Thursday, November 18, 2004

People in glass palaces

"What is wrong with people nowadays? Why do they all seem to think they are qualified to do things far above their capabilities? This is all to do with the learning culture in schools. It is a consequence of a child-centred education system which tells people they can become pop stars, high court judges or brilliant TV presenters or infinitely more competent heads of state without ever putting in the necessary work or having the natural ability"

That's the Prince of Wales. If this comment came from somebody who had a record of involvement with state education, rather than someone whose family attend expensive public schools and walk into Oxbridge educations as a matter of right, then you might listen. If this wasn't somebody who is so sheltered from reality that he even has a servant put the toothpaste on the brush for him, it might carry some weight.

An accident of birth guarantees him the crown without training or any requirement to prove ability. Lack of ability or work has never yet stopped him from commenting on cancer treatment, architecture or farming.

Bear in mind that this was a response to a note from a junior member of his staff asking about training for graduates and you realise that this man has no idea what aspiration really means. While I would agree that everybody should be taught that success is earned through hard work, I can't see what this has to do with the 'child-centred' educational system. It is a great shame that decades of good work from the Prince's Trust is being damaged by these ill-advised comments. The fact that they were made in private is even more indicative of his personal views than any public statement he might make.

Some days, you think the French had the right idea about royals.

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