L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

10 January 2007 Blog Home : January 2007 : Permalink

Idiotic ZANULabour Education Policy

But I repeat myself. The Torygraph has a couple of opeds and a news item on Education and ZANU Labours view of it. I shall be mostly ignoring Simon Heffer's cogent explanation of why we think Ruth Kelly is a hypocrite and concentrate on the other two which talk about the government's plan to make school access "better".

Some background. Despite a decade of attempting to reduce state education to the lowest common denominator there remain state schools which manage to educate their pupils better than others. Parents who think that a good education would be a good thing for their offspring have tended to buy houses in the catchment areas of these schools thereby driving up house-prices and hence pricing out of the market the poorer people who would also like their kiddies to have a decent education. This is preceived as unfair because it means that rich thickos can get good free schooling while poorer smartypants have to have their lust for learning beaten out of them at the local failing comp instead and our ZANU labour masters have decide that "something must be done" to ensure that the rich are made as miserable as the poor with regards to state education.

As the Torygraph points out there is an easy way to ensure that the best pupils get into the best schools - an exam - however, because this is EdgeUKshun and teachers unions are vehemently against the idea of competition, this is not the solution that will be chosen. Instead catchment areas are to be combined into larger ones with mixtures of good and bad schools and which school your little darling will attend will depend on a lottery. Allow me to explain a few of the unintended consequences that are sure to occur as a result:
  1. A complete fuckup of the school bus system and an inabiltiy to children walk to school due to distance, thus leading to even larger amounts of congestion as parents drop their kids of at schools many miles away
  2. Extremely hacked off parents who just paid thousands of quid more for their house in order to get into a good school catchment area
  3. An increase in richer families withdrawing completely from the state system leading to
    1. an increase in private schools and hence demand for more teachers
    2. a corresponding decrease in the quality of state teachers because the private sector will hire the good ones
    3. a corresponding further decrease in the quality of the state education system
    4. even more middle class parents putting themselves in debt to get their children educated privately and thus withdrawing from the state system
    5. wash rinse repeat.
In other words if the ZANU labour government wanted to see an even greater domination of top university places by independent schools and an even greater chasm between the prospects of the haves and the have nots it would be hard to think of a better one.

Fortunately though ZANU labour has a way to get around this as Simon Heffer explains:

The party has done absolutely nothing for private schools since 1997, except heap regulations on them and bully and threaten them about the possible loss of their charitable status. While we are on the subject, the injustice and the insanity of removing charitable status would be immense. Most private schools do considerable work for their communities. They share their facilities, offer in some cases huge bursaries to poor but clever children, and take an enormous burden off the state. They did all this, by the way, long before the Government began bullying them. If charitable status went, a huge proportion of schools would go with it, and the state sector would implode.

If you remove the charitable status on independent schools and you thereby force the fees they have to charge to rise to even more stratospheric levels and therefore force parents to either indebt themselves ruinously or return to the state system which will not be able to handle the sudden influx of new pupuls.

The only slight silver lining to this cloud is that, just possibly, the guardianistas will be as affected by the resulting chaos as everyone else so perhaps they'll vote for someone else and insist on a saner education policy and high standards of teaching. But don't hold your breath, the ability of the guardianista class to blame their woes on anything and everything other than their own cherished policy ideals is almost as good as that of their favourite middle eastern group - the Palestinians.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin