Features

The Tories have one real success in government – and they’re scared to talk about it

Despite all the spin from the left, the school reforms have made a huge, positive difference. It’s time someone in power said so

31 January 2015

9:00 AM

31 January 2015

9:00 AM

The most significant achievement of this coalition, the only thing they really have any right to crow about, and possibly all that posterity will ever remember them for with anything approaching gratitude, will not be the ‘long-term economic plan’ they never cease to talk up, but the school reforms that the Conservatives seem almost to want to deny as the general election approaches.

This reticence is a mistake. With many voters grown so cynical about mainstream politics that they’re ready to throw in their lot with any passing populist chancer, here is a rare success story that needs shouting from the rooftops. It’s a story about how a cabinet minister took a principled stand against vested interests, delivered in government what he’d promised in opposition, and made a dramatic and sustained difference to a generation of young people, giving them the chance to become the authors of their own life stories.

It is easy to forget how horribly bad so many schools were before Michael Gove became education secretary and it can be surprising — given the relentless badmouthing he had to endure from the teaching profession — how much better those same schools became before Gove was bundled out of his job in last year’s reshuffle.

This week the Commons Education Committee published a report on academies and free schools, two of the government’s flagship policies. The scale and pace of change has been astonishing. Actually it was Labour that invented academies (schools that are independent of local authorities and funded directly by government) back in 2002, and at the initiative of Lord -Adonis just over 200 of them were established in England by the last general election. Now there are 4,344, including around two thirds of all secondary schools. In the same four and a half years, this government has opened 252 free schools. It has a further 111 in the pipeline. These are a special kind of academy opened by groups of parents, by teachers or by charities in response to local demand for a particular kind of school or style of teaching that was not being supplied.


Of course, structures are just structures. You do not change the culture of a school just by adding the word ‘academy’ to its name, nor do you necessarily improve teaching by funding a school from Whitehall and cutting out the local council. But the greater autonomy enjoyed by academies and free schools — being free to innovate, not being bound to follow the national curriculum, being able to hire their own staff directly and negotiate their own terms and conditions — has made a huge difference, allowing head teachers to make swift and radical changes without being constrained by petti-fogging bureaucracy or having to square union representatives before getting anything done. It has allowed new organisations such as Ark and the Harris Federation to create centres of excellence that can leave the fee-charging independent sector open-mouthed in admiration. For many schools all across England, it’s been like moving from the organisational culture of a 1970s-style nationalised industry to that of a 21st–century tech start-up: from nothing is possible to everything is possible.

Although the benefits of autonomy are well attested by organisations such as the OECD, they are hard to quantify. Or, at least, they are hard for the unimaginative types who populate so many of our university education research departments to quantify. Tens of millions of pounds are wasted each year on education research that has little or no value. Much of it is jargon-ridden Marxist drivel, critical of the alleged ‘market-isation’ of education worldwide. Much of the rest of it is just plain junk social science, insufficiently rigorous and with results that are rarely replicated. Charting the impact of academies and free schools hasn’t been a big priority for our academics, thus the Education Committee’s report had to acknowledge that ‘current evidence does not allow us to draw conclusions on whether academies in themselves are a positive force for change’. This allowed the Guardian to spin the report as saying that ‘Policies for improving schools had “no effect”, finds parliamentary enquiry’, the BBC to follow sheep-like down the same path with ‘no proof academies raise standards, say MPs’ and Labour’s Tristram Hunt outrageously to claim that the committee had delivered a ‘damning verdict’ on the government’s school improvement policy.

In fact, what the committee concluded was that while there wasn’t sufficient data on academy performance and it was too soon to draw meaningful conclusions from free schools that have only been open a short time, ‘What can be said is that, however measured, the overall state of schools has improved during the course of the academisation programme.’

And that is the key point. The beneficial effects of the Gove reforms are not confined to the most obvious beneficiaries — the academies and free schools themselves. The rising tide has lifted all boats, including those still under local authority control. ‘The competitive effect upon the maintained sector of the academy model,’ the report ventures, ‘may have incentivised local authorities to develop speedier and more effective intervention in their underperforming schools.’

What’s more, this ‘competitive effect’ may be only half the story. Large numbers of maintained schools (those funded through local councils) have improved phenomenally since 2010, often as a result of learning what is, in fact, possible: how good they can be. For years many of these schools languished in the educational equivalent of total squalor. They were resistant to every top-down initiative and directive that Labour education secretaries from David Blunkett to Ed Balls showered upon them. They could not or would not improve. In many cases this poverty of ambition and aspiration was mirrored in the low expectations staff had of their students. Particularly if those students came from economically deprived backgrounds or ethnic minorities, staff would tend to write them off at an early age. Certainly they wouldn’t imagine that people from challenging backgrounds might have any use for history or modern languages, let alone classics. The idea that any of them would succeed in winning a place at a Russell Group university would have been far-fetched.

What the Gove reforms — not just the structural ones, but changes to curriculum, exams, standards of behaviour, all working together — achieved was a change of collective mindset, a system-wide realisation that a culture of low expectations was self-fulfilling, and that a culture of high expectations could be too. The example of high ambitions, pioneered in the new academies, proved as potent, perhaps more potent than simple ‘competitive’ effects in catalysing change. Academies such as Mossbourne in Hackney, where Ofsted boss Sir Michael Wilshaw used to be headmaster, showed that even schools in the poorest areas, with very high numbers of ethnic minority pupils, many with English as a second language, could nevertheless perform academically at the highest level, obtaining stunning GCSE results and sending significant numbers of students to Cambridge. That was a lesson for everybody, everywhere.

We can be sure that between now and May there will be an endless barrage of lies and disinformation aimed at belittling this government’s achievements in improving schools. The real danger is not that these arguments will be persuasive, but that they will not be rebutted. It sometimes seems as if the government has lost faith in its own successful reforms. Where Tristram Hunt was poised ready to pounce, misrepresenting the committee’s report the moment it was published (in fact, he was at it the day before it was published!), Nicky Morgan has been recorded as absent once again. It may be that the new Education Secretary has orders from No. 10 to do little and say nothing beyond making emollient noises about teacher workload. If so, this is an opportunity missed. No Labour-supporting teacher (or SWP-supporting teacher, for that matter — and there are plenty of those) will be persuaded to vote Conservative by Nicky Morgan avoiding controversy. However, many votes could be lost by the Conservatives if they neglect to accentuate their biggest positive. If Nicky Morgan cannot defend academies and free schools, then let Michael Gove off his leash: we know he can.

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  • WFB56

    An excellent article from start to finish which tells the tale that every sentient parent with school age children knows; except, of course Cameron and Osborne.

    Gove’s accomplishment was enormous and he deserves all our thanks. Nicky who?

    • rtj1211

      Clearly not everyone agrees with you because otherwise the Conservatives WOULD be singing this story from the rooftops.

      Well, either that, or you must conclude the quite astonishing thesis that, for most parents, their children’s education isn’t really that high up their list of priorities when deciding who to vote for.

      I just don’t believe that, myself. Housing, education and health are going to be the top three issues for families. Immigration, defence and economic policy are the other three, which are enablers rather than the core three. Better economic policy equals more prosperous families equals better housing and better health, doesn’t it?? Maintaining that requires attention to immigration to retain societal cohesion and job prospects for the children, whereas defence is an enabler in preventing others destroying that which has been created here. Or, more usually, in this imperialistic war-mongering country of ours, bombing other countries to increase corporate wealth, particularly in the energy- and mining sectors.

      • Ivan Ewan

        The Tories are terrified of the NUTs, and would rather eat their own shoes than risk another one of their outrages. They “fired” Gove shortly after the NUT picked him out as a target, froze him as a personification of evil, and Alinskied him to oblivion.

        All the Tories had to do, really, was point out where the NUT funding comes from and then act as though they don’t matter. Let them strike all they want.

    • post_x_it

      Also, the last paragraph summarises neatly the biggest problem with Cameron’s leadership. He spends all his time trying to please people who will never, ever vote Conservative.

  • thresholdweller

    I think that Andrew Lansley and Michael Gove have been hidden away and their achievements left unmentioned for a reason.

    • GraveDave

      What achievements. It’s way too soon to know. It will take a generation to be able to judge fully the results of Michael Gove’s so called reforms. By then if there is a success story, Labour might be in again to claim for it. But what I’m seeing right now is an exodus of old school white men being replaced with young twenty something female luvvies and their effeminate male counterparts.

      • thresholdweller

        I agree with your first three sentences. I know that there is a fair degree of stress and chaos in both education and health – and that is probably why Michael Gove and Andrew Lansley appear to have been “disappeared” off the face of the earth.

      • Teacher

        You are mainly right about the new teachers. What you have missed out is the exodus of fifty something, tough as boots, highly educated and totally dedicated cohort of women teachers who have been pushed out by the new system. Many of them were mothers as well as teachers and never gave up on the children they taught. My kids were taught brilliantly by some of their number and the newbies are nowhere near as good as they were.

        • GraveDave

          What you have missed out is the exodus of fifty something, tough as boots, highly educated and totally dedicated cohort of women teachers who have been pushed out by the new system.

          Yes, there is that too, but all in all there does seem to be a shortage of male teachers all round.

          • Pacificweather

            Could that be the pay scales and the realisation that you will in your turn be replaced by a younger generation when in your 50s but this time with a smaller pension?

          • rtj1211

            That’s been true for decades. Especially in primary schools. Boys need male role models from the age of 6/7 and they usually don’t get them. Leaves them running back to mummy instead of getting out exploring the world with dad and/or his mates.

        • rtj1211

          Unfortunately, everyone has to start out in teaching when they are young and your heroines would have been the ‘newbies nowhere as good as their predecessors’ 30+ years ago.

          • Teacher

            Yes, of course, no one is perfect when they start.

        • Ah-so

          Primary schools love to have experienced teachers, but to be a 50-something teacher you also have to first be a twenty, thirty and forty-something. Experienced teachers also cost more – few schools can afford to lots of highly experienced teachers – they cost more.

          I have to admit that I was unaware of lots of older, experienced teachers leaving the system.

    • rtj1211

      The cynical assumption is that our American Masters will do what it takes to prevent us leaving the EU and hence, right now, they want to ensure that the next Government is not Conservative. Then 2017 can pass without an in-out Referendum and the EU nation state can be enforced permanently without possibility of reform.

      That’s the cynical view…….

      • Ah-so

        My view is that you posted under the wrong article.

  • paul

    Once success so how about the following ?
    U-turned on Child benefit Cuts………”I’m not going to flannel
    you, I’m going to give it to you straight. I like the child benefit, I wouldn’t
    change child benefit, I wouldn’t means-test it, I don’t think that is a good
    idea.”……..David Cameron

    U-turned on saying no cuts to frontline services……”What I can
    tell you is, any cabinet minister, if I win the election, who comes to me and
    says: “Here are my plans” and they involve front-line reductions,
    they’ll be sent straight back to their department to go away and think
    again.”…….David Cameron

    U-turned EMA – said they would not scrap Educational Maintenance
    Allowance – then did.

    U-turned Tuition Fees – Clegg pledged not raise tuition fees then voted
    to treble them.

    U-turned on Future jobs Fund – Before the General Election, David
    Cameron praised the Future Jobs Fund as a “good scheme” and the Conservatives
    said they had “no plans to change existing Future Jobs Fund commitments”.

    U-turned on Lisbon treaty referendum – “cast-iron guarantee”
    to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty

    U-turned defence scrapping Nimrods and sacking troops by email etc.

    U-turned on pledge to help disabled children and their parents.

    U-turned on Education – Gove forced into so many u -turns found it
    impossible to get right

    U-turned on National Insurance contributions – “We’ll scrap the
    Gordon Brown’s jobs tax” – did for employers but employees contributions
    have risen 1%

    U-turned Recall MPs – scrapped pledge for public to be allowed to recall
    under-performing MP

    U-turned on Forests -Forced to do a u-turn on selling off ancient
    woodlands (but this is till happening by stealth)

    U-turned on School Sports programme – Forced to u-turn on cutting
    funding for school sports after public outcry and outcry from sporting heroes

    U-turned on Bookstart- Forced to do a u-turn on cutting funding for
    “Bookstart” after public outcry

    U-turned on idea to pack the 1922 Committee with ministers after a Tory
    backbench rebellion

    U-turned and got rid of his personal photographer after putting him on
    the public payroll after public outcry

    U-turned on granting anonymity to rape suspects, were swiftly ditched in
    the face of a public outcry.

    U-turned on wearing lounge suit to royal wedding -and wore a morning
    suit to the royal wedding, after much barracking from the public and William
    Hague saying he would look an idiot in an ordinary suit.

    U-turned Housing benefit – forced to drop plans to impose a 10 per cent
    cut in housing benefit on the long-term unemployed after public outcry.

    U-turned on Free Milk. The health minister Anne Milton suggested
    scrapping free school milk for the under-fives to save money, but Downing
    Street retreated after Cameron was compared with Margaret Thatcher. The policy
    confusion led to the absurd scene of David Willetts defending the plan on The
    Andrew Marr Show while No 10 was in the act of briefing that it had been
    dropped.

    U-turned on NHS Direct – to replace NHS Direct with a cut-price
    “health advice service” prompted a wave of #savenhsdirect tweets and
    another John Prescott campaign. The Health Secretary soon backed down and
    promised that only the number would change HOWEVER this is sleight of hand as
    they are still radically changing NHS Direct.

    U-turned – Liberating the NHS making changes to Liberating the NHS
    reforms after coming in for serious pressure from across the board.

    U-turned – Academy Status over schools being awarded academy status
    Ministers had said the grant to provide such services would be cut by £148m
    this year and £265m next year. Forced to u-turn because attracted by having an
    increased grant if they opted out too many schools applied. This is causing
    turmoil, chaos and confusion in our education service, schools simply do not
    know where they stand.

    U-Turned – over council refuse collections.The government has admitted
    it cannot force councils in England to provide weekly bin collections. While in
    opposition Eric Pickles pledged that the Tories would restore weekly bin
    collections.

    U- Turned – Fuel Poverty – government to drop its commitment to end fuel
    poverty by 2016.

    U-Turned – NICE The Government has backed down on its plans to strip the
    National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) of its duty to recommend drugs
    and treatments for the National Health Service.

    U-Turned – NHS Government forced into a u – turn over its plans to
    privatise the NHS and bring more private companies into it.

    The Future Forum report was a “demolition job on the government’s
    misjudgements and mishandling of the NHS.”

    U-Turned – JUSTICE BILL – Tory government forced to abandon plans to
    offer 50% sentence discounts to offenders of serious crimes like rape after a
    national outcry.

    U-Turned – On promise to provide 9.000 recharging points by 2013 –
    Government’s green credentials were called into question yesterday after it
    scrapped plans for a nationwide network of recharging points for electric cars

    U-Turned BSkyB Takeover-Bid – Just weeks before a decision was due to me
    made about the BSkyB bid the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt had said he
    intended to order a full-scale competition probe. Then out of the blue Hunt
    suddenly performed a huge U-turn and accepted that a plan by Murdoch to spin
    off Sky News as an independent company and that on this basis Hunt would grant
    the takeover-bid. (Events thent ook a different course forcing the government
    onto the back foot and they referred the bid to the Competition Commission,
    shortly before BSkyB decided to drop the their bod for the remaining 61% of
    shares for the company. (Ofcom are now looking at News Internation/NewsCorp to
    see if they are a “fit and proper” company to hold a licence in this
    country)

    U-Turn Fuel Poverty – Cameron promised rein in energy companies and to
    end fuel poverty by 2016 by giving regulators more power – Regulators have not
    been given more power and now all the energy companies have massively increased
    their prices raising the cost of gas and electricity by 19% gas and at least
    10% for electricity, Cameron is caught lying – again!

    • Pacificweather

      U-Turn is such a Thatcherite idea. This is a listening government.

      • Ivan Ewan

        They listen to the wrong people – that is to say, the various SWP front groups.

  • grammarschoolman

    The only principle of current government education ‘policy’ seems to be to attack independent schools in every possible way. Pretty disgraceful in a supposedly Conservative administration.

  • ItsAlreadyTooLate

    And then along came the 2014 GCSE League Tables to spoil this article,

    • Ah-so

      No it did not. As has been made perfectly clear, the methodology of the league tables has changed and so the results were not comparable to previous years’.

      Changes to the league tables actually highlights how much work needed to be done. The English Baccalaureate reveals the extent of the practice of putting children in for easy qualifications and the practice of granting equivalency to BTEC subjects made a mockery of the league tables.

      The English Baccalaureate simply requires 5 basic subjects at C or above (‘C’ now being the forth grade – the equivalent of a ‘D’). The fact that schools were de facto encouraged to steer children away form academic subjects for so long is one of the most damaging legacies of Labour’s education policy.

      • ItsAlreadyTooLate

        When you haven’t an excuse blame Labour.

        • Ah-so

          Blaming Thatcher is still the left’s reaction to most issues in the UK. I think it is pretty fair to blame Labour for most of our education problems. Today’s year sevens started education under Labour and it will be years before Tory changes have any meaningful impact.

  • Pacificweather

    A dangerous idea. The government knows that in the case of education the electorate knows more about what is going on in their schools than they do. They also know if it is working or not. Keeping quiet at this stage is a sensible strategy. They may be able to crow in 2020 or maybe not.

  • Mukkinese

    More applause from the chatterers for the dividing of education into those who can afford to give their children a “leg up” the ladder and those who cannot.

    Until we have an equal and standard national level of good education then we will not even come close to addressing inequality of opportunity.

    The middle-classes are afraid that their children might be made to compete on a level playing field with the plebs… heaven forbid, or at least a Tory government will…

    • rtj1211

      No chance that that will ever happen: have you seen how even football is now being gentrified so that you need nice polite rich boys like Brooklyn Beckham, rather than the rough-around-the-edges Joey Barton types?? It’s going to get far, far worse: as soon as the money flows in, the middle class elbows muscle their way in. Same with science, same with all the professions.

  • Ali

    Presumably this article was written before Morgan’s disgraceful speech defending the closure of Durham Free School? She has done more to drive those traditional Conservative supporters into the hands of UKIP than Gove ever could have done.

    Now Is The Glorious Summer Of Miss Jean Brodie.

    We’ll bully them: each impressionable child
    When young, so they’ll be ours for life. We say
    Make them conform, in youth and let no wild
    Spirit, no independent thought betray
    The catechism, the instruction. Play
    Upon the unformed mind with fear, but styled
    As wisdom; be doctrinaire and they won’t stray.
    We’ll bully them: each impressionable child,
    For each is father of the man. Defiled
    In youth the spirit withers away.
    Yes, take an eager, susceptible child.
    When young and they’ll be ours for life. We say
    Teach them to ask questions everyday,
    But only those that are allowed. Beguiled
    By our immediate knowledge, they’ll go our way.
    Make them conform in youth and let no wild
    New, ideas of freedom influence. Praise the mild
    Obedient ones, who mirror and obey.
    And never offer hope to the exiled
    Spirit. No independent thought betray,
    Which might be seized upon by eager children. Weigh
    Every word. Those who object must be reviled;
    Teach names with which we might insult them; who are they
    To question this great plan we have compiled?
    We’ll bully them!

    • rtj1211

      Perhaps you’d like to write another set of lines about what they do to the children who do develop independent thought?? Especially what they do to them in their 20s and early 30s??

      • Ali

        I think you misread my poem as an expression of the feeling that young people should not be taught at all. I home educated all of my children for some time and held a weekly meeting of fellow home educators at my house, they have all turned out well, have degrees and are employed. Although I am a libertarian I do not believe children can teach themselves, I supported Michael Gove’s changes to the curriculum. I think the state, if it really has to have a role in education at all, should concentrate on providing children with a broad base of general knowledge. This should be conservative in as much as it should be based on what has gone before, the best works from the canon of English literature being the most obvious example, as opposed to anything from the last decade which attempts to brainwash children on issues of identity politics. It is the idea of the state in loco parentis to all of us I reject, and the idea it can replace us as parents to our own children and inculcate them with socialist or Marxist ideology in the name of ‘British values’ reminds me of what Hitler attempted, and sickens me.

    • Gerschwin

      I’ve never understood people who copy out lines and lines of poetry on here.

      • Ali

        I don’t copy them out, they are my poems written in response to the news in the article under which I post them. Nobody forces anyone to read Disqus comments, but poetry is a good way of summing up and getting to the nub of an issue. In this case the fact that education has been replaced by brain washing with cultural Marxist propaganda, forcing children to conform as Miss Jean Brodie did with her Fascist propaganda.

    • vieuxceps2

      I don’t know that I agree with the sentiments, but it’s a most agreeable piece of writing.Let’s have some more like it please.

  • rtj1211

    It all depends on whether the reforms have really come through into the minds of parents.

    One of the difficult things in politics is you lot seeing the data each and every year for a decade but parents only put their children through school once. They aren’t able to see things ‘getting better’, because they often don’t have a benchmark to compare it to.

    After all, when was the last time Conservative Home did a survey of parents aka the surveys you’ve been doing recently to really come to understand what the parents think, what they value and whether that translates into votes or not??

    Difficulty is, you see, you’ll only know whether their kids’ education has prepared them for success in three elections’ time, at which point the challenges will be different and the focus of attention different.

    ‘A prophet is not without honour save in his own land’ is often the fate of Education Secretaries bringing in far-sighted reform you know……

    • Dawn Young

      You do if you have six kids. The thing is Goves reforms do not really start tell next september. There are some very promising signs but we must wait and see

  • ohforheavensake
  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    There can be nothing positive about schools that pretend that unless parents fill in a load of home made – even company made- forms then our kids will not be able to go.

    Such petty beaurocracy is often used as an artificial gateway to services, not just schools, in my endemic experience. Such forms that require so much personal time and work to fill in are without any proper regulation ie regulation by which members of the public can help workers take full responsibility and accountability for their working practices and the devices they are using in what is really a free market.

    ” If you don.t fill the forms in you can go somewhere else..” Is the usual pathetic excuse for dialogue at the front line between workers and members of the public, I find. Such language and attitudes are replete with the kind of exclusive nonsense that has no place in the Great British public space. Workers who claim that the amateurish forms they shove at us are anything to do with proper regulation are kidding themselves and ordinary members of the public. The story often goes like this:

    “Government regulations mean you have to spend your personal, private time writing things down on these bits of paper that have no outward sign of any regulation on them”. And/or

    “we must meet targets that the government is setting which is why you have to do this work for us”

    to treat members of the public to such rubbish has a seriously deleterious effect on the rights of ordinary people who are free to choose certain public services because they are convenient for us and our families.

  • Ah-so

    Cameron’s mistake was not understanding that Gove was popular with the public, particularly families. The fact that the teaching unions hated him was a sign that the medicine was working. Sacking Gove may have placated the unions, but I doubt many NUT members will now be voting Tory. What it does do is make Cameron look weak and reduce the education of young people to a political football. Gove was not trying to be popular, he was trying to get things done.

    Gove probably did do some things that were a bit rash, but the overall policy of tightening standards, making league tables useful. But this has not just been about a return to traditional values – school budgets have been protected and increased throughout the years. There has been a huge focus on getting those children from under-privileged backgrounds to do better and schools with these children receive more money – an additional £1,300 per “pupil premium” child at primary school, recently increased from £800.

    At the top end, there has been an increased focus on the children who were “good enough”. The previous incentive was for school to spend their resources on getting children a level 4 at primary or a C at GCSE – there was little incentive to push children to do better. For a long time, level 5 was the highest you could do at primary, yet over 20% of all children were getting this grade. There has subsequently been a level 6 introduced, aimed at the top 5%.

    A-level tables are now showing the numbers getting Russell Group grades (AAB or better in at least two facilitating subjects). This will encourage schools to promote more rigorous subjects. The GCSE syllabus itself will become more challenging, moving them closer to the iGCSEs that independent schools opt.

    After decades of relentless dumbing down, Gove was radical in his approach and is missed.

    • post_x_it

      Very true, and applies equally to his sacking of Owen Paterson. Cameron completely failed to realise that the noisy green blob that called for it was not at all representative of public opinion.

  • Chet Carter

    How much did Dominic get for writing this article?

  • thomasaikenhead

    Dennis,

    “It has allowed new organisations such as Ark and the Harris Federation to create centres of excellence that can leave the fee-charging independent sector open-mouthed in admiration.”

    The UK was in a very similar position sixty years ago when the educational establishment face the radical challenge posed by grammar schools.

    When the pupils of grammar schools were taking half the Oxbridge places on sheer ability both the left and the right panicked.

    The left were terrified about the challenge posed by using selective criteria based on hard work and ability to their naive, utopian, ‘brave new world’ while the ‘old school tie’ were devastated at the prospect of the money paid to independent schools that gave them access to an exclusive network based on contacts and privilege would coming crashing down.

    As a direct result, the two forces combined to destroy the grammar school system.

    Little wonder that the Tories will not trumpet the educational success of places that are not traditional independent schools?

    Turkeys do not vote for Christmas!

  • thomasaikenhead

    Another reason for the tories keeping Mum about education is that as they continued the Labour policies on mass immigration that have left the educational sector woefully underfunded and their is an imminent crisis due to lack of places and the problems caused by children who cannot speak English!

    There is all the money in the world to fund petty, political vanity projects like the war in Libya that toppled Gadhaffi, bail out the banks, to fund the replacement of Trident at a cost of £150bn+, or £50 million for a ‘Holocaust’ museum, or billions on new air craft carriers that do not have enough pilots to man them but not ever enough for basic education in the UK.

    THe consequences of decades of mass immigration from non-english speaking countries are just about to create a tsunami of expectation that will overwhelm the education system in the UK.

    Little wonder that the Tories do not want to draw attention to this area?

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