Sunday, April 03, 2005

Selective Education

James Batholomew at "The Welfare State We're in" drew my attention to a recent speech by the Privately Educated Secretary of State for Education, Ruth Kelly extolling the virtues of the Comprehensive education system to the Fabian society. "The comprehensive ideal remains powerful" since it's introduction in the 1960s but then goes on to say that, "The facts on social mobility are depressing. As the middle classes expanded after the war, there was considerable movement. But since the early 60s academic surveys tell us that mobility has declined. Studies show that for people in their 30s, the social class of their parents matters more than it did in the past."

I suggest that comprehensives caused the latter but the failure of this social experiment can and never will be admitted. When Grammar schools were available, as I'm sure many Labour MPs would attest (having attended them), a good education was not dependent upon the income of your parents but only on the academic ability of the child. The introduction of comprehensives effectively meant that wealthier parents had an added incentive to either send their children to private schools or "middle class comprehensives". As such options were beyond the incomes of poorer parents, Labour ironically managed to stifle the social mobility of their very own people!!

1 comment:

Albion Blogger said...

Ironic indeed. Of course, given half a chance, they would simply abolish all selective and private schools and so create the fabled good ol' level playing field (ie everyone's education an be lousy.)

All Labour's experiments are failing. Socialism failed first thanks to Thatcher and Reagan, Communism failed shortly afterwards (regardless of the arguments about its improper implementation) and now we have the Third Way - a hybrid of leftism, market economy and a sinister but real dose of communist totalitarianism.

And that's going pear-shaped too. The multi-cultural society is coming apart at the seams - not, though, so much because of the immigrants themselves but because of the toadying liberal-left vying for their votes.

The economy, inherited from a previous Conservative government, is only strong because the world economy is, despite a few blips, doing well. This won't last for all time and we may not be strong enough to ride a proper recession.

Our pensions are in a state - partly because Brown taxed the blood out of them to the tune of £5 billion a year (so he could redistribute it).

Our taxes, already higher under Labour, are about to rise to pay for the £16 billion deficit caused by Labour's tax and spend obssession.

Britain is on a downhill slide and all that really remains to be seen is if the British public recognises this - and acts - before the slippage has built up a momentum that is simply unstoppable.

We're getting very, very close to the critical point...