France.

If state schooling is such a wash out, and no amount of extra money changes it, then surely the thing to do is look at whether the state is the problem and not the solution. Perhaps state control of education, which has increased enormously over the same period that more money has been pumped in, is the cause of the problem.

I write this as someone who went to a crap boys comprehensive in south London (the school that Oliver Letwin famously said he'd rather lose his right arm then send his kids to). My kids went to/attend local comprehensives. I've got no hidden agenda here. Politically I would always have defended state schooling - but now that I see what my kids come home with, and when I think back to what I endured...

Private schools are not run by the state. They do better than state schools. Therefore lets give the money to parents and let them send their kids to the schools they chose. Can we expect any mainstream politician in this country to make that very obvious connection? Nope, not any more than we can expect a politician to say look, the NHS isn't the best health system in the world...

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