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Tory by-election candidate on state education....

(194 Posts)
seeker Sat 16-Feb-13 14:12:40

......sorry it's the Daily Mirror, but so far it's that or the Huffington Post! At least they are showing their true colours......

wordfactory Sun 17-Feb-13 08:35:58

Oh Good God.
Some DC are so bright that state school doesn't fit. Indeed, most private schools don't fit...

These DC thrive much better in super selectives.

scaevola Sun 17-Feb-13 08:54:36

Politicians of both sides are very hypocritical when it comes to their own DCs and whether they should go into the stated education system which they, as MPs, should support.

I think the hypocrisy is generally worse from the Left, as their ideological stance is generally more abolitionist of diverse sectors in education provision.

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 08:58:50

"I think the hypocrisy is generally worse from the Left, as their ideological stance is generally more abolitionist of diverse sectors in education provision."

I agree. But have any of them actually said that it's impossible to become a surgeon if you go to state school?

scaevola Sun 17-Feb-13 09:02:59

Probably not. But that's an unhelpfully narrow straw man point, really.

I think Lord Adonis (a Tony crony) put it well.

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 09:05:37

I don't think it's a straw man- it's what she actually said! I'm not saying that's what all Tories think- but she obviously does, and it's her standing in this by election!

scaevola Sun 17-Feb-13 09:12:57

Of course it's what she is quoted as saying. That's not the straw man. The straw man "have any of them actually said that it's impossible to become a surgeon if you go to state school?".

The exact wording isn't the important part - there are, as acknowledged by Labour's senior education policy maker, many examples of Labour politicians dissing the state sector. And I find that more hypocritical then the Tories doing so, for the Tory support of a more diverse system with greater range of sectors/types isn't exactly news.

AThingInYourLife Sun 17-Feb-13 09:19:32

Why must politicians think the state sector is good if it is not?

Adonis was right - the problem is not a recognition that there is a problem.

It's the complacency with which that problem is treated by people who don't believe it affects them.

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 09:35:07

They don't have to. Acknowledging problems iis one thing. Saying that you can't become a surgeon from a state school is quite another! Particularly in an area with outstanding secondary schools.

prh47bridge Sun 17-Feb-13 09:46:14

As I have already pointed out she did NOT say that it is impossible to become a surgeon if you go to state school. That is the Daily Mirror's spin on an interview conducted by the Daily Mail. The quote shows that she said:

- her son is gifted and she can't find the right sort of education for him in state schools

- her son wants to be a surgeon

She did not connect the two points. For all we know the Daily Mail's journalist may have conflated two completely separate answers to produce the quote. But even if the quote is correct, she does NOT say that it is impossible to become a surgeon if you go to state school. Her only comment about state schools is that in her view they don't provide the right sort of education for her son. I'm with the Guardian's interpretation - she said her son is too bright for state schools.

One of the most annoying things about politics in this country is the way that politicians' words get twisted to make out they have said something they haven't. It happens to politicians of all parties - I have in various forums stuck up for politicians of all three major parties when they have been attacked for something they did not actually say.

By all means attack her for saying that she can't get the right sort of education for her son in state schools, although personally I would rather have politicians who think state schools aren't good enough provided it motivates them to do something to improve the education system. If all politicians think state schools are wonderful and no change is needed we will carry on slipping down the international league table.

We have the same problem in spades over the NHS. Any politician who suggests the NHS is less than perfect gets savaged by opponents and the press. The result is Stafford and all the other hospitals currently under investigation for failure to care for patients properly.

grovel Sun 17-Feb-13 09:52:42

I once had a fridge called a prh47.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 17-Feb-13 10:12:46

You keep separating the points as though it makes a difference, prh but it doesn't! It was a stupid, offensive and ill-informed thing to say.

Never mind whether she's in the catchment for the outstanding schools: are their teachers in her would-be constituency??

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 11:21:42

Seeker - her actual words, according to the tabloid -- which you should never read nor believe--:

"William is very gifted which gives us another interesting challenge in finding the right sort of education for him – impossible in the state system. He wants to be a cardio-respiratory surgeon."

She may NOT have said that in that order. To be honest, it doesn't even sound right??? Look at it. It's as though a whole chunk was missing from the middle. For all we know, she could have said this:

"*William is very gifted which gives us another interesting challenge in finding the right sort of education for him - impossible to find in the state system.* He is a special needs child, and doesn't do well in a class of 30 plus people. Of course, children who are naturally bright and sociable fair perfectly well in that environment. William isn't such a child. It takes a lot of one-on-one work for him to fulfill his potential, and we want that for him. He wants to be a cardio-respiratory surgeon, and we will do anything possible to make that happen."

Or it could have been one of those cases that was misunderstood on the other end because you left a whole chunk of info out. Were you never asked a question and answered it so quickly that you left out some valuable information that to you may have seemed unnecessary, but to others out of the loop would have been needed for comprehension? Of course, most politicians employ speech writers, etc. to prevent this happening to them.

I do know people who use the term "gifted" in describing what others would see as "special needs" - a very PC thing to do. So when someone tells me these days that their child is "gifted", I'm aware it can be anything from being a genius to needing very, very special care. Sometimes, both go hand in hand.

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 11:27:16

Yes. She might have said that.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 11:44:38

TheOriginalSteamingNit / Seeker

Just out of interest: Why do you care if she thinks Ofsted "outstanding" schools are not good enough for her children? If you have seen the "other" side (e.g. the really good private schools), you can't help but think that state schools can't match them most of the time (there are exceptions). So if I had the money... yes, I'd send my kids to the better private school with their huge cricket and rugby fields, and old, idyllic buildings - complete with the kind of libraries I dreamt of as a child. Most likely because I wouldn't think the state school was good enough - in comparison to what the private sector could offer me.

Of course, while DH and I openly admit this to each other, we'd be very careful saying this in front of others - because as we can see from this forum, other people take an offense to it. Probably something to do about it being unfair that it's money that determines an education.


Wake-up call.

What's the difference between that and someone buying a Porsche, a bigger house, luxurious family holidays... need I continue?

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 11:51:32

In this particular case, I care because she is hoping to become part of the government of the country. And I don't want people in charge who think that you can't become a surgeon if you go to a state school. Yes, I know you have produced some post hoc rationalisation to explain why she didn't actually say that, but so far I only have her words to go on.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 12:00:53

Seeker - I would be very reluctant to vote for someone who thinks that state schools are good enough as they are, and pride themselves with having sent their kids there, and still "did well". You never know what the parents did outside of school, e.g. discussions around the dinner table, huge bills on tutors, drama school, music lessons or holidays in France to perfect that French. For less educated parents or families with less money, it would be difficult to achieve the same.

Plenty of Offsted-rated "outstanding" state schools are simply not good enough. So if I had the power to change that, I would. However, if I thought they were in fact good enough, schools would not be on my priority list. I may focus on other things instead.

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 12:29:06

"Plenty of Offsted-rated "outstanding" state schools are simply not good enough."

And you know this because??

And as I said, she appears to have written off state education before she started. Not saying that improvements need to be made, and there are schools that aren't good enough.

LilyBolero Sun 17-Feb-13 12:37:19

She is bonkers. When she tiraded at Tony Blair, the provision she was angrily defending was not being removed, reduced, or at threat of being changed in any way.

She also believes the abortion limit should be 10 weeks.

And the quote about education defies belief - what does she expect parents of very gifted children who CAN'T afford private schools do?

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 12:37:42

seeker - It is all relative. When I say not "good enough", it's because I've been around a few in our area, and my friends have been around a few in theirs... but we all have been around a few of the major private school ones, and while the "outstanding" schools may have been "good enough", if we had never seen the private ones, they were no longer "good enough" for us afterwards.

Sad that the state schools just can't compete with them... so DH and I are working hard to ensure DC can go to whatever school we think is "good enough".

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 12:44:47

Yep. Loads of extra money will do that to a school.

The fact remains that someone hoping to enter government should not write off state education before she starts.

dapplegrey Sun 17-Feb-13 13:13:17

Nick Clegg has said he may educate his children privately. Did you object to that, Seeker, or is it just Tories that are criticised by you?

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 14:26:25

Yes, I object to that too. No, it's not just Tories.

prh47bridge Sun 17-Feb-13 14:27:47

TheOriginalSteamingNit - So in your world all politicians must say that their local state school is a brilliant success even if it is the worst school in the country?

The point I am making is that she did not say that you can't be a surgeon if you go to state school as alleged. She did say that it is impossible for her son to get an adequate education in the state system as he is gifted. That wasn't the brightest of things to have said. But I have no problem with a politician saying the local schools aren't good enough. I wish more would do so.

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 14:32:25

"So in your world all politicians must say that their local state school is a brilliant success even if it is the worst school in the country?"

Of course not. Nobody has said she should. But she has dismissed the state system out of hand. And however you rewrite it, she did say that you can't become a surgeon from a state school. And she said that a bright child can't be educated in a state school- in a constituency with outstanding schools. Which is, if nothing else, completely stupid.

LittleFrieda Sun 17-Feb-13 14:37:39

Value for money in the state sector may be better, but the education on offer isn't (in my experience) better. This is probably because the spend per state pupil is vastly less than the spend per pupil in the independent sector.

I wish people wouldn't pretend state education is better.

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