The Wilted Rose

Charting Labour meltdown 2007-2010

Why GB needs more grammar schools

What, then, is the biggest crisis facing Great Britain today?  What irks the people of England, Scotland and Wales most strongly?  Is it tax, especially inheritance tax?  Is it the NHS?  Or could it possibly be immigration?  Or maybe crime?

All of these things are in some way irritants, and indeed they may cause temporary or event-centred unease or problems.  You might feel your pockets emptied by tax; you may have to wait or receive substandard treatment for health problems; you might feel that your country has changed ‘irrevocably’; or you might not feel safe on the streets. 

When I say event-centred, I mean that they may not play on your mind all the time or mess up your future – or your kids’ future – and make you resort to this.  Yes, opting out of state schools, and going private.  There is nothing more despicable than not being able to count on a good education.  If you have some spare cash (or can release equity from your home), i.e. if you are not working class or lower-middle-class without such resouces, you can do so.

It is despicable that working class kids, or lower-middle-class kids, whose parents simply can’t afford to go private, have to put up with the substandard education that is on offer.  They can’t afford to move into the catchment areas of the ‘good’ schools … and their kids may never go to university.  Worse still, they may end up in the ‘unemployable’ or ‘unskilled’ underclass that is called NEETs when they’re young and LTU (long-term unemployed) when they’re older. 

This is not a problem for many parents, though, in Kent, Trafford, Buckinghamshire and several other local authorities where intellectual idiocy – and so-called progressiveness – did not result in the abolition of grammar schools.

The three main political parties have, frankly, idiotic policies which are based on the mantra that selection is inequitable, and a vote-loser.  In fact, educational selection – and offering bright kids from working-class homes like mine or lower-middle-class homes who can’t afford to go private – is a vote winner as sure as the right to buy your own council house was.

And it is also socially just

Communities who wish to have a grammar school should be allowed to create one, whether it’s funded via philanthropy such as an innercity academy currently is, or whether it’s a Co-operative School as proposed by the Tories. 

It works effectively in my native Ulster, where very many working-class kids get a first-class education and many go to University.  If I had been brought up in Birmingham or London I would never have got to University.

If the political argument on lower taxes has been won, it is time for the argument on academic selection to be won too.  The future of our kids, rather than a few hundred pounds in the pockets, is far more important. 


10 November, 2007 Posted by | education, intellectual idiocy, Labour Party, politics | 4 Comments