28 February 2007

School Admissions: Tories accuse Labour of putting 'fairness' ahead of interests of the better off.

Vote Tory if you agree that 'buying into a school's catchment area' is a fair way to allocate places to the best performing schools. That is the message from both the Tories nationally and the Brighton Tories who campaigned vociferously to keep this unfair system in place (despite some self-denial among Regency Tories trying not to lose votes).

In a stroke, Brighton Labour has given hope to thousands of children from poorer backgrounds. Nothing more radical could have be done to help social mobility than this new lottery proposal. (If only the council could do something about faith school's skewed selection as well).

This is so radical because it demonstrates how peer to peer learning is just as important as the quality of the teaching (if not more so)- just look at the difference in performance between schools, it has fired up parents from both sides - for and against - they both know their very children's futures are at stake (it has little to do with quibbles over distance travelled by pupils). The Tories have tried everything to stop this, if they are elected in May they WILL reverse this decision and show up their true belief in maintaining (even worsening) class distinctions and life chances.

Both Labour and the Greens deserve credit for pushing this radical proposal through. However only Labour can stop the Tories dominating on Brighton & Hove council.


  1. Brighton Labour are putting political dogma before the edcuation of Brighton's children.

    Moving pupils to good schools who lack discipline and a study ethic will merely destroy the good schools within a couple of years.

    I cannot think of a more destructive educational policy apart from the introduction of Comprehensive schools.

  2. Theres no such council as 'Brighton Council' as you put it.

  3. anon: ok, ok, it's Brighton & Hove Council, duly corrected! God Kevin, you are a pedantic pain.

    snafu: "Moving pupils to good schools who lack discipline and a study ethic will merely destroy the good schools within a couple of years."

    We all pay for state education, why should some (those who can afford to buy into the catchment area) get a 'good school' that is denied to others just because they are poor?

    Surely it is the Tories who are putting dogma before education. What happened to Tory 'choice'?

  4. Neil, I suggest that some schools are better than others because 'poorer' pupils do not attend them!

    Would Eton continue to be a good school if the only pupils attending it were from 'disadvantaged' backgrounds!?!

  5. snafu : Of course you are effectively right - put a kid in a class of ill disciplined dunces and he will be dragged down - put him in a class of eggheads and he will be pulled up.

    The trade off is between raising the lowest achievers at the expense of the brightest;

    TORY POLICY: an increasing educational divide between those who can afford to buy into wealthy areas with good schools and those who can't with the risk that the worst schools will breed crime and a 'useless generation of no hopers'.
    LABOUR POLICY: a decreasing educational divide where wealth cannot obtain a better state educational environment - with the risk that more middle class will go private and the brightest might suffer.

    I prefer Labour policy.

  6. Neil, I disagree! Put a dunce in a class of egg-heads and he will remain a dunce, he will pull the others down!

    It's the equivalent of saying that if enough law abiding people were forced to live in the prisons, re-offending rates amongst other prisoners would automatically fall!

    Neil, we both agree that education is fundamental to increasing social mobility and improving life chances. It's only how this is achieved that divides us!

    The brightest working class children already suffer because of the absence of Grammar schools that they can attend that would stretch them!

  7. Grammar schools only ever take 1% of kids getting free school meals compared to the 12% national average. Also where there are grammar schools, the average for ALL children falls - compare Kent to LEAS without Grammars.

    "Put a dunce in a class of egg-heads and he will remain a dunce, he will pull the others down!"

    You are right, he/she will, but there is a trade off here and selective education does more harm than those areas that do not have it. i.e the evidence is that the dunces are pulled up more than the brightest are pulled down. In a global competitive world where we need as large an educated workforce as possible, we cannot afford to exclude 70% of children (let alone all the harm it does to our society in terms of increased crime and inequality).

  8. If by living in a certain area I could protect my child from having any contact with Whitehawk Chav scum then I'd sell my Grandmother to do it. I guess we have different perceptions of fairness. Labour brainwashed people seem to think it means dragging everyone down into the same gutter to create equality. The illiterate chavscum that litter our towns are a product of 10 years of clueless government. Why should my child suffer because of their mistakes? Diane Abbot soon abandoned her principals and packed her kids of to private schools. Labour people talk utter and total shite every single time they open their mouths and I for one have had enough...