Nick Clegg State Education and Hypocrisy?

(66 Posts)
deadbeatdad Wed 21-Apr-10 21:14:52

Is Nick Clegg a bit of a hypocritic when it comes to state schools

Lib Dem manifesto want to effectively eliminate faith schools - limit staff appointments on faith grounds and make faith schools adopt the same admissions criteria as community schools.

Yet his own children go to Catholic primary schools and he has himself said state secondary schools in London represent a fall off a 'cliff edge' in terms of standards so he hasn't ruled out sending his children private at secondary level.

If he thinks london state secondaries are not good enough for his children why does he want to make faith schools in the capital to same as non-faith alternatives.

I am surprised he hasn't been challenged on this (rather than the snide pieces about his Westminster schooling).

Thoughts?

TheHeathenOfSuburbia Wed 21-Apr-10 21:35:13

Well, the pro-faith school people always say that it's the ethos of the school that makes them better, not the indirect social selection via the admissions criteria.

Guess removing said admissions criteria would give them a chance to put their money where their mouth is.

gaelicsheep Wed 21-Apr-10 21:41:40

Perhaps he wants other children to have the opportunity to attend such schools without their parents having to jump through hoops and say several Hail Marys?

I don't blame any politician who sends their children to private school because the local state schools are shite. As long as they are not simultaneously trying to shut private schools down, as used to be Labour's policy.

deadbeatdad Wed 21-Apr-10 22:04:51

So providing he doesn't shut private schools down (only effectively end state faith schools presumably after his children are in) that's ok?.

Where do you think the ethos comes from if not the staff, the students, parents and the teaching across the curriculum. If admissions is not based as you disparingly call 'Hail Marys ' then it is purely selection on the same criteria as community schools which the middle classes have shown they can effectively manipulate based on house purchase etc.

My view a touch of inconsistency from Mr Clegg - private schools untouched, indeed does not rule out sending his children to them because community secondary schools in London are poor and yet we will ensure faith school operate on the same basis as those supposedly failing community schools

gaelicsheep Wed 21-Apr-10 22:13:29

As TheHeathenOfSuburbia said, it's perhaps the ethos of the school that matters. Opening up admissions to non-Catholics wouldn't change the ethos and wouldn't equate to turning them into sink schools. Otherwise what on earth is the point of the Tory policy on community-run schools or Labour's "academies"? They must have the same admissions criteria as your average state school as well, right?

And no I don't think a politician should have to send their children to a crap school just because they're a politician. Especially if they are not a member of the ruling party and thereby responsible for school standards.

I don't think it's hypocrisy - he is choosing the education he thinks best for his children, same as the rest of us do. He can do that while thinking the current system is wrong - no hypocrisy there.

You obviously disagree with his policy on changing faith schools, but whether he's right or wrong on that issue it doesn't make him a hypocrite.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 21-Apr-10 22:31:48

I'm not apologist for faith schools, but thinking a school ethos comes only from the school is not seeing the whole picture. It is the whole school community, and that includes the parents, that make the ethos. That is particularly true I would imagine in faith schools, where there is a community outside of the school as well as inside. To say the admissions criteria wouldn't change the ethos of the school is wrong.

deadbeatdad Wed 21-Apr-10 22:38:57

He has said that state secondaries in london are crap and that he doesn't rule out going private. The inconsistency lies in wanting to turn the faith schools into the schools he decries, rather than change the community schools.

If he thinks the Lib Dem pupil premium policy will change standards in community schools in london he should say his kids won't need to go private. My sense is his state education policy does not add up sufficiently for him to have confidence in sending his DC to state community schools - and yet the many islands of effective state education in london he is proposing to tamper with for no obvious benefit in terms of standards.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 21-Apr-10 22:58:02

Wouldn't he only be hypocritical then if he was actually Prime Minister, and the party's policies were being implemented in schools? Otherwise his children are being educated in someone else's system.

vanitypear Thu 22-Apr-10 00:25:40

I agree he's a hypocrite, but, like Blair, Harman, Abbott et al, what they preach and what they practice when it comes to their own kids are different things entirely.

vanitypear Thu 22-Apr-10 00:29:16

... don't expect a bad word against Nick Clegg on Mumsnet, his "plague on both your houses" performance on TV has won MN over completely and made him the prospective saviour of the country - expenses, schooling and other inconsistencies conveniently forgotten... yawn

varifocal Thu 22-Apr-10 00:34:56

Most London schools have improved hugely over the past 10 years with additional funding and additional teachers. Don't believe all the urban myths. Go and get to know your local school(s)- they might not be shite asgaelicsheep suggests.

londonartemis Thu 22-Apr-10 11:27:41

What galls me most about this, is that he is a non believer, but gets his children into the catholic primary school because of his wife's beliefs. A bit too easy that one, Nick - happy to use religion to suit yourself. If I didn't believe, I wouldn't use up the space for parents who do believe. And it's not as if there is no alternative - there are loads of good state primaries in the area, and also private schools (he can afford them). To me this is hypocrisy.

MagicMountain Thu 22-Apr-10 11:42:09

I think his wife may have had some input into the debate they no doubt had about which school they wanted their children to attend.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 22-Apr-10 11:46:13

>What galls me most about this, is that he is a non believer, but gets his children into the catholic primary school because of his wife's beliefs.

Are you saying that Mrs Clegg shouldn't have a say - I'd got the impression that this school was largely her choice which her husband was willing to respect. She does believe - are you saying he's more important than her because he's a politician or a man?hmm

I agree totally with the libdem policy if its to stop religious discrimination in employment and admissions.

londonartemis Thu 22-Apr-10 11:51:30

Oh definitely she should have a say. I have not problem with her making the choice whatsoever, but I think that as a politician, he is having his cake and eating it.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 22-Apr-10 11:56:35

He's in a catch 22 then isn't he - either disrespect his wife's views because it mightn't sit well with the electorate, or dictate his childrens educational choices based on political expediency.

Unless you seriously think the latter choice would have been better, its a bit daft to complain.

gramercy Thu 22-Apr-10 11:58:54

The thing is that if the best local option had been a non-faith school and that the Catholic school had been crap you could have bet your bottom dollar that the Cleggs would have spurned Catholicism in a heartbeat. Anyone would. But then anyone is not standing up and spouting an "education policy".

deadbeatdad Thu 22-Apr-10 12:00:48

There's the rub. I admire his decision to respect his wife's wishes (and the church's teaching in a mixed marriage) to bring the children up as Catholics. My issue is that while respecting the wishes of his wife his part's policy seeks to deny the opportunity to others to have a faith school to whicj to send their children to. By faith school I don't mean the mealy-mouthed version he described in his press conference this morning where admissions is the same as community schools and where the current option of employing staff from the faith in key posts remains.

Why don' the press quiz him on this policy rather than the over blown story about money from business men into his personal account. You can't blame the politicians to pursue inconsistent practices from those they want to impose on others if the press are lazy for a cheap headline.

HippyGalore Thu 22-Apr-10 12:02:41

I don't actually think it is hypocrisy, he doesn't like the current state schools in part because they suffer the downside of other schools' selection rights. Removing the special selection some schools get will not necessarily drag these schools down, as if sink school is some sort of natural state. There is a vicious cycle of select - improve stats - become more desirable - more selective - better stats etc. that he hopes to break, although it is obvious why those in the loop want to keep it that way.

In Scotland, there are no church schools and only the odd catholic school, which don't perform any better than the state schools (to which it is also easier to compare like with like, socio-economically). This suggests that it is the selection, not the faith that gives such schools an advantage and leaves others disadvantaged.

I even think that the whole community thing is increased by kids who live near each other going to the same school, across the board - if people get a sense of belonging from their church and faith as well, they still will.

bidibidi Thu 22-Apr-10 12:06:08

Wait a minute, I thought faith schools ARE state schools (overwhelmingly). Or are you arguing that the only thing that stops state faith schools from being "crap" is the faith element in the admissions criteria and curriculum? Somehow this filters out the riffraff, does it? hmm

I would be livid if religion was a discriminating factor in our local state schools -- actually I feel fairly riled to hear that it's an admissions criteria for any state school anywhere. I can't believe that such discrimination is allowed to exist in any public service. That's absolutely outrageous, and inexplicable in an overwhelmingly secular nation.

Clarissimo Thu 22-Apr-10 12:11:25

Presumably he thinks he can make the schools better
And fwiw not all faith schools are equal- ours is faith but in no way delective if you live in catchment.

'... don't expect a bad word against Nick Clegg on Mumsnet, his "plague on both your houses" performance on TV has won MN over completely and made him the prospective saviour of the country - expenses, schooling and other inconsistencies conveniently forgotten... yawn

coz people on MN are so thick tehy cannot sthink for themselves and nobosy ever voted LD before That debate

<<questions how DH had Paddy as an MP then hmm>>

patronising bollocks

just IMO natch

If he had established the system and then wouldnt use it I would be first to tell hypocrisy but he didn't. He wants to change the schools to fit what he would like for his kids.

And fwiw our state faith is a crock of shite. Shite ethos, hotbed pf in fihghting and will be driving out of the way to avoid sending ds4 there

Clarissimo Thu 22-Apr-10 12:13:24

' I don't mean the mealy-mouthed version he described in his press conference this morning where admissions is the same as community schools and where the current option of employing staff from the faith in key posts remains.
'

thats opurs then (anyone want a shite uber religious Head? have one someone can grab....)

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 25-Jan-13 17:58:12

vanitypear said it - if it were a conservative he would be vilified for hypocrisy on MN, but Clegg, Harman, Abbott can do no wrong.

Ronaldo Fri 25-Jan-13 19:07:27

You might call him a hypocrite because in his political life he stands and spouts his ( so called) principles). However, he is just like the rest of us really ( I hope) - when it comes to his own children he will not sacrifice them on the altar of his principles. That I can respect. I find it hard to swallow he has never admitted it before.

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