Thursday, September 29, 2005

Educational lottery

The Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College Academy in Lewisham is to allocate a quarter of all places by lottery to break "social segregation". Despite educational experts welcoming this attempt to "break the strangle-hold of the better-off on the most over-subscribed schools", the experiment can only end in failure.

In a couple of years, the better off will have fled with their children to better schools in other areas and any house price premium for living within the school catchment area will have disappeared.

Whilst broadening access is a noble intention, the Comprehensive experiment should demonstrate it's inevitable result. Poor attitudes and behaviour triumph, destroying the very essence of what made the school so popular and over-subscribed in the first place.

Academic selection is the only "fair" way to allocate places at an over-subscribed school. That certain schools should ever be over-subscribed indicates that other local schools are failing despite ministerial action. They should be ashamed of themselves.

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