Getting a child "institutionalised" for school is a positive thing in their view. The ONLY benefit of going to a mainstream school that was mentioned - and mentioned repeatedly was that of "socialisation with her peers".
Of course the sprog in question is a mere 4 years old so its a bit had to be sure what else the sensible shoe brigade thought education was for. However, call me old fashioned though if you will, I thought the point of school was learning how to read, write and do sums. Socialisation, what I think should be called "making friends", was just a by product of the process and involved much running around in groups yelling and screaming - in fact my mother recalls that at the primary school I went to you could tell when it was break time because the hundred or so kids would run around the school playground screaming and the noise carried for miles (literally).
On the other hand things like reading, writing and sums are apparently getting to be a little advance for the British school system. Melanie Phillips has a disturbing update about the state of secondary school English teaching that rings absolutely true when I look at the writing capability of various recent graduates that I have encountered. I am depressedly certain that an English Maths A Level these days is rather less intellectually stretching than the AO level I took 20odd years ago and very possibly it is less stretching that the O level.
Living down here in the south of France I know numerous fellow expats with schoolage kids, and very few of them are sent to a school with an "English Curriculum". The reason for other is not the fees so much as the way the school is described as "Mougins Holiday Camp" and that, since I also know a couple of the teachers, is not so much because of the school itself as the fact that the "English Curriculum" seems to be designed, to put it politely, for 20W bulbs. Kids are sent to either local French schools or the various international schools that provide the IB and, while I am sure the IB has its problems, it seems to be considerably more rigourous than that required north of the Channel.
In theory the advent of computers and the like should be making education better. And there are quite a lot of excellent interative materials out on the web such as this addictive satellite applet, which manage to make education fun. It worries me that many people in the future will not be able to explain why it works the way it does...