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September 02, 2007

Cameron on Education

An encouraging sign:

Should we accept this? Absolutely not. Take Sweden. There, standards have been raised by allowing innovative organisations to set up new schools in the state sector, championing excellence and giving parents more control and choice.

Sweden, as we know, has a pure voucher scheme. Any two qualified teachers can set up and try to attract pupils. The money follows dependent upon how many pupils they attract.

Compare this to Labour's methods: obsessive micro-management and rigid attachment to old-fashioned ideas has entrenched deprivation, shut doors and closed minds.

Indeed, make educating children a valuable economic activity and allow the market to get on with doing it.

Ah, what's this?

Vitally, we will also put an immediate stop to the closure of special schools.....Second, rigour in standards. This Government is failing the next generation by not providing them with the skills to succeed. We need to focus on the qualifications employers really value. Take GCSEs. When you include the core subjects of English, Maths, Science and a Modern Language, fewer children today are getting five A*-C passes than in 1997. We will make sure that children are taught using the right methods,....That is why we campaigned so hard for the re-introduction of synthetic phonics as the best way of teaching reading.....

He's really not got it, has he? Getting rid of micro.management does not mean imposing your preferred method of teaching reading, it doesn't mean your preferred exams be taken nor does it mean that your preferred types of schools stay open. It means that all of these decisions are left to the interaction of parents and teachers and that you, the politicians, bugger off and go and play with the trains and the tanks.

Parents, communities and social enterprises should be allowed to go into deprived areas that need great schools, set one up and receive funding for every pupil they attract. With the freedom to do things differently, their success would inspire others to follow.

If you limit it to "deprived areas" then it won't work. You've allowed the bureaucracy to invade again, by determining what are those deprived areas.

Havethe courage of your convictions....well, assuming that this is conviction driven rather than focus group...and actually do it right. Stick a voucher on the back of every child and let the market sort it out.

September 2, 2007 in Academia | Permalink


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Tracked on Sep 4, 2007 10:34:39 AM


Holland Park Comprehensive is in the least deprived area of London, yet it is rubbish, full of pupils bussed in from miles away and teaching the same centralised nonsense in the same centralised, unionised way that the rest do. They have to put on police patrols to stop the little darlings running riot and all the residents end up bussing their kids out to independent schools. A hundred years ago Edinburgh got it right setting up Merchant Schools - a form of private Grammar with plenty of bursaries and scholarships.

Posted by: MARK T | Sep 3, 2007 9:15:57 AM

Absolutely, Tim.

If you interfere and try to control where the schools go, the point will be missed and all the LEA's mates will tamper and subvert it. The State needs to step back.

To not do so is to accept the offer from a Statist to "discuss it".

Posted by: Roger Thornhill | Sep 3, 2007 9:33:09 AM

"...the politicians bugger off and go and play with the trains and the tanks."

Oh no, do they really have to play with the trains?

That way we get idiocies like Network Rail being "fined" £xmillion because of some crash or other - ie money moved from one government balance sheet to another, only to be moved back again when Network Rail have pissed their budget up against the wall and "can't afford" to carry out any maintenance.

No, no: let the market play with the trains , too.

Posted by: Andrew Duffin | Sep 3, 2007 4:43:07 PM