Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Parent power

I thought that parents and members of the community already ran schools - we call them governors. The reality is that school governors are in many places hard to recruit and hard to retain. Running a school is fiendishly complex and I can't comprehend the challenge of establishing a new one. This is a manifesto for two things, for the private sector to swoop in and turn our state schools into profit centres - Michael Gove confirmed that on C4 News tonight, when he spoke of opening the school system up to philanthropists and entrepreneurs. Secondly, it will entrench the privileged position of the sharp-elbowed middle classes who can afford to move close to the better schools or can afford the extra tuition to help their children into better, selective state schools. Those on lower wages with limited time will find it hard to get these new schools going.

This policy is just wrong and it is just surrendering responsibility for the provision of educatio, which is well established in the state school. Most schools are in good nick - they've been funded better for the past decade than in the preceding two. Our standards are improving, our children better educated than they have ever been. Treating the state system as a convenient whipping-boy for Tory political aims undermines the hard work done every day by teachers and support staff across this country.

The evidence that it is any better is dubious at best, but it seems that the Tories can't wait to abrogate their duty to educate the next generation.

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