Saturday, May 21, 2005

Advisers to tackle unruly pupils

When this government is going to do something, it does it. From Daily Mail headline to new law can take weeks rather than years. When it is not going to do something, it forms a committee.

This government cannot do anything about indiscipline in schools because it cannot admit that the implementation of Labour's educational theories is the cause of that indiscipline. Unlike the Labour cabinet, I went to a comprehensive school. It was a brave new experiment then, and it was obvious to us guinea pigs that it was going to fail.

As a bright working-class kid who wanted to learn, I watched my teachers devote all their attention to keeping the thick kids in the classroom and reasonably quiet. Those kids should have been in another classroom or another school learning skills appropriate to their abilities. But socialist theory said they were disadvantaged, not stupid (although I was no more advantaged than they were) and that we should all be taught from the same curriculum in the same room. Clever or not, we were all more inclined to be unruly because our time was being wasted.

My education suffered. I left school truly disadvantaged and have educated myself as best I can from subsequent reading. Their education suffered because they were not given appropriate education for them, delivered by teachers specialised in their needs.

Margaret Thatcher's cabinet had more State-educated members than any cabinet of Blair's. Why? Because they had been educated in the golden age of British education. Grammar schools were a gateway of opportunity for the working classes. Comprehensive schools are locked gates to prevent social mobility and hold bright working class kids "in their place" - suitably alienated and inclined to be left-wing.

Somehow I don't think Ms Kelly's committee is likely to come to that conclusion.

BBC NEWS | Education | Advisers to tackle unruly pupils

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