Saturday, 10 September 2016

Hands Off The Privates

Theresa May cannot put her education policy to an early General Election.

Partly because she could never repeal the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act in time.

But also, on this specific issue, because her own MPs would never fight a General Election on a manifesto with this in it.

Already, enough Conservative MPs have publicly declared their opposition to it that it could not pass the House of Commons.

That is before mentioning the House of Lords.

A motion composed of those MPs' statements needs to be put to a Commons division next week.

Meanwhile, in England, the commercial school sector inspects itself.

Therefore, let the condition of a commercial school’s continuing charitable status be its having been adjudged satisfactory or better by Ofsted, using the same criteria as for state schools, with the reports published, and with the value-added measure applied, thereby requiring those schools to have demonstrated how they had improved pupils’ abilities.

But know this.

As young Momentum and allied activists of my acquaintance are discovering, schools answerable to Owen-Smithite local councillors and municipal officers would never consider giving a platform to the left-wing figures who were routinely invited to speak at public schools.

Change the councillors, of course, and then have the new ones rein in the officers. But we are living in the meantime.

Still, the future belongs to us.

From the grandest public school of all, boys arranged to meet Vladimir Putin before May ever did.

Through those institutions, the bonds between the youth of the old English elite and the youth of the new Russian elite are strong, and getting stronger.

Between that and the rise of Corbynism, with certain touring speakers straddling the two (since the latter has the advantage of what are now state schools’ extremely short days as well as their ever-long holidays in which to do all sorts of other things), and with at least one television station linking the whole thing together, the future well and truly belongs to us.


  1. Hitchens has long campaigned for this and been told it would never happen but even he is today surprised-and humbled-to see the Conservative Party adopt his entire education policy (and even his sound bites).

    1. There is no Commons majority for this. We already know that. Labour should force that to a vote next week.

  2. My grammar school years in the 50s and 60s were quite amusing. The First Form were divided into classes A, B and C, no doubt based on 11 plus results, or I suspect now even social background.

    Apart from the German and Spanish teachers, who were excellent, the rest were a group of quite affable old geezers who amused us with their War stories, were often half pissed in class and set homework learning tables of Latin verbs, historical dates or some chapter from a pre-War chemistry textbook, which of course most of never did.

    The subsequent tests were marked by pupils in class with an astounding success rate of 9/10 and 10/10 which teacher never checked. It was all a bit of a game really, and a scramble to learn a few dictated notes in the Fifth Form to pass a few O levels.

    Good fun if you survived the bullying and the odd caning, but education it was not. Some of the school dinners were good though and in the Sixth Form there were even girls.