Why is it only the right that gets angry about how state schools fail the poor?

(280 Posts)
longfingernails Sun 23-Jun-13 19:08:09

A truly fantastic article.

blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/06/christine-blower-the-nut-and-the-bigotry-of-low-expectation/

My favourite snippet:
This is what separates British left and right now. The left, in their post-Blair phase, is no longer very worked up about the poor doing badly at school. (?It may matter or it may not,? Blower said about poor children not going to top universities). The standard left response is to talk philosophically about inequality in society, as if this has the slightest bearing on whether the concept of a sink school ought to be tolerated in this day and age.

By contrast, the right are hopping mad about educational inequality. When the subject is raised in front of Michael Gove, it?s like flicking a switch. He blows his top. When I last interviewed him and raised the subject about whether it poor kids should be expected to do as well as rich, he replied in a crescendo of anger.

claig Germany Sun 23-Jun-13 21:37:50

Because the left are the establishment and defend their own status quo. The right want to fix hospitals and schools and change things for the better. The left oppose those changes because they do not want to admit that they are in any way responsible, which is why they are fully behind their status quo.

DrDolittle Sun 23-Jun-13 21:40:33

Problem is, when the right change things, they don't always get it right!

DrDolittle Sun 23-Jun-13 21:40:55

And then no one trusts them anymore....

claig Germany Sun 23-Jun-13 21:45:52

'Problem is, when the right change things, they don't always get it right!'

True. But at least they try and do something.

Does education being dumbed down matter to the left? They say it hasn't been dumbed down, and for some of the children of the wealthier leftists it has not been dumbed down, because they are in private fee-paying schools.

It matters that there are gagging orders on NHS staff and that elderly people die of dehydration on our wards and thousands die unnecessarily in our hospitals. Who was responsible for all of this?

Jeremy Hunt is trying to make things better and make people accountable. Let's hope for the sake of the people that he can get it right.

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:48:21

That's very interesting. Totally agree. I have no idea why this is the case but it does indeed appear to be so. Fifty years ago children growing up in real poverty all left school reading and writing, and being educated in huge classes. What has changed?

Balls. I consider myself of the left and think that schools are terrible for those less well off.

If the "right" were so concerned then why don't they make state schools more like private schools? Smaller class sizes, shorter terms? Eh Gove?

I'll tell you why - because they don't want to spend the money as they love the elitism.

claig Germany Sun 23-Jun-13 21:51:30

Dumbing down has occurred, and it was ideological and it was hidden by grade inflation and trumpeting how well the left had done, but when the deceptive veil was lifted all that remained was a bag of bones and thousands of A* grades.

meditrina Sun 23-Jun-13 21:56:35

Didn't the attainment gap widen under Blair/Brown?

claig Germany Sun 23-Jun-13 21:57:08

'If the "right" were so concerned then why don't they make state schools more like private schools? Smaller class sizes, shorter terms? Eh Gove?'

Maybe free schools are the first step in that direction.

'Balls. I consider myself of the left and think that schools are terrible for those less well off. '

It's not leftists like you, it's the ones in government think tanks and charitable trusts and taxpayer funded positions on taxpayer salaries above £100,000. They are the establishment and they hold tight to their status quo and don't want to rock any boats in case their taxpayer funded roles disappear.

DrDolittle Sun 23-Jun-13 22:00:47

Grammar schools wouldn't cost more, would they? That would increase the chances of the poor getting to a good university. But no politician seems willing to legislate for more of them, despite the demand (e.g Kent grammar schools expanding, using a loophole to do it).

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sun 23-Jun-13 22:00:53

scarlettsmummy actually literacy/numeracy rates have remained fairly constant post-war, drifting upwards if anything.

Studies here and here for example.

Free schools won't change the issue of class sizes. And gove wants longer school terms?

I don't think the left are in establishment. The government is currently of the right and they only listen to those of the right.

The issue is that people tinker - but we need something radical. We need to celebrate and champion doing well at school, not just make people good enough.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sun 23-Jun-13 22:03:07

DrDolittle, I suggest you take a look at the many, many threads on here about how much people are spending on prep schools or tutoring for the 11+ before you suggest that as a leg-up for poor kids.

JakeBullet Sun 23-Jun-13 22:06:23

...and cutting the education budget is going to help the poorer students how exactly?

And that budget cut will hit the children with SN even more .

I don't think that the Left got things right but I doubt the Right have all the answers either.

claig Germany Sun 23-Jun-13 22:06:40

'DrDolittle, I suggest you take a look at the many, many threads on here about how much people are spending on prep schools or tutoring for the 11+ before you suggest that as a leg-up for poor kids.'

Then why don't some of these charities and think tanks and trusts and home flippers and people who try and charge £12000 a month for asking questions, set up some charities that provide free tuition on weekends to poor children who can't afford tuition?

SirChenjin Sun 23-Jun-13 22:11:25

Because TB had an absolute fixation with sending huge numbers to universities. The only way that he could do that was to make it easier for kids to go onto higher education, and the only way that could happen was to make it easier, rather than more difficult, for them to pass with grades that universities look for, ie lower the bar. I regularly sit on interview panels, and can assure anyone who doubts that literacy and numeracy levels are not improving.

On a societal level, education is not seen as the way out of poverty anymore.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sun 23-Jun-13 22:12:09

Someone, somewhere is probably doing just that - I don't know, I don't live in Kent fortunately. But it's pissing in the wind really, isn't it?

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Jun-13 22:13:51

Labour started the academies program to help turn around failing schools.

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Jun-13 22:14:30

Oh, and wasn't the Pupil Premium for poor students down to the Lib Dems?

SirChenjin Sun 23-Jun-13 22:14:34

Only in certain parts of the UK Noble

claig Germany Sun 23-Jun-13 22:18:16

'But it's pissing in the wind really, isn't it?'

I don't think spending money on free tuition for children is pissing in the wind. It is a start and a move in the right direction.

What really is pissing in the wind, is all these think tanks and taxpayer funded experts advising more windfarms and windmills that end up pissing and blowing our taxpayer money in the wind and handing taxpayer subsidies to rich landowners.

Let's spend taxpayer money on poor children and education to give them a future for themselves and for us rather than handing taxpayer money to rich landowners.

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Jun-13 22:22:41

There was a pot of money for free one-one tuition for pupils that were underachieving in English or Maths. Ten free one hour sessions after school with a qualified teacher for pupils identified by their school.

Guess who cut that funding?

claig Germany Sun 23-Jun-13 22:23:37

Yes, noblegiraffe, that was a good initiative and it was a shame that that was cut.

SirChenjin Sun 23-Jun-13 22:24:48

Agree Claig - the wind farm industry is massively subsidised, and that's money that could be better spent on education. As for the 'charitable' status that private schools enjoy, I'd like to see them contributing far more than simply providing a couple of bursaries or allowing the state school plebs to play on the fields occasionally.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now